The EPA undertakes the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of some proposals and schemes referred to it under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (the EP Act). EIA is a systematic and orderly evaluation of a proposal and its impact on the environment. The assessment includes considering ways in which the proposal, if implemented, could avoid or reduce any impact on the environment.
Assessment of Town Planning Scheme Amendments (s48)
The EIA of statutory planning schemes and their amendments is undertaken in accordance with Part IV Division 3 of the EP Act and the Planning and Development Act 2005.
Assessment of Development Proposals (s38)
The EIA of development proposals is undertaken in accordance with Part IV Division 1 of the EP Act and a set of EPA procedures called the Environmental Impact Assessment Administrative Procedures 2012.
These procedures describe the principles and practices of EIA within the context of Part IV of the EP Act.
The Administrative Procedures incorporate recent reforms to the EPA’s EIA process. While the new process is substantially similar to the old process, the number of formal levels of assessment has been reduced to two, Public Environmental Review (PER) and Assessment on Proponent Information (API).
The Administrative Procedures also incorporate recent amendments to the EP Act, which alter some appeal rights relating to EPA decisions during the EIA process, to remove duplication and to get public input earlier. An overview of the changes to the Administrative Procedures is given in the Presentation of 10 November 2010.
Of necessity, to allow a smooth transition, there will be a period of overlap as the EP Act amendments, the new comment on referral form and administrative procedures are phased in and the previous process is phased out. Those proposals already in the system will continue to be assessed in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment (Part IV Division 1) Administrative Procedures 2002.