A number of different names are used for the report that is prepared on the findings of the EIA process. The generic term â€˜EIA reportâ€™ is used here. Other terms commonly used for the same document include environmental impact statement (EIS) and environmental statement (ES). Further variations may be introduced by the terminology used in different countries. Despite the different names, EIA reports have the same basic purpose, approach and structure.
Usually, the proponent is responsible for the preparation of the EIA report. The information contained in the report should meet the terms of reference established at the scoping stage of the EIA process (see Scoping section of course). The terms of reference set out the information that is to be submitted to the decision-making body or responsible authority.
The purpose of the EIA report is to provide a coherent statement of the potential impacts of a proposal and the measures that can be taken to reduce and remedy them. It contains essential information for:
- the proponent to implement the proposal in an environmentally and socially responsible way;
- the responsible authority to make an informed decision on the proposal, including the terms and conditions that must be attached to an approval or authorisation; and
- the public to understand the proposal and its likely impacts on people and the environment.
A successful EIA report that meets these aims will be:
- actionable â€“ a document that can be applied by the proponent to achieve environmentally sound planning and design;
- decision-relevant â€“ a document that organises and presents the information necessary for project authorisation and, if applicable, permitting and licensing; and
- user-friendly â€“ a document that communicates the technical issues to all parties in a clear and comprehensible way.