Talk:Environmental impact assessment directive

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--# : INSTRUCTIONS: Do not put arguments on the same line with a subheading. --Jouni 19:32, 10 February 2013 (EET)

--# : INSTRUCTIONS: Put the arguments below into a good place in a thread. They should point to an argument that has a relevant connection to what you say. --Jouni 19:32, 10 February 2013 (EET)

# : # : participation process is useful but collaboration must be strenthened to ensure that all decisions are considered accordingly. --Johnagyemang 10:45, 4 February 2013 (EET) --Johnagyemang 10:45, 4 February 2013 (EET)

# : I do not agree that the participatory process is useless at all. This is because through participation,experts, stakeholders, researchers and the general citizens share ideas and dialogue for clear understanding of principles and directives which goes along way to enhance implementation of directives. people can give relevant information. Often times when people participate in a process, they are more committed to its implementation and success --Joshuan 22:36, 9 February 2013 (EET)

# : : Stakeholder participation is very necessary in decision making to facilitate recognition of policies affecrting the public,though it might have it's own demerit --Johnagyemang 10:41, 4 February 2013 (EET)

# : I believe it works very well to a large extent although some aspects could be improved over time as characteristic of many evolving directives.Continuous dialogue between experts, citizens and stakeholders is needed --Joshuan 22:21, 9 February 2013 (EET)

# : Accredited quality controllers will rather improve is much appreciated to compile relevant, practical and current environmental report. However, when they combine their expert knowledge with the general citizens, a more balanced and practical result will be attained. --Joshuan 00:00, 10 February 2013 (EET)

EIA directive works mostly very well

How to read discussions

Statements: EIA directive works mostly very well

Resolution: Not accepted. At best, it works rather well. It has a few known problems.

(A stable resolution, when found, should be updated to the main page.)

Argumentation:

# EIA directive does not work mostly very well, because it has not significantly changed after 25 years of application, despite the policy, legal and technical context has evolved considerably. --Salla 14:15, 25 January 2013 (EET)

#: It seems that there is problems and flaws regarding participating of above mentioned participants, t.ex timeframes for participation and hearing and availability of necessary data for making knowledge based opinions and to be heard during EIA procedure, these things need improvements and detailing. --Jukka Hirvonen 22:33, 29 January 2013 (EET)# : Time frames for the public participation is not mentioned in the EIA directive, too short time for the public participation may hinder the social acceptance and too large time can cause additional cost to the project --Adnank 22:56, 14 February 2013 (EET)

--# : You are absolutely right. Fitting timeframes so, that all who are interested could be able to participate, is hard. Finding necessary data is one of the jobs which are done in assessment. Doing an assessment is als kind of catching up current knowledge and understanding about the subject. --Kasperi Juntunen 10:08, 11 February 2013 (EET)

# : The purpose of amendments is not that one to solve a particular problem. The principale and first objective of the directive is that environmental considerations are taken into account in the decision-making process. In this sense, the directive has worked well. --Stefania 09:27, 11 February 2013 (EET)

# : This directive works but not as perfectly as expected, because amendments might not necessary solve a particular problem at the time the amendment is done and this will call for constant or regular review of the various components of the directive --Thomasa 22:09, 7 February 2013 (EET)

# : The EIA directive on my part works very well because after the various amendments and annexes, key points have evolved to include all stakeholders such that developers as a requirement must submit EIA report on their project as stated in Annex IV to competent authority which then results in environmental authorities and those likely to be affected by the project getting to know what is in the project and the availability of the option to go to court if there are issues with impact assessment. This leaves no room for suspicion on the part of developers and those likely to be affected --emmanuel 13:25, 10 February 2013 (EET)

# : It is true that in these years the context has evolved, but we can say that the Directive works mostly very well because the objectives have generally been achieved. The principles of environmental assessment have been integrated into the national EIA systems and all MS have established comprehensive regulatory frameworks and implement the EIA in a way which is in line with the Directive’s requirements. Environmental considerations are now taken into account in the decision-making process, which has become more transparent. Obviously, the development of the directive is an evolving process, there are a lot of challenges that should be considered, but the Directive indicates also areas where improvements are needed, presenting exactly possible recommendations for actions and this can be considered a very good START POINT of change. --Stefania 20:55, 4 February 2013 (EET)

--# : EIA directive can work better when its content has updated to concern current environmental challenges, like climate change. --Salla 14:28, 25 January 2013 (EET)

--# : EIA directive is constantly "under construction" based on suggestions made to improve it, new improvements also cover climate change and improverishment of natures diversity. --Jukka Hirvonen 11:41, 31 January 2013 (EET)

# : It works rather well because EIA directive has increased and enhanced knowledge concerning environment in planning and decision making. In addition, citizens, organizations and authorities have enhanced opportunities to participate planning projects.(Jantunen J ja Hokkanen P. YVA-lainsäädännön toimivuusarviointi. Ympäristövaikutusten arviointimenettelyn toimivuus ja kehittämistarpeet. 2010. Suomen ympäristö 18,2010 --Juho Kutvonen 23:08, 24 January 2013 (EET) [1]

--# : It's correct that directive has increased knowledge of environmental concern regarding building and infrastructure projects in member states. --Jukka Hirvonen 22:33, 29 January 2013 (EET)
# : My opinion is that Finlands environment has improwed alot during the last 30 years. EIA directive has it's role for sure. --Sami Rissanen 10:46, 7 February 2013 (EET)

# : EIA directive works well but there is a need of amendments in the EIA legislation and Annex I, II, and III to avoid unnecessary burden. --Adnank 17:26, 31 January 2013 (EET) # : The EIA directive works well as it ensures that environmental considerations are upheld early enough in decision making --Adedayo 09:53, 4 February 2013 (EET)

# : There is allways individuals who are having single opinions for and against of EIA procedure and it's effectiveness. In overall, seems that EIA is somewhat working despite it's lacks and flaws. However, changes and improvements are presented and done as time goes by, so probably EIA becomes more efficient. --Jukka Hirvonen 22:38, 29 January 2013 (EET)

# : Always EIA can not satisfy everyone but you must see the big picture of situation and then you can evaluate does EIA work properly. They do have hearings for people whom this EIA concerns and they try to minimize disadvantages. --Kasperi Juntunen

# the EIA policy and framework are not complete so that it cannot reduce the hazardous wastes well enough that is why they can still enter the environment. --Soroushm 17:41, 31 January 2013 (EET)

# : The basis for EIA directive was not based on complete elimination of hazardous waste but to minimise it to non effective dose. We can't therefore conclude it never works knowing fully well there is chance for updating and improvements of the directives --Matthew 13:01, 1 February 2013 (EET)

# There is a possibility of increase of contamination due to the hazardous wastes --Soroushm 13:20, 24 January 2013 (EET)

--# : What do you mean by increasing contamination, do you mean that the EIA directive allows more freely hazardous wastes entering to nature? --Jukka Hirvonen 22:07, 29 January 2013 (EET)
'# : EIA have also framework for hazardous waste waters so I think EIA works also with waste waters and it has improved waste water handling. '
# : Projects having hazardous waste and environmental effects are taken into account by selection criteria mentioned in Annex III --Adnank 00:01, 1 February 2013 (EET)

# It works poorly because a highway was built in front of my summer cottage. --Jouni 13:03, 24 January 2013 (EET), an imaginary citizen

# : A single case does not tell anything about the process, unless there is more profound understanding why the outcome was what it was. --Jouni 12:31, 29 January 2013 (EET)

# The application of the directive might work mostly well, but the content of it and the framework it gives are not concrete and detailed enough to make a significant change. --Isabell Rumrich 17:27, 29 January 2013 (EET)

# : It seems that most member states that have adopted EIA-directive see that use of directive has been efficient and it has improved considering and identifying environmental impacts regarding projects, t.ex. big buildings, roads etc. despite the shortages of directive --Jukka Hirvonen 22:25, 29 January 2013 (EET)
# : Especially in Finland the EIA improves the assessment of planned projects, because before the implementation of the EIA no holistic approach was used in the assessment. Sector-based legislation prevented to consider environmental impacts holistically. (Pölönen, Hokkanen, Jalava: The effectiveness of the Finnish EIA system - What works, what doesn´t, and what could be improved?. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 31 (2001), 120-128) --Isabell Rumrich 14:41, 6 February 2013 (EET)

# : "When applying Directive 2011/92/EU, it is necessary to ensure a competitive business environment, especially for SMALL and MEDIUM enterprises, in order to generate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, in line with the objectives set out in the Commission's Communication entitled ‘Europe 2020 – A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ "(Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, Brussels, 26.10.2012) --Stefania 11:25, 11 February 2013 (EET)

--# : One problem is that process is still too expensive for small or medium companies. It is cheaper to buid three piggeries with 590 animals each without EIA than one large piggery with EIA process. --Sami Rissanen 10:40, 7 February 2013 (EET)

# : EIA directive works very well but there are differences in the screening process in different countries of EU that creates un-necessary burdens on the administrative process, some certain projects with great environmental effects escape the EIA requirement, this loophole has to be fixed. --Adnank 22:48, 14 February 2013 (EET)

# : Stakeholder participation is very necessary in decision making to facilitate recognition of policies affecrting the public,though it might have it's own demerit --Johnagyemang 10:13, 11 February 2013 (EET)

The participation process required in the EIA directive is useless

--# : In principle I agree that the directive works well but it is obvious that nothing is constant in this world,and due to that there were amendments with time and that is acceptable --Sam0911 18:08, 11 February 2013 (EET)

How to read discussions

Statements: The participation process required in the EIA directive is useless

Resolution: Not accepted. Participation process is useful or even critical, but there is a need to improve it.

(A stable resolution, when found, should be updated to the main page.)

Argumentation:

# : The participation process useful only if:

  • the participation brings in new information, understanding, or acceptance in the process, and
  • the new things brought in by the participation are actually affecting something else in the EIA process.

--Jouni 19:04, 11 February 2013 (EET)

# : The public participation required in the EIA directive is useful, public can give their opinions and can share their concerns and public opinion is valued in this directive. The public is invited to give its opinions and comments before the project and after the completion of EIA report, the report is also available for the public. --Adnank 23:30, 14 February 2013 (EET) # : The participation process required in the EIA directive is not useless at all since active and maximum participation process will create a good platform for concerned citizens to come out willingly with their views and concerns on the directive which will go a long way to help planners to come out with concrete, precise and practical directive --Thomasa 22:26, 7 February 2013 (EET)

Stakeholder participation is very necessary in decision making to facilitate recognition of policies affecrting the public,though it might have it's own demerit --Johnagyemang

# : Although there were some limits in participation previously but some changes have been made to increase the public participation so that public can take part in assessment and decision making policies and their ideas or comments are collected to improve the assessment --Soroushm 13:20, 24 January 2013 (EET)

# : Giving possibility to participate to EIA process is very important. Now everybody can give important information and other points of view. --Sami Rissanen 10:56, 7 February 2013 (EET)

# : It is not useless since citizens and those whom the project is concerning may propose alternative plans to the planned project. And this might have an effect to the outcome e.g. the planned plant will be built somewhere else. --Juho Kutvonen 13:47, 25 January 2013 (EET)

--# : This is true. But, in practice, there are several gaps that should be addressed. --Stefania 22:12, 4 February 2013 (EET)

# : The required participation process is a good approach, but the public awareness of the chance to influence the decision making is still too small to lead to a broad participation and changes in the content. --Isabell Rumrich 17:30, 29 January 2013 (EET)

# : An assessment of the effectiveness of the EIA system in Finland showed that the EIA was not capable of activating a big part of citizens. (Pölönen, Hokkanen, Jalava: The effectiveness of the Finnish EIA system - What works, what doesn´t, and what could be improved?. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 31 (2001), 120-128) --Isabell Rumrich 14:58, 6 February 2013 (EET)

# : It is not useless because when everybody can participate it ensures more transparency in decision-making, and social acceptance. --Salla 14:36, 25 January 2013 (EET)

--# : And also make people more conscious of their environment and have a feeling that they are part of the decision making process in ensuring a safer environment --emmanuel 14:48, 10 February 2013 (EET)

# : This social acceptance is the main point here. Even if EIA participation process is not activating citicens it doesn't mean that it is not working well. --Sami Rissanen 11:13, 7 February 2013 (EET)

# : How else could there be any kind of possibilities for minor groups and average citizens to have influence on EIA processes outcome, without participating process? Sure the participation doesn't (at least yet) work as efficient as it was meant, but it still gives a chance to people tell their opinions. --Jukka Hirvonen 11:47, 31 January 2013 (EET)

# : There have been criticism about participation not leading to changes in the content of an EIA. In other words, participation does not fulfill its potential is collecting and aggregating plurality of views. --Jouni 12:31, 29 January 2013 (EET)

--# : It's hard to satisfy everybody. It is good to have factories and mines, but not on my back yard. :D --Sami Rissanen 11:30, 7 February 2013 (EET)

# : Might be too strong to say that hole participation process is useless, but regarding to ordinary people, small organizations and other "smaller" participants it is hard to see how their opinions are noticed and taken as part of decision making in EIA process. How big and remarkable is the value given to these opinions and can they really make difference in the final outcome of EIA? --Jukka Hirvonen 22:43, 29 January 2013 (EET)

# : Since the EIA directive only lays down procedural requirement that governments and relevant authorities are not obliged to follow or draw specific conclusions from, participation process in it may be undermined in some respect as the result of the whole process may be ignored --Adedayo 10:09, 4 February 2013 (EET)

# Time frame for public consultation is modified in EIA directive which will stimulate more effective decision making and public participation --Adnank 00:20, 1 February 2013 (EET)

# : This discussion is about the current system. The properties of the new proposed system can only be used as comments here. --Jouni 16:32, 3 February 2013 (EET)

# : Stakeholder participation is very necessary in decision making to facilitate recognition of policies affecrting the public,though it might have it's own demerits. --Johnagyemang 10:39, 4 February 2013 (EET)

# : I disagree because the current proposal gives rather broad and wide varied criteria and varied threshold and not very specific and legally binding ones --Joshuan 22:44, 9 February 2013 (EET) # : : The EIA process contains the consideration of environmental concerns and project design to be improved by the participation of environmental consultants and through public participation, this will result in to reduce environmental impacts through some modification in the project design. --Adnank 23:13, 14 February 2013 (EET)


The current proposal does not leave enough flexibility to member states

# : Actually yes because all member states need to adhere to the set guidelines outlined by the current proposal. --Johnagyemang 10:19, 11 February 2013 (EET)

# : What do you mean here? Are you saying decision should be base on stakeholders participation alone? --Matthew 11:50, 4 February 2013 (EET)

# : I think the participatory process required in the directive is nor rigid of-course it requires some steps,but due to that it is not useless --Sam0911 18:08, 11 February 2013 (EET)

How to read discussions

Statements: The current proposal does not leave enough flexibility to member states

Resolution: Not accepted. The current proposal does leave enough flexibility. Some people even think that there is too much flexibility.

(A stable resolution, when found, should be updated to the main page.)

Argumentation:

# : The current proposal really gives even more than enough flexibility to member states since some member states do not strictly adhere to some of the measures and requirements in the EIA directive --Thomasa 23:18, 7 February 2013 (EET)

# : The proposals on my part is very flexible considering the enormous consultations made and the amount of stakeholders input received in the revised directive --emmanuel 13:58, 10 February 2013 (EET)

1 : The proposal sets minimum requirements for the EIA of projects throughout the EU, this will leave sufficient flexibility for the member states by giving choice of measures for compliance and their detailed implementation --Adnank 00:37, 1 February 2013 (EET)

2 : The proposal will improve the provisions regarding the quality of the EIA with the aim of achieving a high level of environmental protection. the new policies will simplify and facilitate the procedures and eliminate the unnecessary actions. as a result the process will be easier for state members --Soroushm 13:37, 25 January 2013 (EET)

3 : The current proposal leaves maybe even too much flexibility to member states and that has lead to a situation where there is a wide variation in the types and levels of thresholds and criteria set by member states. --Salla 14:44, 25 January 2013 (EET)

# : Right point. So many levels of criteria set by MS that all the different features could prejudice the legitimacy of the Directive and undermine efforts to establish common screening standards. --Stefania 21:49, 4 February 2013 (EET)

4 : The current proposal does leave enough flexibility to member states since they are able to determinate whether an EIA is required for a project based on e.g. based on national threshold levels --Juho Kutvonen 19:52, 27 January 2013 (EET)

5 : The current proposal leaves enough flexibility to member states, because it only refers to 'significant effects' on the environment, without giving a clear definition, when an effect is significant. The member states can decide themselves whether they consider an effect as significant. --Isabell Rumrich 14:04, 28 January 2013 (EET)

6 : Good point, that's why projects that are concerned to cause significant impact on nature varies greatly among member states. --Jukka Hirvonen 22:53, 29 January 2013 (EET)

7 : Current proposal leaves enough or even too much choices how to adapt EIA directive to member states own legislation and how to interpret it. Current experiences from EIA show that it is used and interpreted differently among member states and this has lead to point, where project types and amount of them, that are object to EIA process vary greatly between member states. --Jukka Hirvonen 22:50, 29 January 2013 (EET)

# : The current proposal does leave enough room for flexibility as it provides the framework from which member states can draw their environmental threshold values for different projects --Adedayo 14:09, 9 February 2013 (EET)

# : The current proposal leaves too much flexibility on member states due to inefficiencies in the EAI directives which gives members state a sense of taking responsibilities in interpreting EIA directives base on their own perspective and this can therefore determine if EAI will be considered valid or not. --Matthew 12:19, 4 February 2013 (EET)

# : I think in my view the current proposal leaves enough space,based on its previous experience which were complicated and rigid ,due to that they got enough lesson the consequences of it and with time those kind of issues solved. Now there is enough space for the participatory country --Sam0911 18:08, 11 February 2013 (EET)


How to read discussions

Statements: The current proposal leaves too much flexibility to member states.

Resolution: Accepted.

(A stable resolution, when found, should be updated to the main page.)

Argumentation:

# : Argument #3 from the previous discussion. --Jouni 16:32, 3 February 2013 (EET)

# : Argument #7 from the previous discussion. --Jouni 16:32, 3 February 2013 (EET)

# Flexibility is required in right to information on projects from developers by the citizens, in that sense there cannot be too much flexibility --emmanuel 15:04, 10 February 2013 (EET)

# : Too much flexibility in this setting means that the directive is too vague and member states can do their environmental impact assessments as they wish. The purpose of the directive is to tell how EIA has to be made, and it is too flexible if it doesn't. --Jouni 19:32, 10 February 2013 (EET)

# Accredited quality controllers will rather improve is much appreciated to compile relevant, practical and current environmental report. However, when they combine their expert knowledge with the general citizens, a more balanced and practical result will be attained. --Joshuan 22:59, 9 February 2013 (EET)

# : This argument doesn't have anything to do with flexibility. It is irrelevant. --Jouni 19:32, 10 February 2013 (EET)

--# : It is not a huge flexibility space but it is enough area to exercise different activities --Sam0911 18:08, 11 February 2013 (EET)


Accredited quality controllers will not improve the EIA process

How to read discussions

Statements: Accredited quality controllers will improve the EIA process

Resolution: Accepted, unless quality controlling limits participation and openness.

(A stable resolution, when found, should be updated to the main page.)

Argumentation:

# : Even though accredited quality controllers in one way or the other limit participation and openness, they help by making sure that quality EIA directive is attained. This is made possible by making sure that the directive meets their standards and regulations, and when these standards are met, the directive will now be seen as authenticated and authoritative where all the member states can now go by it and trust it. --Thomasa 00:08, 8 February 2013 (EET)

# : Quality controllers hold the standards that all developers are suppose to follow in the scheme of environmental impact assessment, those affected by a project are in some way at the mercy of Quality controllers and their absence will in some ways results in a free for all since developers will like to have their way and rather concentrate on cost-benefit situation of projects instead of the real EIA it is therefore important that accredited quality controllers are always involved in the EIA process --emmanuel 13:58, 10 February 2013 (EET)

# : EIA process can be improved by accredited and technically competent experts by preparing or verifying the EIA reports as these experts can guarantee the completeness and sufficient quality of the environmental reports --Adnank 23:39, 2 February 2013 (EET)

# : Accredited quality controllers may improve the EIA process since after all, they have a special education for the job. This should assure that EIA process in being done with high quality. However, layman should be given a chance to take part in EIA process. Quality controllers´ skills combined with citizens participation could guarantee an effective EIA process. --Juho Kutvonen 20:52, 27 January 2013 (EET)

# : Last point is very important. Quality controlling doesn’t have to limit participation. On the contrary, we need a right combination in order to guarantee a good process. --Stefania 22:37, 4 February 2013 (EET)
# : In the finnish EIA system a quality control of assessments is already implemented. The regional Center for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment is acting as a liaison authority for EIA. Its main task is to coordinate the EIA process and ensure meaningful public participation. This authority reviews the adequacy and completeness of the assessment. The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court views the liaison authority as the primary controller of the quality of EIA: (Pölönen, Hokkanen, Jalava: The effectiveness of the Finnish EIA system - What works, what doesn´t, and what could be improved?. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 31 (2001), 120-128) --Isabell Rumrich 14:58, 6 February 2013 (EET)

# : Accredited quality controllers can ensure, that the EIA process is done according the guidelines and that the same standards for health and environmental impacts are used. --Isabell Rumrich 17:35, 29 January 2013 (EET)

# : Accreditation as basis probably could improve directive and quality of EIA process. Accreditation also equalises EIA process to be same among member states and that projects object to EIA are treated same way. Still it must be assured that EIA process stays open and citizens can express their opinions and that these opinions are really noticed and considered in decision making. Without accreditation it is uncertain what is the quality of EIA in each member states and how are these comparable. --Jukka Hirvonen 23:12, 29 January 2013 (EET)

# : Accredited quality control does not improve the process, because it works against to the aim of openness and it can narrow of perspective. --Salla 14:59, 25 January 2013 (EET) --# : Reference? --Jouni 19:04, 11 February 2013 (EET)

--# : It is important that these controllers have different backgrounds so that the perspective of different expert groups and the public are taken into account. The controllers should not limit the the openness due to their limited knowledge or perspective --Isabell Rumrich 17:35, 29 January 2013 (EET)

--# : Hopefully accreditation doesn't narrow the quality control in some straightforward procedure that doesn't try to see all the sides and aspects related to process. At least this accredited organism, commission etc. should get opinions and statements from experts and groups related to current EIA, because they probably have important information which would otherwise be missed. --Jukka Hirvonen 11:53, 31 January 2013 (EET)

# it is possible to have some disadvantages in assessment and participation if socio-economic costs are not taken into account then as a ressult the directive would be less efficient because it affects the decision making process which divided into three problems such as analyses, risk of EIA and screening precedure. that is why they might worsen # : the --Johnagyemang 10:29, 11 February 2013 (EET)

# : Accredited quality controllers are expects and therefore have the technical skill to go about it well. --Johnagyemang 10:29, 11 February 2013 (EET)process. --Soroushm 13:56, 25 January 2013 (EET)
# : Your argument is irrelevant unless you show that with accredited quality controllers you would have socio-economic costs better included. --Jouni 16:32, 3 February 2013 (EET)

# : Accredited quality controllers can improve the EIA process as they are the experts and they can select the best suitable and cost effective methods for monitoring or implementing EIA for different types of projects --Adnank 23:54, 14 February 2013 (EET) --# : It is important that somebody is supervising the quality of the assessment process. If the supervising is done right way it doesn't limit the discussion about the environmental impacts. --Niklas 14:39, 6 February 2013 (EET)

--# : But who should supervise this? Who is to decide where is the limit between relevant and in relevant information? There should be proper guidelines for supervising and it is very difficult to do those. --Kasperi Juntunen 14:41, 6 February 2013 (EET)

# : Before the assessment, both sides should together decide a neutral supervisor. --Niklas 14:44, 6 February 2013 (EET)

# : Accredited quality control improves the the process and frameworks of EIA because it has a positive impact on the economic aspect of the assessment --Soroushm 10:01, 11 February 2013 (EET)

# : The EIA process should be improved and confirmed by experts to make sure that the quality of the assessment is appropriate. --Soroushm 14:13, 11 February 2013 (EET)

# : how come?those are expert individuals having enough knowledge and experience plus having enough confidence what it takes for in this kind of huge issue --Sam0911 18:08, 11 February 2013 (EET)

# : In my own opinion accredited technical competence by using quality control as a tool still remains a better options of checkmating and improving the EIA to ensure the guildance are strictly adhere to for health and evironmental safety --Matthew 06:44, 12 February 2013 (EET)


Kannanottoja YVAL toimivuusarviointiin liittyen

Ympäristövaikutusten arvioinnissa nykymuodossaan on joitain oleellisia heikkouksia. Nostamme esiin kolme keskeistä asiaa.

1. YVA-lain tavoitekuvaus on ympäripyöreä. Huomiota kiinnitetään vain yksittäisiin erillisiin haasteisiin, mikä estää havaitsemasta YVA-menettelyn ja sitä määrittävän YVA-lain laajempia ongelmia. YVA-laissa on varsin ympäripyöreästi kuvattu tavoitteet (YVA-laki 1994/468 1§): "Tämän lain tavoitteena on edistää ympäristövaikutusten arviointia ja yhtenäistä huomioon ottamista suunnittelussa ja päätöksenteossa sekä samalla lisätä kansalaisten tiedonsaantia ja osallistumismahdollisuuksia." YVA-laki siis pyrkii edistämään YVA-menettelyä, josta laissa itsessään säädetään. Tavoite siis ohjaa tarkastelemaan sitä, miten YVA-lailla säädettyä menettelyä on toteutettu ja toteaa YVA-lain ja YVA-menettelyn toimivan varsin hyvin, koska sitä tapahtuu mitä lailla on säädettykin. Tarkastelun kehämäisyys jättää oleellisia kysymyksiä tarkastelun ulkopuolelle, esim. kuinka hyvin YVA-laki edistää ympäristövaikutusten arvioinnin perimmäisiä tarkoituksia kuten kestävää kehitystä, tai onko tarpeen tai järkevää säätää ympäristövaikutusten arvioinnista omana lakinaan?

Niin EU:n YVA-direktiivi kuin Suomen YVA-lakikin ovat hyvin prosessikeskeisiä, eli pikemminkin määrittävät YVA-prosessia ja sen suorittamista kuin sen tarkoitusta tai vaikuttavuutta. Tämä on ollut varsin yleinen suuntaus niin ympäristövaikutusten arvioinnin teorioiden kehityksessä kuin niiden yhteydessä toteutettavien osallistumisprosessien kehityksessä ja toteutuksessakin, mutta se on laajalti todettu rajoittuneeksi ja käytännössä huonosti toimivaksi näkökulmaksi (esim. Cashmore 2004[1], Doelle ja Sinclair 2006[2], O'Faircheallaigh, 2010[3] ja Pope et al. 2004[4]). YVA-lain tavoitemäärittelyn, YVA-menettelyn vaikuttavuuden ja YVA:n vaikuttavuuden mittaamisen haasteita on käsitelty myös EFEIA-projektin tuloksia käsittelevässä artikkelissa (Pölönen et al. 2010[5]).

YVA-lain toimivuutta tulisi arvioida myös vertaamalla lain määrittämän YVA-menettelyn vaikuttavuutta suhteessa ympäristövaikutusten arvioinnin perimmäisiin tarkoituksiin. Tällainen arviointinäkökulma loisi myös paremman viitekehyksen tarkastella YVA-lain ja YVA-menettelyn haasteita ja puuttua niihin. Tällaisia vaikuttavuutta paremmin huomioivia viitekehyksiä on kehitetty ja käytössä esimerkiksi Sosiaali- ja terveysministeriön Tekaisu-hankkeessa, jossa kehitetään terveysvaikutusten arviointia.


2. Terveysvaikutusten arvioinnin heikkous on yksi nykymuotoisen YVA-menettelyn tärkeistä haasteista. Ympäristövaikutusten arviointien toteuttajien tieto ja osaaminen ympäristön kautta välittyvien terveysvaikutusten arvioimisen suhteen on usein riittämätöntä. Terveysvaikutusten arviointi saatetaan jättää YVA:ssa kokonaan tekemättä tai se voidaan toteuttaa hyvin pinnallisesti esim. vertaamalla mitattuja tai mallinnettuja pitoisuuksia ohje- tai raja-arvoihin ja toteamalla että terveysvaikutuksia ei ole. Terveysvaikutukset ovat kuitenkin hyvin tärkeitä esim. YVA:ssa tarkasteltavien hankkeiden lupapäätöksiä tehtäessä ja myös kommunikoitaessa hankkeiden ympäristövaikutuksia kansalaisille.

Terveysvaikutusten arvioinnin asemaa tulee vahvistaa YVA-laissa, YVA-menettelyä käsittelevässä ohjeistuksessa, YVA-prosessien valvonnassa sekä YVA-lain ja YVA-menettelyn kehitystyössä. YVA-säädöksiin on tarpeen määritellä riittävän yksityiskohtaisesti, millä periaatteilla terveysvaikutuksia tulee arvioida. Voidaan antaa ohjeita menetelmistä, esim. voidaanko tyytyä vertaamaan altistumista ohjearvoihin, vai tulisiko haittoja arvioida määrällisesti väestötutkimuksiin perustuvien vastefunktioiden avulla.


3. YVA:n toteuttamisessa on vaarana tarpeettomasti rajata osallistumista valikoituihin asiantuntijatahoihin. Nämä prosessit ovat lähtökohtaisesti liian suljettuja. YVA-prosessin laadun parantamiseksi edellytettävä akkreditointi toimisi avoimuuden tavoitetta vastaan ja johtaisi näkökulman kapenemiseen ja siten pikemminkin huonompaan kuin parempaan laatuun. YVA on luonteeltaan monitieteellinen, ja se vaatii useiden alojen asiantuntijoita. Esimerkiksi terveysnäkökohtien huomiointi luultavasti huononisi. Avoimemmalla arviointiprosessilla voisi hyvinkin esim. internetiä hyödyntäen osallistaa YVA:sta kiinnostuneet tutkijat ja kansalaiset, esittämään näkemyksensä meneillään olevasta YVAsta jo hyvissä ajoin ja varsin vähäisin lisäresurssein. Ratkaisevaa tässä on ottaa käyttöön sellaisia käytäntöjä, jotka todella mahdollistavat esiin nostettujen näkemysten täysipainoisen huomioimisen osana YVAa.

Tällä hetkellä YVA-prosessi on erillään sekä itse hankkeen suunnittelusta ja toteutuksesta että lupaprosessista. Tämä estää YVAn toimivuutta käytännössä ja rajoittaa niitä ympäristöhyötyjä, joita sillä voisi olla.

Osallistuminen on erillinen prosessi YVAn rinnalla. Se on luonteeltaan järjestettävä tapahtuma eikä olennainen keino kerätä arvioinnin ja itse hankkeen kannalta tärkeää tietoa. Erityisesti, kuulemisissa pitäisi edetä kohti jatkuvaa kommentointi- ja osallistumismahdollisuutta sen sijaan, että osallistumisaikaa rajataan kuten nyt suunnitellaan artiklassa 6. YVAssa tulee pyrkiä avoimempiin arviointiprosesseihin ja kattavampaan merkityksellisten näkökulmien huomioon ottamiseen.

Mitä yllä on sanottu YVA-prosessin avoimuudesta pätee myös tähän YVA-direktiivin valmistelutyöhön.

Suurimmat YVAn haasteet eivät ole teknisessä vaikutusanalyysissä vaan huonossa kyvyssä toisaalta tunnistaa kaikkia niitä tekijöitä, joita yhteiskunnassa pidetään olennaisina ympäristön tai terveyden kannalta, ja toisaalta nähdä mitä käytännöllisiä vaikutuksia ja yhteiskunnallisia merkityksiä YVAn tuloksilla oikeastaan on. Tämän kokonaisuuden ymmärtämiseen tarvitaan laajaa toimijoiden, sidosryhmien, asiantuntijoiden ja päättäjien osallistumista.


Yhteenvetona voi todeta tulevien toimivuusarviointien tarvitsevan

  1. keskittymistä arvioimaan perimmäisten tavoitteiden saavuttamista muodollisten tai välitavoitteiden sijasta,
  2. perusteellisemman arvion terveysvaikutusten arvioinnin roolista,
  3. avoimemman prosessin, jossa lähtökohtaisesti kaikki kiinnostuneet voivat osallistua arviointiin.

Viitteet:

  1. Cashmore, M. 2004. The role of science in environmental impact assessment: process and procedure versus purpose in the development of theory. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 24(2004) 403-426.
  2. Doelle, M., Sinclair, A.J. 2006. Time for a new approach to public participation in EA: Promoting cooperation and consensus for sustainability. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 26(2006) 185-205.
  3. O'Faircheallaigh, C. 2010. Public participation and environmental impact assessment: Purposes, implications, and lessons for public policy making. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 30(2010) 19-27.
  4. Pope, J., Annandale, D., Morrison-Saunders, A. 2004. Conceptualising sustainability assessment. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 24(2004) 595-616.
  5. Pölönen, I., Hokkanen, P., Jalava, K. 2010. The effectiveness of the Finnish EIA system - What works, what doesn't, and what could be improved?. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 31, 120-128.