Environmental impact assessment
- Permit or other obligation
- Nationwide except the Åland Islands
- Public service
The environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a regulatory procedure for determining the environmental impacts of a project. It is also designed to promote opportunities for citizens to participate in and influence the planning process. Project types that always require the EIA are listed in the Government decree. These include e.g. the construction of motorways, landfill sites and power stations.
The procedure is steered and overseen by the responsible ELY Centre. In nuclear energy projects, the responsible authority is the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. In projects that are assessed on a case-by-case basis, submissions can be made by public authorities, private citizens and NGOs.
The submission is made to the responsible ELY Centre by the project coordinator, i.e. operator. The procedure consists of the following stages:
- Launch negotiations (optional)
- Advice and guidance (throughout the process)
- Expert consulting in meetings of the steering/monitoring group (optional)
- Public notification of the assessment programme and report
- Requests for comments on the assessment programme and report
- Public events (programme and report)
- A procedure in accordance with the Espoo agreement (projects with cross-boundary impacts, the Ministry of the Environment coordinates the procedure)
- The responsible authority’s statement on the assessment programme
- The responsible authority’s decision and grounds
- Notification and communication of the decision
- Meetings to discuss the programme statement and decision (the project coordinator and the responsible authority) (optional)
The procedure is considered to have been started when the authority receives the assessment programme. Launch negotiations etc. are common but not mandatory. The procedure concludes when the responsible authority issues its statement on the assessment programme to the project coordinator. Authorities that are responsible for oversight in later project stages are notified of the statement. The procedure may also include additional meetings to discuss the statement and the updating of the project website.
Do the following
Submit the assessment programme to the ELY Centre (responsible authority). In the programme, describe what implementation options and impacts will be investigated during the planning stage, and how the assessment and the related communication and public consultation activities will be organised. When the options and impacts have been determined, collate the information and opinions and statements submitted during consultation into an assessment report along with the ELY Centre’s statement. Submit the report to the ELY Centre.
Parties who wish to participate in the EIA:
The ELY Centre will publish a notice of the EIA programme and report (EIA notices). The notice specifies where the documents can be inspected. Read the documents and attend public consultation events organised by the ELY Centre. Opinions and statements on the assessment programme and report can be submitted in writing to the responsible ELY Centre. They can be sent electronically as an attachment to the general form of the ELY Centre, or by post. ELY Centres’ contact information is available under Service locations. Information about current and closed EIA processes is published on the website of the environmental administration.
To whom and on what terms
The project coordinator must have a sufficiently detailed project plan so that the impacts can be assessed and the ability to implement the EIA can be verified.
A fee is charged for the service.
The project coordinator pays the ELY Centre a fee for the EIA programme and report. The fee is based on the government decree on the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment’s services subject to a fee. The amount of the fee is adjusted annually.
The authority cannot approve the project until it has received the assessment report and decision, and, if applicable, international consultation documents concerning cross-border impacts.
The ELY Centre will issue its statement on the EIA programme to the project coordinator within one month after the end of the consultation and hearing period. The decision must be submitted to the project coordinator within two months after the end of the consultation and hearing period.
Period of validity
The ELY Centre may specify the validity period of the decision, if necessary.