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Environmental Assessment

Guidelines on the Assessment of Indirect and Cumulative Impacts as well as Impact interactions

These Guidelines consider the Assessment of Indirect and Cumulative Impacts as well as Impact Interactions within the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. It presents the results of research and consultations conducted by Hyder, commissioned by the European Commission: Environment Directorate-General.

These Guidelines are intended for use by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) practitioner and developer. The aim is to provide guidance on practical methods and approaches to assess indirect and cumulative impacts of a project as well as impact interactions. The Guidelines are not intended to be formal or prescriptive but are designed to assist EIA practitioners in developing an approach which is appropriate to a project, and to consider these impacts as an integral part of the EIA process.

Although these guidelines are primarily addressing the EIA at the project level, the reader interested in the assessment of indirect and cumulative impacts as well as impact interactions at the more strategic level of plans, programmes or policies will find these guidelines useful and to a large extent applicable.

The Guidelines have been designed to apply to a wide range of projects and to assist in the EIA process throughout the Member States. They give advice on how to approach these kinds of impacts during the various stages of EIA, how to adapt the approach to a specific project and suggests methods and tools for identifying and assessing indirect and cumulative impacts, as well as impact interactions.

Including an assessment of the indirect and cumulative impacts, and interactions in an EIA is required by legislation, contributes towards sustainable development, is good practice and aids the decision making process.

Guidelines in PDF format (746K)