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You are here: EIA & SEA – Introduction





Environmental assessment is a standard


Environmental damage can be avoided if environmental aspects have been considered during the approval procedure of a facility or encroachment. That was the insight in the 70's and 80's, which eventually led to the drafting of an EU Directive ("Directive 85/337/EEC of the Council on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment" from June 27, 1985) and to the drafting of the "Law for Environmental Impact Assessment" which was enacted in 1990.

Thats how the famous "EIA" obtained a binding legal basis after a discussion that had lasted for years. Many critics were not satisfied with the rather weak implementation of EIA which reduces it to a "dependent component" of the legislation procedure and that the Investment Easement Law again exempted many facilities. Nevertheless it was successful enough to provide an enforceable significance to environmental aspects.

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SEA as a magical framework






It took more than 10 years for European and German lawmakers to realize that environmental issues concerning the construction of plants needed to be integrated into the planning phase and into programs and not only first introduced when building begins. According to the Act on Managing Water Resources there are many decisive points at which very fundamental decisions are made that have an impact on the environment whether it be a land usage plan, building plan or waste recycling concept, transport plans or contingency programs. SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment) is the name of the environmental assessment defined by law in Germany in the year 2005, which certain plans and programs need to pass. The new abbreviation SEA differentiates it from the EIA, which is more related to a single project. The use of environmental assessment of policy drafts or legislative proposals, that is, making decisions even long before plans and programs are settled, should also be discussed.

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ifeu's research about
the environment



Environmental impact assessments and strategic environmental assessments are administrative decisions which may be undertaken only be governments. ifeu contributes to these decisions though the help of environmental impact assessments (EIA) using professional studies, reports and consultations. ifeu has accompanied the EIA administrative procedures many times, often on behalf of the applicant of the project, but also for the local communities, licensing authorities and objectors.

Even before the passage of the EIA Act project, ifeu worked in waste management. The trigger were the special environmental importance of waste incinerators and landfills and the social debate surrounding them. Since them a wide variety of projects have been carried out in waste management and increasingly in the field of energy supply (e.g. gas-fired power plants) and water management.


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Ready for new tasks



Preliminary research projects and implementations will be carried out for the new legal developments such as a preliminary EIA of projects and strategic environmental assessments for plans and programs. With almost 20 years of expertise, also regarding administrative procedures, we are able to help contractors, government agencies and objectors with words and deeds. We are able to optimally advise individual actors, drawing upon the different perspectives we have gained from the projects we have completed.

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Main areas of our work


Currently you can find more detailed information on the following areas of our work:

Environmental Impact Analysis

EIA Screening

List of "EIA & SEA " Projects

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Bernd Franke

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 Printer friendly  Tell a friend Last updated: 09 Nov 2015