Environmental Impact Assessment is a key application domain of
environmental information and decision support systems.
EIA is a classical application of scenario analysis, addressing WHAT - IF questions,
which requires a number of IT elements:
- Data management for the baseline and project alternatives;
- A knowledge base for a rule-based intelligent evaluation framework;
- Simulation models for the scenario analysis, estimation of impacts;
- Multi-criteria participatory DSS methods for ranking dn comparative analysis;
- Real-time process control to manage the workflow and information exchange
in a participatory and open EIA procedure.
The EIA procedure: The EIA procedure can be summarized as follows:
the developer or project proponent may request the competent authority to define
what should be covered by the EIA information to be provided by the developer (scoping stage);
the developer must provide information on the (expected) environmental impact
-- this is where simulation models can be used to predict such impacts
(EIA report, Annex IV); the environmental authorities and the public
(and affected Member States) must be informed and consulted;
the competent authority decides, taking into consideration the results of
consultations. The public (including various interest groups)
is informed of the decision afterwards and can challenge the decision before the courts:
easy public access to all information and support for a participatory decision
making process is therefore a key requirement.