Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA)
An Ecological Impact Assessment is a process of identifying, quantifying and evaluating potential effects of development-or other proposed actions on habitats, species and ecosystems.
EcIA follows CIEEM 2019 guidelines. This involves several stages including scoping, the provision of baseline, identification of the zone of influence, identification and evaluation of ecological features and potential effects resulting from the project.
The process should be iterative and result in designing out potential impacts or through the use of mitigation measures to avoid or reduce negative impacts.
Surveys provide the baseline assessment of the site and may include the PEA and protected species reports.
The key stages to an EcIA are:
- Initial ecological appraisal, scoping survey, Phase 1 habitat survey or description of baseline conditions
- Detailed ecological surveys (NVC) and habitat evaluation
- Protected species surveys (bats, badgers, great crested newts, reptiles, dormice)
- Evaluation of the ecological value of the site
- Impact assessment including positive and negative impacts, magnitude, extent, duration, reversibility, timing and frequency
- Assessment of whether impacts are ecologically significant
- Mitigation design and/or compensation and/or habitat enhancement proposals
- Environmental statement (reporting)