What is EIA screening?
Before submitting an application for a marine licence, potential applicants can request a ‘screening opinion’ from the Marine Licensing team to determine whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is required in relation to the proposed works. This page provides details about the screening process and how to apply.
How do I apply for a screening opinion?
Potential applicants should provide the information detailed below to the Permit Receipt Centre:
Permit Receipt Centre
Natural Resources Wales
29 Newport Road
‘Marine Screening Opinion’ should be clearly referenced on the correspondence.
What information should be provided with a request for a screening opinion?
As required by the Marine Works Regulations, a request for a screening opinion must be accompanied by:
A chart or map (or both) sufficient to identify the location of the project and of the regulated activity
A description of the whole project, including:
- A description of the physical characteristics of the whole project (and demolition works if relevant), including working methods
- A description of the location of the project, with regard to the environmental sensitivity of the area likely to be affected
- A description of the aspects of the environment likely to be significantly affected by the project
- A description of any likely significant effects of the project on the environment, on such effects resulting from: expected residues and emission and production of waste, where relevant; use of natural resources, in particular soil, land, water and biodiversity
- Such other information or representations as the applicant may wish to provide, including a description of any features of the project or measures envisaged to avoid or prevent what might otherwise have been significant effects on the environment
When compiling the information above to request a screening opinion, the selection criteria laid out in Schedule 1 of the Marine Works (EIA) Regulations (Matters relevant to consideration of whether or not a Schedule A2 project is likely to have significant effects on the environment) must be taken into account.
Details should also be provided of any application made to another consenting authority or Natural Resources Wales in relation to all or part of the proposed works. This should indicate whether that consenting authority has requested an Environmental Statement (ES) for the project and, if so, a copy of the ES should be provided in support of your request for a screening opinion.
We recommend that a scoping opinion request is also submitted at the same time as a screening opinion request.
How is a screening opinion reached?
Before issuing a screening opinion, we will consider the proposed works against Schedule A1 and A2 of the Marine Works (EIA) Regulations. For projects relevant to Schedule A2, we will consider whether the selection criteria set out in Schedule 1 of the Marine Works (EIA) Regulations are relevant to the project.
We will also consult with internal experts and external consultation bodies, which may include the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the relevant Local Planning Authority.
Can I submit an application without obtaining a screening opinion?
Yes, this is expected to be the case for smaller projects where the need for an EIA is unlikely.
However, if a screening opinion is not requested for a project that we consider may require EIA, we will not proceed with the application until first arriving at a screening opinion.