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Commercial Development: Understanding the Core Steps of Environmental Impact Assessment

If you are planning on developing land for commercial or industrial usage, it is advisable for you to consult environmental impact specialists. In general, large-scale developmental works tend to have a lot of impact on the natural environment and other related social, cultural and economic aspects. Therefore, if you are interested in making changes to a patch of land, you should ensure that you will not cause a negative impact. It is important to remember that the goal of environmental impact assessment is to help you predict potential problems early and find solutions before beginning development. Here are the primary steps that you should know in relation to impact assessment. 

Determining if an Assessment Is Essential

All commercial developments have an impact on their environment in one way or another. However, an assessment is not essential for all projects. In simple terms, there are projects which have a low effect on the environment. Therefore, a thorough investigation is not considered necessary for the approval of the development. This screening process is the first step of the assessment. When you consult a specialist, they will conduct a review of your proposal and determine the need for continued investigations. If your development is reviewed and it is found to need further assessment, the consultant will recommend the tests needed.

Identifying Potential Project Impacts

Commercial developments do not usually compromise all aspects of their environments. Therefore, if your building needs an assessment, it is more efficient to investigate only the issues which are relevant to the specific project. The issues which will be investigated before your proposal is approved will depend on issues such as international conventions, knowledge by environmental experts and even public involvement. Once the potential impacts are identified, the issues can be investigated thoroughly. Typically, the assessment will identify the negative consequences as well as the best methods to minimise the adverse results.

Reporting and Decision-Making

When the environmental impact assessment is completed, a report will be generated. This report will be crucial in helping you make the best decision for your business. A non-technical report summary is often created, so you should be able to understand the general outcome. However, it is advisable to study the in-depth technical report for the full picture. If your development proposal is approved, there might be conditions imposed to minimise the impact. You can proceed with the work as long as relevant changes are made. If the changes are too drastic or costly, you can also choose to shut down the development proposed.