ISSN (O) : 2584-1378


AUTHOR’S NAME: Shivani Kharai
INSTITUTION - National Law School of India University Bangalore



The purpose of conducting an EIA is to evaluate the potential consequences that planned projects and schemes may have on various parts of the environment, encompassing both natural and human components. The outcomes of Environmental Impact Assessments are intended to be utilized by governmental bodies and other stakeholders involved in decision-making processes to evaluate the feasibility of investing in, implementing, or authorizing planned undertakings, such as mining operations, reservoir construction, highway development, and agricultural initiatives.The assessment is administered in a standardized manner all around the world. The Rio de Janeiro Declaration of 1992, which mandated putting public concerns to a single platform for the diminishing of environmental issues, is the document that brought about the necessary amendments.


The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a crucial procedure that aims to assess the anticipated environmental consequences of a prospective project. EIA is a tool for making decisions because it compares different project options and finds the one with the best mix of environmental and economic costs and rewards. In this process, people’s opinions are taken into account before any development project or action is given the green light.


  • The utilization of impact assessment enables businesses to gain an understanding of potential changes and proactively strategize to minimize adverse effects or capitalize on positive disruptions.
  • Impact assessment enhances responsibility to various corporate stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, sponsors, partners, consumers, beneficiaries and supporters.
  • This analysis provides a comprehensive assessment of the business’s sustainability, serving as a valuable instrument for examining the business’s position and achievements within the ecosystem.
  • The impact assessment analysis is employed to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the efficacy of the policies, procedures, approaches, and organizational culture of the business within the broader global network.


The importances of EIA are:

  • The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is widely regarded as an effective instrument for the responsible management of the environment.
  • According to governmental regulations, it is mandatory for any industrial project to secure environmental impact assessment (EIA) permission through the Ministry of Environment prior to receiving clearance from the commission that handles planning.
  • The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) analysis proactively identifies both the prospective beneficial and adverse effects of the project.
  • EIA protects the country’s riches from nature, reduces the negative environmental effects of economic growth and industrialization, and maintains a balance between the two.
  • The utilization of cost-saving measures and efficient project execution strategies can lead to a reduction in both time requirements and the adherence to legal laws.


The initiation of Environmental Impact Assessment in India dates back more than two decades. The initiation of the examination of river-valley projects from an environmental perspective may be traced back to the period of 1976-77, when the Planning Commission requested the Department of Science, Technology & Environment to undertake this task. Subsequently, the scope of coverage was expanded to include projects that necessitated the authorization of the Public Investment Board. Prior to 1994, the process of obtaining environmental approval from the Government was primarily an administrative decision and did not have a strong statutory foundation.

Under the Environmental (Protection) Act 1986, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MEF) and Government of India, issued an EIA notification on January 27, 1994. This made Environmental Clearance (EC) necessary for any endeavor that sought to grow or become more modern, as well as for starting new projects listed in the first schedule of the notification. Twelve changes have been made to the EIA notice of 1994 since then.

The MoEF announced that new EIA laws will go into effect in September 2006This notice says that many projects, like mines, thermal power plants, river valleys, infrastructure (like roads, ports, airports), and businesses, including extremely small electroplating, need to get environmental clearance. In contrast to the EIA Notification of 1994, the recent legislation has shifted the responsibility of project clearance onto the state government, contingent upon the project’s size or capability.

Sterlite Industry ltd. v. Union of India,2013”

In this particular case, the Supreme Court deliberated upon the pertinent bases upon which administrative acts, such as specific permissions, need to be contested. The basis for judicial review was characterized by elements of illegality, irrationality, and similar factors. Hence, the authorization bestowed by an external entity beyond the legal jurisdiction would be a basis for procedural improprietyIf the decisions continue to exhibit a lack of logic, they may potentially impede the rationality of the situation. However, the entity in question was unable to maintain its operations due to the discovery that the State Expert Appraisal Committee had made recommendations on specific matters without receiving any corresponding applications.


The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change released the draft EIA notification, 2020 on March 23, 2020. It replaced the notice from 2006. It aimed to make a lot of changes to how the country handles the environment, changes that do not protect the environment well but are good for business. This notification anticipates the granting of two approvals: the prior environment clarence (EC) through the endorsement of expert committees, and the Environmental permission (EP) without the endorsement of expert committees. The concerns pertaining to the recently proposed draft are as follows:

  • The duration for public response to project notifications under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) 2006 was set at 30 days. However, the EIA 2020 Draft has proposed a reduction in the public response period to 20 days.
  • According to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Draft of 2020, it is proposed that projects which have commenced operations without obtaining environmental clearance may be permitted to continue their activities.

Furthermore, it does not endorse environmental infractions, but instead facilitates expedited development approvals coupled with rigorous oversight.


Social Impact Assessment (SIA)

The process entails the examination, observation, and supervision of both intentional and unforeseen communal impactsThe analysis encompasses both the positive and negative consequences of a structured mediation process, as well as any associated modifications resulting from the mediation. Additionally, the examination encompasses the utilization of many activities, such as land use, terrain management, agricultural practices, and farming techniques. These concepts are interconnected with each other. The interconnections between social, economic, and biospheric consequences are evident.

Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA)

The method under consideration has proven to be significantly less complex compared to the Environmental Impact Assessment.  This simpler and more effective mode has had many effects on projects for many reasons. Sustainable development is its hallmark. Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) aims to incorporate environmental variables and sustainability issues into decision-making criteria. Implementing policies, forms, etc. This excellent development method has expanded its scope.


Conservation and protection of the environment requires measuring the environmental impacts of human-induced processes, assessing their performance, creating policies on this basis and integrating them into developmental processes, and implementing them adequately. The primary focus of most international environmental agreements is to establish a framework and structure for effectively managing and regulating our interactions with the natural environment. Numerous Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) have been implemented on the global scale. The primary objective of their endeavor is to foster international collaboration among member nations, as well as between organizations and persons, through the establishment of procedural mechanisms and institutional regulations grounded in principles of international law. International treaties are officially defined in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969 as agreements between states that are documented in writing and subject to international law. These agreements can take the form of a single document or multiple related documents, regardless of their specific name or designation.  Several international treaties include:


The primary objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is to provide a framework for international collaboration and consensus in order to effectively manage and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The ultimate goal is to achieve a level of emissions that can effectively counterbalance the adverse impacts of climate change and global warming. India joined the convention in the year 1992 and afterward proceeded to formally approve it in 1993.


Agenda 21 was created at the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to incorporate stakeholders in an unenforceable sustainable development plan.

Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) promotes biodiversity protection, sustainable use of biological resources, and fair sharing of benefits and knowledge. In 1993, the convention took effect.

Tehri Dam Case

In this case, EIA laws were violated because the project was cleared despite the negative consequences on local ecosystem. It was decided that “the overall anticipated advantages from the dam shouldn’t be used as an excuse to deny the outdoors people their basic rights”. After being removed, they should all be rehabilitated right away, and neither of them should have to wait. Getting better should happen before six months have passed since the submersion. Once the repair is done, there will be no more impoundments.


For the complicated world we live in, EIA can be very helpful. Concerns like pollution, climate change, water management, and trash collection need to be looked at in more depth to understand how complicated they are and how to make things better for the environment. It is imperative that all nations, including India, adhere to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) protocols in order to enhance environmental well-being.

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