Importance of environmental impact assessment and monitoring studies in industrial development
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Environmental assessment is taken up in this exercise as a rapid assessment technique for determining the current status of the environment and identifying impact of critical activities on environmental parameters. EIA is a relatively new planning and decision-making tool first enshrined in the United States in the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. It is a formal study process used to predict the environmental consequences of any development project. EIA thus ensures that the potential problems are foreseen and addressed at an early stage in project planning and design. Creation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) system is vital to conform socio-economic development projects to environmental safety and thereby ensure sustainable economic development. In view of the fact that development is an ever-growing process, its impact on the environment is also ever increasing, leading to rapid deterioration in environmental conditions. As such environmental assessment provides a rational approach to sustainable development. It also enables us in carrying out environmental cost-benefit analysis of projects at an initial stage. It is thus a precursor to detailed analysis of environmental impacts, which are taken up only if a need for the same is established. Comprehensive EIA is usually conducted after the rapid EIA and some time after accruing a formal approval. It helps the planning and management to take long-term measures for effective management as well as environment conservation.
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