Environmental Impact Assessment

Environmental Impact Assessment

The adoption of development goals based on the concept of sustainability has led in recent years to the adoption by the international community of the procedures for the environmental assessment, which is oriented towards research and the adoption of sustainable development policies and from a compatible ecologically, socially and economically.

The term “impact” underlines the effect that an anthropogenic or natural generates a target on environmental or human. In general environmental impacts must be understood as changes of individual components or systems produced by environmental interventions of external origin.
The need to prevent unwanted effects on the environment caused by human activities conducted in 1969, in the United States at birth of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Environmental Impact Assessment) as part of national law NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) as a tool for management and preventive control of the environment and environmental conflicts.
For this purpose it is necessary to indicate the scale of potential impacts compared to a uniform scale that allows to identify environmental problems through comparison of the various impacts. The scale of significance used in the assessment of the expected impacts can be distinguished in qualitative and quantitative cardinals.
The Environmental Impact Study (SIA), is to consider the effects that may occur in the following specific initiatives intervention and transformation of the territory.
The procedure is not part of the system autorizzatorio but belongs to the decision-making process, which method of election in order to avoid implementation of works incompatible with the surrounding environment.
The environmental impact study is organized in the frameworks: programmatic, and environmental design and is accompanied by the summary in non-technical language.
The framework will include a description of the project and its relation to planning motivation force. S’individuerà consistency with the objectives of the project describing the effects that it is able to generate a level urban and regional development.
It is, essentially to verify the consistency of the proposed project with the objectives of existing planning tools, through an examination of the state of application.
Under reference design will analyze the characteristics of designed to illustrate the technical justification for the choice and design of the main alternatives considered. They will described with particular reference to the choices of process under the conditions of use of natural resources and raw materials, quantity and quality of water and atmospheric, and the production of waste. They will also described measures mitigative and compensatory measures to reduce or eliminate impacts on the territory.
As for the framework environmental impact study should define the scope territorial and environmental systems affected by the project analyzing critical conditions, in order to identify and describe the changes brought about by the deployment of the work.


The procedure for drafting an environmental impact study provides a detailed examination of environmental components and direct and indirect impacts that the possible implementation of causing could cause a decline or a significant disruption of the surrounding environment and / or in a context of wide area.
The environmental components are defined by the DPCM 377/88 and characterized the contents of the second. 5 of DPCM 27/12/1988, namely:
– Atmosphere
– Soil and subsoil
– Vegetation, fauna and Ecosystems
– Landscape and Climate Physicist
– Ionizing radiation and non-ionizing and Public Health.
This process consists in gathering information about the impact of the proposed natural and socio-economic environment, studying the relationship benefici-danni, considered not only in terms ecologico-ambientale but also in the economic, aimed at respect for the optimal management of resources.
Of the rules governing the EIA procedure including the EEC Directive 85/337, the Law on February 22, 1994, n. 146, the EC Directive 96/61, the DPR on April 12, 1996, the EC Directive 97/11, L. On March 15, 1997, n. 59, the Decree. On March 31, 1998, n. 112, the Decree. On April 3, 2006, n. 152 (Act on the environment) for the treatment of the study has been done-particularly in Annex C: Contents of the environmental impact study referred to in Article 5, to be drawn up for the purposes of the evaluation (in accordance indications of C dpr 12 April 1996).
Based on national standards and to the Statute Autonomous Regions, regional governments, will be identified and evaluated:
1. The possibility or otherwise of impacts on an ecosystem falling between those sensitive or action even if the work is not localized in one of them;
2. The possible degradation of the system and possible impacts on environmental components;
3. The possible disruption with regard to animal and plant species priority;
4. Possible measures mitigative impacts.
Through the SIA must be identified characteristics and existing conditions of the area and the possible repercussions following the completion of works:
The types of actions and deeds;
The size and scope of reference;
Complementarity with other plans and projects;
Use of natural resources;
Pollution and environmental disturbances;
Accident risk regarding substances and technologies used;
Interference on biotic components, and abiotic environment.
In addition, the description will take account of:
Reports and its conformity with the instruments planners on the ground;
The criteria and the reasons for the choice of projects;
The characteristics of the technological and physical;
The Constraints;
Measures minimization of impacts;
Every possible detail on biotic and abiotic components of the territory subject to impact.
The Environmental Impact Study is conducted through the analysis and evaluation of all data biotic and abiotic insistent on the territory concerned by the comparison of any data arising from investigations in the field, information officers and with the contribution of all the studies the territory or that concern him.
The parameters for the assessment of impacts can often be complex, controversial and, above all, when using matrices on ecological, difficult to implement.
In some cases, after a careful analysis of industry analysis you can also express opinions synthetic, although discretionary may allow a proper assessment of the impacts of our work.
What follows is a kind of a table applicable to the areas with eleven values (negative five, five and a positive value nil).

Explanation of terms of the legend of Values of impacts:

Irreversible-effects on those intending Area Causing considered irreversible thermodynamics or impossible to restore the original condition. Eg. The killing of a forest on soil factor or opening a quarry with a loss of the original landscape features.
Highly-All those negative impacts determining a degradation of the characteristics of the original field with the possibility of recovery of the same only after the removal of the causes. Eg. The gas emission into the atmosphere of a chemical plant.
Negative influences on the sector – which results in constant change and can be decreased but not annulled with mitigation measures as creation of vegetations filter, sound-absorbing barriers on wetlands or waterways where the work creates local pollution.
Significant follow-on product Interference significant but not substantially alter the functional or for visual or entity of distance or influence on the sector. Eg. Noise Vibration or influencing in a settlement that is still below the threshold of tolerance in decibels.
Mild-Action on an area not directly detectable but assessable by instrumental analysis and indagative that are absorbed by the industry in the long term or minor. Eg. Dumping of products on the ground with a total degradation of the first contact with ground water (in this case only the analysis of groundwater can deliver on lievità assessment).
Indifferent-Action of the sector will absolutely not detectable in the short them in the long run or the extent of the work or for the distance factor. Construction of an artefact from a remote forest absolutely not influential.
Slightly positive impact on the industry – which leads to a slight recovery functional or visual. Eg. Using filters in air emission of liquid or gaseous products into which partially reduce pollutants.
Positive Action-on product that substantially improves tends to change its original appearance in the long term. Eg. Elimination of non-forest species with replacement of native species seed.
More than Positive Action-on product similar to the first but with influence on the same scale for stronger or closeness of the field.
Good – Opera or intervention interfering in the area substantially improving the functional, qualitative or landscape. Eg. Recovery of natural quarry (the recovery is not absolute because the original conditions ecosistemiche and / or morphological are lost).
Excellent-action or intervention of the sector that generates a full and complete recovery in the long term. Eg. Elimination of previous artefacts as in concreting of natural water systems.

Clearly, the parameters can be refined, adapted and structured in a manner best suited to the type of, but final, this system allows you to avoid statements on the impact of a work too often questionable and generic.

Guido Bissanti