In NSW EIA is required for State significant projects, categorised as either State significant development (SSD) or State significant infrastructure (SSI). The reasons for a project to be classified as SSD or SSI include if it is over a certain size, located in a sensitive environmental area or will exceed a specific capital investment value.
In NSW The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) are set out for the project and an EIS is developed in accordance with them.
The purpose of the EIS is to assess the potential economic, environmental and social impacts of the project
EIA refers to the entire process in which the environmental, social and economic impacts of a project are considered including:
- project development
- setting the terms of reference for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) through the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements
- preparation of the EIS including consultation with government agencies and the community
- public exhibition of the EIS
- receipt of submissions and responding to those submissions
- assessment of the project by the Department
- determination of the project by the Minister (or delegate)
- monitoring and compliance when projects are being constructed and operated.