Environmental Incidence Assessment

Environmental Incidence Assessment

The safeguard, the protection and the improvement of the quality of the environment, including the maintenance of natural habitats and of wild flora and fauna constitute an objective of general interest pursued by the European Community (Directive n. 92/43/CEE).

The principal purpose is to promote the conservation of biodiversity while also considering economic, social, cultural and regional demands contributing to the general objective of durable development. For this purpose, so as to identify and assess the principal effects that a plan or a project can have on sites which the Community indicate as Special Protection areas and/or Sites of Community Importance, and considering the objectives of their maintenance, an Impact Assessment for the indicated ecosystems must be made. Impact assessment constitutes, therefore, the tool for guaranteeing the attainment of a balanced relationship between the satisfactory maintenance of the habitats and the species and the sustainable use of the territory.
The procedure for impact assessment has to provide documentation that is useful for identifying and assessing the principal effects that the plan and/or project (or intervention) can have on the Natura 2000 site, considering their conservation objectives. The logical path for the impact assessment is outlined in the methodological guide “Assessment of plans and projects significantly affecting Natura 2000 sites, Methodological guidance on the provisions of Article 6 (3) and (4) of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC” compiled by Oxford Brookes University on behalf of the European Commission for the Environment. The assessment procedure is a fundamental tool for environmental politics. It is defined in article 130R of the treaty of the European Community and by the programs of Community action in favour of the environment and of sustainable development. Community politics in the sector of the environment are based on the principle of precaution and preventive action, on the principle of correction, above all at the source, of the damages incurred by the environment, as well as on the principle of “whoever pollutes must pay.” The possible repercussions on the environment will have to be immediately considered in all the technical planning and decision making processes and for this purpose the adoption of assessment and/or impact procedures have been provided for.

Procedural methodology

The procedural methodology proposed in the Commission’s guide is a progressive path of analysis and assessment that is composed of four principal phases, but it does not specifically deal with the need to adopt a “short” procedure for projects and/or possible works which have a smaller environmental impact. The four principal phases of the procedure will be outlined below:

Stage One: Screening — the process which identifies the likely impacts upon a Natura 2000 site of a project or plan, either alone or in combination with other projects or plans, leading to the execution of a complete impact assessment if the impact results to be significant, that is, the probability that a plan or a project has to produce effects on the integrity of a Natura 2000 site; the assessment of the impact depends on the particularities and on the environmental conditions of the site.

Stage Two: Appropriate assessment — the consideration of the impact on the integrity of the site of the project or plan, either alone or in combination with other projects or plans, with respect to the site’s structure and function and its conservation objectives and an assessment of the potential necessary mitigation of those impacts;

Stage Three: Assessment of alternative solutions – the identification and analysis of alternative ways of achieving the objectives of the project or plan that avoid adverse impacts on the integrity of the site;

Stage Four: an assessment of compensatory measures- the identification of actions, even preventive ones, which can counterbalance the foreseen impact in those cases where no alternative solutions exist or where the proposed solutions still present some degree of negative impact, but in the light of an assessment of imperative reasons of overriding public interest it is deemed that the project or plan should proceed

It is not necessary to proceed through the various phases. Instead, each further step is consequential to the information and the results which have been obtained. If, for example, the conclusions at the end of Stage One are that there will be no significant impact on the Natura 2000 site, there is no requirement to proceed further. When carrying out the procedure for impact assessment it is advisable to adopt the descriptive matrixes that represent, for every phase, a useful grid for the standardized organization of data and information, as well as for the motivation of the decisions taken during the assessment procedure. The information must be provided on a habitat and species will have to be more and more specific and localized as we go from large scale plans (parks, basins, regional territories, provincial coordination of territories, etc.), to plans which are circumscribed and detailed (the localization of infrastructure and grid systems, plans to be carried out). Considerations of a plan or project (pp) affecting a Natura 2000 site can be simplified in this way:

1) Is the PP directly connected with or necessary to the site management for nature conservation?
1a) If YES, authorisation may be granted
1b) If NO, it is necessary to assess whether the PP will probably have a significant effect on the site.
2) Is the PP likely to have significant effects on the site?
2a) If NO, authorisation may be granted
2b) If Yes, it is necessary to assess the implications for the objectives of maintenance of the site and therefore to proceed with the assessment as to whether the PP will negatively affect the integrity of the site.

3) Will the PP adversely affect the integrity of the site?
3a) If NO, authorisation may be granted
3b) If YES, alternative solutions must be evaluated.
4) Are there alternative solutions?
4a) The PP must be redrafted and the implications for the conservation objectives of the site will be considered once again (point 2b)
4b) If NO, an investigation of the site is undertaken to determine whether there are priority species present.
5) Does the site host a priority species?
5a) If YES, an investigation is made to determine whether there are human health or safety considerations or important environmental benefits. In this case, if the investigation is positive authorisation may be granted. Compensatory measures are taken and the Commission is informed.

If there are no human health or safety considerations or important environmental benefits, authorisation may be granted for other imperative reasons of overriding public interest, following consultation with the Commission.

5b) If NO, (that is, in the site there are no priority species present) imperative reasons of overriding public interest must be considered. If the answer is negative, then authorisation must not be granted.

If the investigation is positive authorisation may be granted. Compensatory measures are taken and the Commission is informed. In short, the procedural phases can be separated into four fundamental stages:

Stage 1: screening. This stage examines the likely effects of a project or plan, either alone or in combination with other projects or plans, upon a Natura 2000 site and considers to what degree these effects will be significant.

This assessment comprises four steps:

1. Determining whether the project or plan is directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site;
2. Describing the project or plan and the description and characterisation of other projects or plans that in combination have the potential for having significant effects on the Natura 2000 site;
3. Identifying the potential effects on the Natura 2000 site;
4. Assessing the significance of any effects on the Natura 2000 site.

To complete the screening stage, it will be necessary for the competent authority to gather information from a variety of sources. It may often be possible to make the screening decision using currently published material and consultation with the relevant nature conservation agencies. The approach to decision-making in this screening stage is to apply the precautionary principle proportional to the project or plan and the site in question. For very minor projects or plans, it may be possible for the competent authority to decide that there will be no significant effects on the basis of a description of the project alone. Similarly, that level of information may be sufficient to decide that there are likely to be significant effects for large projects or plans. Such decisions can be made on the basis of the competent authority’s knowledge of the Natura 2000 site and the fact of its designation and conservation status. Where it is less obvious that there are or are not likely to be significant effects, a much more rigorous approach to screening will be necessary. The application of the precautionary principle and the need for transparency, which has to characterise the whole decision-making process, require that the conclusion that there are unlikely to be significant environmental effects should be recorded and reported. For this reason, it will be considered good practice to complete a report where it has been objectively concluded that there are unlikely to be significant environmental effects on the Natura 2000 site. Where, without any detailed assessment at the screening stage, it can be assumed (because of the size or scale of the project or the characteristics of the Natura 2000 site) that significant effects are likely, it will be sufficient to move directly to appropriate assessment (Stage Two) rather than complete the screening assessments mentioned above. In the case in which the proposed project is subject to the VIA or VAS directives, the assessment must be preceded by the screening of the VIA projects or of the VAS plans. In those cases where a VIA (declaration of environmental compatibility) procedure has been requested, an appropriate assessment is generally applied. It should also be supposed that if a project can have a significant impact on the Natura 2000 site, a procedure for environmental impact assessment may be necessary.

Stage 2: appropriate assessment. Consideration of the impact of the project or plan on the integrity of the Natura 2000 site, either alone or in combination with other projects or plans, considering the structure of the site, as well as its conservation objectives. In case of negative impact, the assessment of the possibilities of mitigation is also added.

Stage 3: assessment of alternative solutions. The examination of alternative ways of implementing the project or plan to avoid any adverse impacts on the integrity of the Natura 2000 site. This kind of examination can ask for greater consultations with the competent agency for nature conservation. In other cases, particularly where there are differences of opinion among the various interlocutors, it may become necessary to effect further investigation to establish if the effects of a project or plan can be significant. The most common way to determine how significant consists in applying key indicators. Some indicators, such as the percentage of loss of habitat, can be more significant for those sites in which habitats are more a priority than in others, because of their status. Where further investigation is necessary, it is important to apply verifiable assessment techniques. If research into how significant the effects will be is to be carried out in a systematic and objective way, it is opportune to use other matrixes and checklist. In the identification of potential impact, it is important to recognize the specific elements of a project or plan that can produce an impact on the Natura 2000 site or the elements that can act in conjunction with other projects or plans. The elements which are pertinent to the project can include the needs of construction, the resources used, the physical characteristics, its extent, depth, duration etc.

Stage 4: Assessment where no alternative solutions exist and where adverse impacts remain.

Assessments of compensatory measures in those cases where, following positive assessment on imperative reasons of overriding public interest, it is felt that the plan or project must necessarily go ahead. The decision to proceed to the next stage is taken at each level. For example, if at the end of Stage one it is found that there is no significant impact on the Natura 2000 site, then it will not be necessary to proceed to the subsequent stages of assessment. The assessments must above all show in an objective and documented way that:

– there will be no significant effect on Natura 2000 sites (Level I: Screening);

– there will be no effects able to jeopardize the integrity of a Natura 2000 site (Level II: appropriate assessment);

– there are no alternatives to the plan or projects able to jeopardize the integrity of a Natura 2000 site (Level III: assessment of alternative solutions);

– there exist compensatory measures able to maintain or increase the overall coherence of Natura 2000 (Level IV: assessment of compensatory measures).

There remains a need for the creation of methods and objective criterions to carry out these requirements effectively. The use of methods such as environmental accounting, the ecological imprint, BAT -best available technology, satisfy these to some extent, but work on how to establish common, quick and efficient criterions for the creation of reports which can be immediately applied needs to be done.

Methods of impact prediction

It can sometimes be difficult to foresee the impact of a project or plan on a Natura 2000 site, given that the elements that form the ecological structure and the function of the site are dynamic and therefore not easily measurable. To formulate predictions it is necessary to predispose a systematic and structured outline. This must be as objective as possible. For this purpose, it is necessary first of all to identify the types of impact, which are usually defined as being direct and indirect, short or long term, resulting from construction, operational or resulting from decommissioning, and having either isolated, interactive or cumulative effects. Direct measurements can be taken, for instance, in areas in which the habitats have already been lost or have been jeopardized. Through these measurements, the proportion of losses in terms of populations of species, habitat and community can be identified. Flow charts, networks and systems diagrams are used to identify chains of impacts resulting from direct impacts, while indirect impacts are termed secondary, tertiary, etc. impacts in line with how they are caused. Systems diagrams are more flexible than networks in illustrating interrelationships and process pathways. Quantitative predictive models. These provide mathematically derived predictions based on data and assumptions about the force and direction of impacts. Models may extrapolate predictions that are consistent with past and present data (trend analysis, scenarios, analogies which transfer information from other relevant locations) and intuitive forecasting. Normative approaches to modelling work backwards from a desired outcome to assess whether the proposed project will achieve these aims. Some commonly used models predict the dispersal of pollutants in air, soil erosion, sediment loading of streams, and oxygen sag in polluted rivers. Geographical information systems (GIS). These are used to produce models of spatial relationships, such as constraint overlays, or to map sensitive areas and locations of habitat loss. GIS are a combination of computerised cartography, storing map data, and a database-management system storing attributes such as land use or slope. GIS enable the variables stored to be displayed, combined and analyzed speedily. Information from previous similar projects. This may be useful, especially if quantitative predictions were made and have subsequently been monitored in operation. Once the effects of a project or plan have been identified and once the relative predictions have been formulated, it is necessary to assess if there will be a negative impact on the integrity of the site, defined by the conservation objectives and by the status of the site. The mitigation measures must be assessed according to the negative impact that the project or plan can have. To assess the mitigation measures it is necessary to proceed as follows:

– list each measure that must be introduced (for instance, acoustic limits, new trees);
-explain how the measures will help to avoid the negative impact on the site;
-explain how the measures will help to reduce the negative impact on the site.

Then for every listed measure

-substantiate the way in which these will be guaranteed and executed and who will be responsible for them;
-substantiate the degree to which there will be a possibility of success;
-indicate a timetable for the project or plan showing the time within which these measures will be executed;
-substantiate the ways such measures will be monitored and the ways in which to apply solutions in case the measures do not give the expected result.

The ways to assess alternative solutions:

-consult agencies or other pertinent bodies;
-use accumulated information to complete the screening and appropriate assessment stages using the assessments provided for by article 6;
-identify and describe in detail the principal objectives of the project or plan;
-identify alternative ways to achieve the objectives of the project or plan;
-provide as much information as possible, drawing attention to possible gaps in it and giving the sources;
-assess every alternative in light of the criterions used in the appropriate assessment to assess the impact of the proposed project or plan on the conservation objectives of the site;
-apply the principle of precaution for all the alternatives.

Identification of potential impacts

The effects of each project on the environment will be unique, due to its construction, operation, duration and location. These effects can be limited to on-site effects (e.g. direct removal of vegetation) but may also occur off-site (e.g. increased nutrient loading leading to eutrophication). There are some common ways in which effects can be classified and these help to focus on the nature of impacts and their likely magnitude. Many environmental practitioners consider a development in terms of its potential physical, chemical and biological effects.

Physical effects. Physical alteration of the environment can include the direct clearing of vegetation and accompanying impacts on flora and fauna, creation of barriers to movement of terrestrial species and (most commonly) direct alteration of habitat. Physical effects may be large-scale and therefore highly evident, though they may also be much smaller and less evident. Direct alteration of the habitat most often involves the loss of a habitat type to some form of built development. However, losses can also occur as a result of drainage schemes for reclamation purposes, disposal of unwanted on-site materials (top soil and overburden), etc.

Creation of barriers. The creation of barriers may affect the movements of many species of terrestrial organism, including the breeding migrations crucial for the maintenance of some species/populations. Apart from the localised and often intensive effects associated with physical alteration of habitats, there may be other, more far-reaching effects associated with physical alteration of the terrestrial environment. Linear projects (roads, pipelines, and overhead transmission lines), large-scale extraction (coal mines, gold) and major urban housing schemes remove large tracts of habitat, thus affecting the home range/migratory routes of many terrestrial organisms.

Chemical effects. The most commonly encountered are changes in nutrient status, introduction of hydrocarbons, and changes in pH leading to heavy metal contamination. Changes in nutrient status can occur directly (such as tailing storage dams from mineral treatment processes), as a consequence of human activity (such as the disposal of sewage sludge) or indirectly by disturbance to areas which have large amounts of nutrient ‘locked up’ in their soil profile. Many vegetation/habitat types are of a low nutrient status and any nutrient inputs tend to result in the invasion of noxious species at the expense of the native species. Activities that alter the pH of the soil are also of particular concern.

Biological effects -flora. A frequent large-scale problem is the introduction of non-native plant species, perhaps via landscaping work following construction. Non-native plants (often tree species) introduce a range of potential problems. They may grow more vigorously than native species, and quickly out-compete them; they tend to be established via unfavourable techniques such as deep ploughing; and they can dramatically alter the drainage regime of a given habitat. Other problems include increased pesticide application and the introduction of new genetic stocks of species already present in an area, perhaps detrimentally altering the genetic structure of the resident species.

Some definitions

Significant impact: this indicates the probability that a plan or a project produces impacts on the integrity of a Natura 2000 site; the assessment of how significant these are depends on the particularities and on the environmental conditions of the site.

Negative impact: this indicates the possibility of a plan or project significantly affecting a Natura 2000 site, bringing negative effects to the integrity of the site, with respect to the objectives of the Natura 2000 network.

Positive impact: this indicates the possibility of a plan or project significantly affecting a Natura 2000 site, not bringing negative effects to the integrity of the site, with respect to the objectives of the Natura 2000 network.

Assessment of positive impact: this indicates the results of an assessment procedure of a project or plan that has verified the absence of negative effects on the integrity of the site (absence of negative impact).

Assessment of negative impact: this indicates the results of an assessment procedure of a project or plan that has verified the presence of negative effects on the integrity of the site.

Integrity of a site: this defines a quality or a condition of entirety or completeness in the sense of “coherence of the structure and the ecological function of a site in all of its surface or habitat, set of habitats and/or populations of species for which the site has been or will be classified”.

Impact assessment in Italian provisions

Nationally, impact assessment is regulated by art. 6 of DPR 12 March 2003 n.120, (G.U. n. 124 of May 30th 2003 ) that has replaced art.5 of DPR September 8th 1997 , n.357 that incorporated into Italian normative paragraphs 3 and 4 of the “Habitat” directive. In fact DPR 357/97 has been subject to an infringement procedure by the European Council, causing it to be modified and integrated by DPR 120/2003.

According to art. 6 of the new DPR 120/2003, paragraph 1, in planning and in territorial planning, the naturalistic-environmental value of the proposed sites of community importance, of sites of community importance and of special protection areas have to be considered. This is a general principle which tends to avoid that methods of territorial management which are in conflict with the demands of conservation of the habitats and the species of community interest are approved.

Paragraph 2 of art. 6 establish that impact assessment must be considered in all territorial plans, town-planning and other plans in this field, including agricultural plans, plans regarding fauna and their variations.

They also have to submit impact assessment (paragraph 3) for all the projects which are not directly connected to and necessary for maintaining the species and present habitats in a Natura 2000 site in a state of satisfactory conservation , but that can have significant impacts on this site, either alone or in combination with other interventions.

Article 5 of the DPR 357/97 limited the application of the impact assessment procedure strictly to determinate listed projects, not acknowledging what was prescribed in art.6, paragraph 3 of the “Habitat” directive.

In order to achieve impact assessment, the proponents of plans and projects which are not entirely directed to the maintenance of the species and habitat of a Natura 2000 site introduce a “study” (ex report) with the aim of identifying and assessing the principal effects that the plan or the intervention can have on the site in question.

The study for impact assessment must be compiled according to the guidelines of document G of DPR 357/97. This document, which has not been modified by the new decree, says that the study for impact assessment has to contain:

· a detailed description of the plan or project with reference, in particular, to the type of action and/or work, its size, its relationship to other projects and/or plans, the use of natural resources, the production of waste, pollution and environmental problems, the risk of accidents involving the substances and technologies used;
· an analysis of how the project or plan interferes with the environmental system it refers to, considering the biotic and abiotic components and the ecological connections.

In the analysis of the interferences, it is necessary to consider the quality, the ability of regeneration of the natural resources and the ability of the environment to resist. The minimum detail of reference is that of the CORINE Land Cover project, that introduces coverage of the ground in the scale of 1:100.000, remembering that the scale to be adopted will have to be connected to the dimension of the Site, the typology of the habitat and any population to be preserved. For projects which have already been submitted to the Environmental impact assessment procedure (VIA), impact assessment is included in the VIA procedure (DPR 120/2003, art. 6, paragraph 4). Consequently, the environmental impact study prepared by the proponent will also have to contain the facts regarding the compatibility between the project and the conservation objectives of the site according to the guidelines in document G. For plans or projects that entirely or partially regard Natura 2000 sites which fall within a nationally protected area, impact assessment is submitted after having consulted the managing body of the area (DPR 120/2003, art. 6, paragraph 7). If, following impact assessment, a plan or a project results to have negative consequences on the integrity of a site (assessment of negative impact), possible alternatives will have to be assessed. In lack of alternative solutions, the plan or the intervention can be enacted only for reasons of overriding public interest and with the adoption of opportune compensatory measures, notifying the Ministry for the Environment and for the Protection of the Territory (DPR 120/2003, art. 6, paragraph 9). If in the site in question there is a natural habitat and priority species, the intervention can be made only for reasons concerning health and public safety, or for reasons of primary importance for the environment, or having obtained the permission of the European Commission, or for other imperatives of overriding public interest (DPR 120/2003, art. 6, paragraph 10). In all other cases (unimportant private or public interests) the approval can not be granted.

Environmental impact assessment E.I.A.

-Impact assessment (V.I.) is obligatory in the case of plans and projects that can have impacts on sites of community importance (SIC) and special protection areas (ZPS), formed according to the provisions of the European “Habitat” (92/43CE) and “Birds” (79/409/CE) Directives.

-In Italy , V.I. is provided for in DPR 357/97 (art. 5 and document. G), modified by DPR 120/2003

-(art. 5, p. 4) “For projects submitted to Environmental impact assessment procedures, according to article 6 of the law of July 8th 1986, n.349, and to the Decree of the President of the Republic, April 12th 1996 […] and its subsequent modifications and integrations, regarding proposed sites of community importance, sites of community importance and special protection areas, as defined by this rule, impact assessment is included within the aforesaid procedure which, in this case, also considers the direct and indirect effects of the projects on the habitats and on the species for which these sites and areas have been identified. For this reason, the environmental impact study predisposed by the proponent has to contain the elements related to the compatibility of the project with the conservation objectives provided for by this rule, with reference to the guidelines of document G”.

The aims of ecology assessment

The ecology assessment aims to provide an understanding of the composition and ecological importance of the species, communities and ecosystems within the impact area of the proposed development, and their likely response to that disturbance. Next, the type and magnitude of the likely impacts of that development on the flora and fauna of the site are predicted. This in turn leads to the suggestion of alternatives to the proposal, mitigation measures designed to minimise or avoid the predicted impacts, or to the rejection of the proposal if this is considered necessary. Finally, a monitoring programme will be outlined, indicating which components of the site are to be monitored, at what interval, and by whom. Communities and ecosystems intergrade. Freshwater wetlands include ecosystem gradients from open waters to semi-terrestrial systems such as peatlands and marshes, and these intergrade with terrestrial systems such as grassland, heathland and woodland. In designing and managing an ecology assessment, it must be remembered that: no single ecologist can be expected to deal with all aspects of an ecological assessment and it may be necessary to employ specialists for different taxonomic groups and/or ecosystems; particular taxonomic groups or ecosystem types cannot be considered in isolation, so the work and findings of the team members must be coordinated; the ecological assessment should be coordinated with other work dealing with environmental systems such as climate, soils and water.

Extended form

Recommended Contents and Index for the Environmental Impact Study:

· Premise – With the relationships between the proposed Plan or Work and the directives regarding the question;

Professional appointments- With the listing of all the directives and deliberations from which such assessments are reached;

· Methodology of work – Where all the procedures, investigations, analysis and elaborations below are produced in a systematic way;
· outline of normative references – with a complete illustration of all the international, community, national and regional norms that govern, precede and determine the Study in question and the relationship between the Work or Plan and the Sites of Community Importance, the Special Protection Areas and the Regional Ecological Network managed by the European Union;
· outline of programmatic reference – from the international level to the local one, with particular reference to: Sources of intergovernmental conferences;

International planning from Stockholm 1972 up until today: Rio, the Brundtland report, the Climate and Biodiversity Convention, Agenda 21, the protection of Habitats in Europe, Sustainable Development and the fifth and sixth guides to environmental action programs, Corine Biotopes, Natura 2000, Biodiversity in Italy (also with 2010 in mind), Protection of Sites of Community Importance and Special Protection Areas;

National and regional planning with the axis and measures of reference;

Regional Territorial Plans;
Regional Plans for Parks and Reserves;
Regulatory plans for town-planning and the Prusst of reference or where the work is to be carried out;
The assessment of the work or plan in question;
The outline of environmental reference – The extended area
The Socioeconomic System;
The Urban System;
The Rural System;
The Ecological System;
The Abiotic element: Climatology, Thermometry, Pluviometry, Altimetry; Viability of the Zone, Geologic, Podologic and Hydrologic Aspects;
The Biotic element: Ground Use, Vegetation with the physionomic aspects of the site, the Fauna.

· Outline of project references – With an analytical description of each intervention of the Project or the predictions of the Plan and all the phases of construction and/or transition and/or evolution;
· screening: stage1 – the identification of the likely effects of a project or plan upon a Natura 2000 network site, either alone or in combination with other projects or plans already in existence or planned in the area.
· “Appropriate” assessment: stage 2 – analysis of the impact of the project or plan (either alone or in combination with other projects or plans) on the integrity of the Natura 2000 site in the respect of the structure and the functionality of the site and its conservation objectives, and individualization of the mitigation measures which may be necessary;

· Analysis of alternative solutions: Phase 3 – identification and analysis of possible alternative solutions to achieve the objectives of the project or plan, avoiding negative impacts on the integrity of the site;
· Definition of compensatory measures: Phase 4 – identification of actions, even preventive ones, able to offset the expected impact, in those cases where alternative solutions do not exist or where the proposed hypotheses still have a negative impact, but for imperative reasons of overriding public interest it is necessary that the project or the plan is carried out all the same.

· Conclusions –

The planner’s statement –

(Minimum) reports and documents supporting the Environmental Impact Study:

1. Cartography in a scale of 1:25.000 or 1:10.000 with the removal of the Plan or Project in question;
2. Map of the Sic or ZPS area in a scale of 1:25.000;
3. Map of the Hydrographical Basins in which the SIC or ZPS areas and the Plan or Project in question are found;
4. Morphological map in a scale of 1:25.000 or 1:10.000 (based on the extent of the intervention or

Plan);

5. Map of Ground Use preferably in a scale of 1:10.000;
6. Map of Potential Vegetation preferably in a scale of 1:10,000;
7. Map of road and communication infrastructures preferably in a scale of 1:10.000;
8. Photographic documentation of the site before the intervention, with particular reference to the places where the work or the plan is expected to be;
9. Documentation on Flora and Fauna surveys;

The following documents are recommended where possible and in relation to the Plan or Project:

1. Historical maps of the vegetation and the fauna;
2. Maps of fauna present today;
3. Maps of the migratory flows of each species in question;
4. Maps of dominant winds;
5. Charts indicating exposures;
6. Charts of sea tides;
7. Etc.

Exemplified form:

The following are excluded:

-The plans
-New Public Works not connected to the Management of the SIC and ZPS areas or to the Reserves.

Considered cases:

-Modifications to existing works which are not substantial;
-Rural buildings;
-Works needed by farms, zootechnic and forest businesses (potting, enclosures, canalizations, etc.);
-Viability of Businesses;
-Interventions for the management of the SIC and ZPS areas and of the Reserves;

Recommended Contents and Index for Environmental Impact Study:

· Premise – With the relationships between the proposed Plan and the directives regarding the question;

Professional appointments- With the details of the resolution or of the assignment which has been received;

· Methodology of work – Where all the procedures, investigations, analysis and elaborations below are produced in a systematic way;
· outline of normative references – with a general description of the work with reference to the management by the European Community of Sites of Community Importance or Special Protection Areas;
· Outline of programmatic reference – with reference to Regional Territorial Plans; Regional Plans for Parks and Reserves; regulatory plans for town-planning and the Prusst of reference or where the work is to be carried out; the assessment of the work or plan in question;

·The outline of environmental reference – with a descriptive summary of the Rural System; the Ecological System; the principal characteristics regarding Climatology, Altimetry; the Viability of the Area, Geologic and Podologic aspects; the Rural System, the natural vegetation present in the site and the Fauna.

· Outline of project references – With a description of the planned intervention with a description of the possible impact on biotic and abiotic elements during each stage of work.
· screening: stage1 – the identification of the likely effects of a project or plan upon a Natura 2000 network site,
· “Appropriate” assessment: stage 2 – analysis of the impact of the project on the integrity of the Natura 2000 site in respect of the structure and the functionality of the site and its conservation objectives, and the identification of the mitigation measures which may be necessary;
· Analysis of alternative solutions: Phase 3 – identification and analysis of possible alternative solutions to achieve the objectives of the project or plan, avoiding negative impacts on the integrity of the site;
· Definition of compensatory measures: Phase 4 – identification of actions, even preventive ones, able to offset the expected impact;
· Conclusions –
· The planner’s statement –

(Minimum) reports and documents supporting the Environmental Impact Study:

1. Cartography in a scale of 1:25.000 or 1:10.000 with the removal of the Plan or Project in question;
2. map of the SIC or ZPS area in a scale of 1:25.000;
3. Photographic documentation of the site before the intervention, with particular reference to the places where work is to be carried out;

Suggested reference rates

Interventions and Projects

Fees are calculated on the basis of the presumed cost of the work as shown in the estimates given in the general plan or in the planning documentation, according to the following chart:

Cost of the work in Millions of euro Fee expressed as a percentage (%)
Environmental Impact Study
0,25 5,00
0,50 4,00
2,50 1,60
5,00 1,20
10 0,80
15 0,60
20 0,50
25 0,42
30 0,36
35 0,32
40 0,29
45 0,27
50 0,26
125 0,18
250 0,13
375 0,12
500 ed oltre 0,10

The remunerations for the intermediary values must be calculated by linear interpolation.
For studies carried out following simplified procedures, 20% of the reference rate is applied, with a minimum fee of 1.500,00 plus the expenses entitled to by law. In the event that the intervention is carried out by more than one professional then the fee is proportionally divided among the various members involved, with the group coordinator receiving double.
Where there is also an environmental impact study, the fees increase by 10%. It must be remembered that at the moment, until the new rates for Doctors of Agronomy and Doctors of Forestry have not been approved, the fees expressed have been interpreted with discretionary power following articles 103 and 104, group V of the D.M. 232/91

To the fee so calculated must be added the expenses, as foreseen by the D.M. 232/91 and all the taxes to be paid by law.

In any case, the minimum applicable fee is of 12.500 European plus the above mentioned taxes.

Suggested reference fees Plans

Area of the plan falling within SIC o ZPS areas
Territory concerned Parameters Cheap
Up to 250 Euro for Ha Amount
Up to 250 50 12.500
Up to 500 35 17.500
Up to 1.000 25 25.000
Up to 2.500 15,2 38.000
Up to 5.000 11,2 56.000
Up to 10.000 8 80.000

n.b. the intermediary values are calculated by linear interpolation

If the person in charge of the environmental impact study has also to do an agricultural, forest or territorial study in which there is a SIC or ZPS area, then the fee is calculated with a 15% increase on the fee for drafting the plan. If there follows another assignment then the fee is separate and the one for the Environmental Impact Study is applied. In any case, the minimum applicable fee is of 12.5000 euro plus the above mentioned taxes.

Maria Giovanna Mangione
Guido Bissanti