Advice and Support

Environmental Impact Assessment

Information on Environmental Impact Assessment, a way to look at the likely environmental effects of a project and apply mitigation measures as necessary.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of individual projects has been part of Scots Law since 1988, when EC Directive 85/337/EEC came into force in the UK.

The Directive’s focus is the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment. Its main aim is to ensure that any significant environmental impacts are known about before consent is given for such projects.

EIA is a way:

  • for developers to share plans with statutory consultees, like Historic Environment Scotland, and the general public
  • to efficiently bring together information on a project’s likely environmental effects
  • to assess the gathered information
  • to apply mitigation measures to any significant impacts

A number of different pieces of legislation apply EIA to specific project types, e.g. applications under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989, and forestry projects.

Find out about Historic Environment Scotland’s role in Environmental Impact Assessment.

Our Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) handbook offers practical guidance and information to authorities, consultation bodies and others involved in the EIA process.