The draft Guidelines on the information to be contained in Environmental Impact Assessment Reports (EIAR) are available for download below. The Guidelines have been drafted with a view to facilitating compliance with EIA Directive (2014/52/EU). The publication of the draft Guidelines is timed to follow the deadline of the 16 May 2017 set down in Directive 2014/52/EU as the date by which the new rules apply.
The 1992 EPA Act (Section 72) provides for the preparation by the Agency of “Guidelines on the information to be contained in Environmental Impact Statements”. The Guidelines were first published as a Draft in 1995. Following a revision in light of extensive consultation with practitioners about issues and needs arising from experience of the draft Guidelines in use, the final Guidelines were adopted and published in 2002.
The adoption of the amending EIA Directive (2014/52/EU) in April 2014, combined with the lessons and experience arising from EU and Irish court cases, appeals, the various pieces of new legislation that have been adopted since 2002/2003 and the experience gained in this area to date led to a decision to review and update the Guidelines.
The preparation of these draft Guidelines has involved extensive consultation commencing in September 2014. Participants in the consultation process included government departments, national agencies, local government, non-governmental organisations, members of the public, developers and bodies representing various professional, industrial and sectoral groups. The public consultation process on the draft Guidelines took place between September and October 2015.
The draft Guidelines are provided to help those involved in EIA in the period prior to the transposition to the new national legislation. They are written with a focus on the obligations of developers who are preparing EIARs for the various types of projects covered by the Directive. The Guidelines are also intended to provide all parties in the EIA process, including competent authorities (CAs) and the public at large, with a standard to measure whether EIARs are fit for purpose. This means providing adequate and relevant information to inform decisions about whether to grant or refuse consent.
The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government issued a circular letter (dated 15th May 2017, PL 1/2017) to planning authorities and An Bord Pleanala related to Advice on Administrative Provisions in Advance of Transposition. All applicants involved in preparing an EIAR should familiarise themselves with the new requirements. The circular letter is available for download External linkhere
To ensure that the Guidelines are fully aligned with the relevant legislation, they will be updated and finalised following the transposition of Directive 2014/52/EU into national legislation. The Guidelines will have statutory footing once they are finalised.
It is proposed to revise the Advice Notes on Current Practice in the preparation of EIS (2003) once the Guidelines have been finalised.
Note: All Environmental Impact Assessment Reports submitted to the EPA or other consent authorities on or after the 16th May 2017 must meet the requirements of Directive 2014/52/EU.