Louis L. Bono


Environmental impact assessment (EIA) legislation requires an assessment of the effects a project is likely to have on the environment before development begins. EIAs serve a dual role. They inform the community of the potential effects to the environment of a project and allow the developer the opportunity to mitigate any future environmental damage posed by the project. EIAs are the first and probably the most important step in preserving the quality of the environment. This article discusses the 1985 EC Directive on EIAs and its implementation into the British planning system. The article then contrasts the EC Directive with the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act, the father of EIA legislation.