The 1992 EPA Act (Section 72) provides for the preparation by the Agency of “Guidelines on the information to be contained in Environmental Impact Statements”. The Guidelines were first published as a Draft in 1995. Following a revision in light of extensive consultation with practitioners about issues and needs arising from experience of the draft Guidelines in use, the final guidelines were adopted and published in 2002. The Advice Notes were published in 2003.
The adoption of the new EIA Directive (2014/52/EU) in April 2014, combined with the lessons and experience arising from EU and Irish court cases, appeals, the various pieces of new legislation that have been adopted since 2002/2003 and the experience gained in this area to date led to a decision to update the guidelines.
Experience has taught the value of drawing on the accumulation of wisdom among officials, scientists, practitioners, academics, developers, NGOs and the public to learn about how the guidelines can best fulfil their statutory purpose – while also meeting the day-to-day practical needs of all involved. The review of the guidelines commenced in September 2014 and included an online survey to gather initial input from interested parties. A second online survey has now been created to gather feedback on the draft revised Guidelines and Advice Notes.
Your participation in this survey, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EPAconsultation, would be welcomed. This is mainly a simple tick box questionnaire which can be completed in as little as a few minutes. Space is also provided for further comments, if desired. All responses received by 10th October 2015 will be carefully considered in the final stages of the review process.
It is anticipated that the revised guidelines will be published two to three months following this final consultation.