Environmental impact assessment (EIA)

The implementation of a wind power project involves several administrative processes. The processes are determined according to the scale of the planned wind power project and the type of area the planned wind farm would be built on.

The most common administrative processes are the environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure, the planning procedure and the building permit from the municipal building permit authority.

Environmental impact assessment (EIA)

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure aims to reduce or totally prevent any harmful environmental impacts of the project. EIA is mandatory in all projects of over 10 wind turbines.

In the EIA, the impacts of the project are assessed in connection with planning before decision-making, at which stage it is still possible to have an impact on the future decisions. Therefore, EIA is a planning tool, the results of which must be taken into account in the project permit consideration.

The EIA procedure increases citizens’ access to information and participation in the process. All those who may be affected by the project are allowed to take part in the EIA. Access to information and public participation are the cornerstones of the procedure. However, the EIA procedure is not a decision-making or permit procedure, and therefore no decision is taken on the implementation of the wind farm during the assessment stage.

The party planning the project is obliged to carry out the required environmental studies. The planning may be the responsibility of a private company or a public organisation, for example, the Finnish Transport Agency. The procedure is directed and supervised by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, which also acts as the liaison authority.

The EIA procedure includes the programme phase and the report phase. The environmental impact assessment programme (EIA programme) sets out a plan on the organisation of the environmental impact assessment procedure and on the required reports.

The project properties and technical solutions, as well as an integral assessment of the environmental impacts of the project are presented in the environmental impact assessment report (EIA report).

During the EIA process, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment will organise two public events.

An EIA monitoring group consisting of various stakeholders will also be established to monitor the progress of the EIA. The purpose of the group is to gather information and views from various perspectives, to disseminate information about the project and its environmental impacts to the various parties and to promote a dialogue between the parties. The group also ensures that the information used in the environmental impact assessment is up-to-date and as extensive as possible.