Environmental Impact Assessment:
Environmental Impact Assessment is a tool designed to identify and predict the impact of a project on the bio-geophysical environment and on man's health and well-being, to interpret and communicate information about the impact, to analyze site and process alternatives and provide solutions to sift out, or abate/mitigate the negative consequences on man and the environment.
EIA is always necessary for a pulp and paper project (whether it is a new mill or the expansion of an existing facility), as for any industrial project of importance. The EIA is a means of avoiding environmental disturbances that are always much more expensive to correct after their occurrence than before. It is also important to underline that very few projects have been deemed not viable merely because of the cost of pollution control and that modern environmental control, in a new plant, is less than 3% of the initial investment.
Today, there is world-wide evidence that man cannot ignore the quality of the environment. Thus environmental issues must be addressed as soon as possible during project planning. There should not be any hesitation in abandoning a project or a process at an early stage, or in proposing alternatives to any project which would have very detrimental impact on the environment, as is the case for projects which are not economically or financially viable. In the same way as economic, financial, institutional, or technical analyses, EIA is an integral part of the project.
Aware of this necessity, numerous countries have implemented EIA regulations. International agencies generally also lend their assistance to any industrial project of importance implementing an EIA, including pulp and paper industries.