Ecological Impact Assessment

What is an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA)?

Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is used to predict and evaluate the impacts of development on ecosystems and their components, thereby providing the information needed to ensure that ecological issues are considered as part of the planning process. Ecological Impact Assessments collate data from various sources such as desk studies and ecological surveys in order to produce an assessment of the likely ecological impacts of a particular development proposal on the receiving environment. The extent of the baseline survey necessary is determined on the basis of the ecological sensitivity of the site and surrounding areas, and the potential for the proposed development to impact thereon. Consultation with statutory authorities and local bodies is frequently undertaken as part of an ecological impact assessment to ensure all stakeholders are satisfied with scope of the assessment being undertaken.

In what situations is an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) required?

Ecological Impact Assessments are often required for proposed developments in sensitive ecological areas that do not warrant a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). McCarthy Keville O'Sullivan typically undertake this work for both private and public clients at some stage of the planning process, to be submitted with an initial planning permission application or in response to a Planning Authority’s further information request.

When can an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) be completed?

Ecological Assessments can generally be conducted at any time of the year once the required information is available to characterise the study site. However it is recommended that where possible, data is collected over a number of seasons in order to ensure that the whole range of floral and faunal species present are identified. Depending on the site, it may be appropriate to conduct a site visits at other times of the year apart from the peak summer season, such as at sites hosting wintering wildfowl.
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