What is scoping for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for marine developments

Scoping is the stage that sets out what needs to be assessed in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to help define how to approach the assessment and what information may be needed to identify the likely significant effects from the development.

You can request a scoping opinion from the EIA decision-maker. A scoping opinion sets out what the decision-maker expects to be included and excluded from the EIA. Decision-makers will consult with consultation bodies, including NRW Advisory, before issuing their scoping opinion.

To request a scoping opinion, you need to provide the decision-maker with a scoping report.

A scoping report sets out:

  • The nature and purpose of the development
  • The environmental issues and effects to be considered in the EIA
  • How the effects will be assessed and documented in the ES
  • What information will be used and needed for the assessment
  • Any critical gaps and uncertainties in the information and how they will be accounted
  • Methods for assessment and surveys
  • Criteria that will be used to determine significance of effects
  • Any environmental effect that may not be considered further and the reasons for this

Obtaining a scoping opinion is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended. Good scoping can help reach early agreement on key issues, rule out some issues and may reduce consenting timescales.

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