Part Three of this Guide provides clear and comprehensive advice for a range of users on what the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) processes involve. Summary of the EIA process and how it can incorporate HRA is provided in Section 1.2, Figure 1. It should be noted that although some stages of EIA and HRA are complementary and can be shared, they are two separate processes with different legislative requirements. For example, it is possible that HRA may be required for some projects that do not require EIA, and vice versa.
There is an abundance of text outlining and providing guidance on the legislative background to EIA, which this Guide does not seek to reproduce. An overview of the regulatory context for EIA is provided in Part Two of this Guide. Part Three focuses specifically on the methods of the EIA and HRA processes, specifically in relation to marine renewables projects. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has issued comprehensive guidance on EIA (SNH, 2009, (3rd Edition)) authored by D Tyldesley Associates) which has been taken into account in this Guide. See: http://www.snh.gov.uk/planning-and-development/environmental-assessment/eia/
This guidance provides a reference point for developers and regulators alike to ascertain exactly what is required to achieve a thorough and robust approach to EIA and HRA. In particular it is hoped that this will ensure consistent and high quality application of these required procedures from the early stages of the developing marine renewable energy industries.