Environmental Impact Analysis:
Scoping, Screening, Assessment
EIAxpert: rule-based screening-level EIA

EIAxpert is an interactive, rule-based expert system (XPS/RTXPS) for the suport of various forms of environmental impact assessment:

  •   EIA   (Environmental Impact Assessment)
  •   SEA   (Strategic Environmental Assessment)
  •   SIA   (Social Impact Assessment)
  •   ESIA   (Environemntal and Social Impact Assessment)
  •   EHSIA   (Environmental, Health and Social Impact Assessment)

It is designed for a screening level assessment of development projects at a pre-feasibility stage.

The regulatory framework is based on the EU COUNCIL DIRECTIVE "on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment" (85/337/EEC) and its amendments (e.g., 1997/11/EC, 2001/42/EC (SEA), 2003/65/EC, see also: ec.europa.eu/environment/eia/home.htm), but also considers elements as the Equator Principles for the financing of development projects. The modular and hierarchical structure and fully data-driven implementation makes it easy to adjust to any similar set of guidelines.

EIA/SEA Scope

EIA and SEA applies to all "projects" that are in some sense "large" and have predicatble effects on the environment. This includes all the plans and programmes, domains and project types enumerated in the corresponding Directives: (e.g., as listed in Annex I and II to Directive 85/337/EEC):
  • Agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy, industry, transport, waste management, water management, telecommunications, tourism, town and country planning or land use and which set the framework for future development consent of projects
  • All those plans and programmes with effects on sites, according to the articles 6 and 7 of the European Directive 92/43/CEE, Habitats Directive).

EIAxpert is a generic, completely data driven assessment tool that can easily be configured for a broad range of application domains, project types, regions and regulatory frameworks, rules and guidelines.

The system offers several, closely integrated functions. The web-based implementation supports cooperation and a consistent apporach within and between institutions, and provides a shred and consistent information basis for all tasks.

  1. The management of the Assessment Process: keeping track of the status of any number of EIA projects and their deadlines, associated work flow and communication management, data and document management, quality control (completeness, consistency, plausibility, benchmarking);
  2. The data management for individual EIA projects, data bases, GIS, documents, starting with the baseline data and "no action" scenario for comparative evaluation;
  3. The (rule-based) interactive assessment procedure with a number of domain specific checklists and knowledge-bases (sets of assessment RULES, simulation model interface)

The original implementation was designed for the Lower Mekong Basin (commissioned by the Mekong Secretariat) for the assessment of water resources development projects, and uses checklists and assessment rules derived from the Asian Development Banks Environmental Guideline Series

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