Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)


Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process of evaluating the potential environmental effects of a proposed project or development. It is a crucial tool that helps decision-makers to identify and evaluate potential environmental impacts before making any decisions that could harm the environment.

The importance of EIA lies in its ability to identify potential environmental impacts before they occur. It helps to prevent or minimize the negative impacts of development projects on the environment, and to identify opportunities for enhancing environmental benefits. Through EIA, decision-makers can evaluate the feasibility of proposed projects and determine whether they are in line with the objectives of sustainable development.

Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) aim to protect the environment by integrating environmental considerations into the concept phase of large-scale developments. The process begins with the screening process, which determines whether a proposed project requires an EIA or not. In the European Union (EU), the EIA process is governed by the EIA Directive (2014/52/EU) which requires member states to ensure that EIA is carried out for certain public and private projects. The directive sets out a range of requirements for EIA, including the scope of the assessment, the content of the environmental statement, the consultation process, and the monitoring of the environmental impacts of the project.

If an EIA is required, Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) issue Terms of Reference which outline the environmental concerns which need to be addressed in the EIA. The EIA report is ultimately prepared by an environmental consultant, and the information enables the Planning Authority (PA) and/or ERA to take a decision on whether to approve the development.

Discover how AIS Environment carried out an EIA for Malta's Central Link Project.

Discover how AIS Environment carried out an EIA for Infrastructure Malta's Central Link Project.


AIS Environment will guide you through each stage required during an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA):

Planning the permit application: Following the submission of a planning permit application to the PA, ERA are consulted as statutory consultees. They provide feedback to the client on whether a PDS needs to be submitted. 

Preparation of the Project Description Statement (PDS): AIS will prepare the PDS document which gives a description of the project and a brief description of the envisaged environmental impacts on noise, air quality, ecology, etc. – AIS will directly liaise the report with the customer, architects and ERA.

Terms of Reference (ToRs): ERA publishes ToRs which outline the details and technical studies required as part of the EIA – As the chosen EIA coordinator, AIS will consult with the client and ERA on these ToRs

A team of experts by your side: AIS will appoint qualified internal & external experts for each technical study and prepares the methodologies for each technical study, in consultation with ERA

Providing any Technical studies: AIS will carry out & coordinates the various technical studies to ensure they’re completed in a holistic and timely fashion

Compiling the EIA Report: AIS will compile the results of the technical studies into the EIA Report, which will be submitted to ERA on the client’s behalf

Providing any consultations: AIS will coordinate consultations with ERA, stakeholders and the public, handling any environmental questions on behalf of the client. Such consultations may necessitate workshops, meetings and presentations which are all led by AIS.

Present for any ERA & PA Board Hearings: AIS will present the findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report to the ERA board and PA board who take a decision on whether to issue the permit. We will handle any environmental questions on behalf of the client.

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