Written Answers. - Environmental Impact Assessment.

45.

asked the Minister for the Environment if he has satisfied himself regarding the implementation of the EC Directive on environmental impact assessments.

EC Dirctive 85/337 on Environmental Impact Assessment was brought into operation from 3 July 1988 in accordance with arrangements notified by my Department. Statutory effect was given to its provisions in relation to motorway projects by the European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Motorways) Regulations, 1988 (S.I. No. 221 of 1988).

Work is proceeding on further measures to give statutory effect to the directive in respect of the other types of projects to which it applies, and it is hoped to finalise these measures as soon as possible. I am satisfied that the action taken to implement the directive, together with the proposed further statutory measures, will ensure its effective operation.

As far as is practicable, some provision for independent assessment is being built into EIA procedures. The general criterion for the application of EIA is the likelihood of a relevant project having significant effects on the environment by reference to factors such as its nature, size or location.