Article 6 Appropriate Assessment: We are experts in preparing reports to inform the Appropriate Assessment process, commencing at the screening stage through to completion as necessary. Our strong experience as a professional ecological consultancy is complimented by an extensive project history in carrying out these assessments for both statutory bodies and private enterprises where proposed developments had potential to affect Natura 2000 sites in freshwater, terrestrial and marine environments. The reports are called Natura Impact Statements in Ireland and Habitats Regulations Assessments in Northern Ireland, and we work in both territories.
Natura Impact Statements: We recently prepared the Natura Impact Statement for the Dublin Array offshore wind farm. Our engagement by Saorgus Energy to complete such a complex Appropriate Assessment report for one of largest developments ever progressed in Ireland, illustrates our expertise in the area and the confidence that our clients have in us. We are also currently preparing smaller focused Natura Impact Reports, even for one-off houses. So we cater for everyone in terms of extent of the assignment, and also the budget available.
What is an Appropriate Assessment?
An Appropriate Assessment establishes whether a plan or project can be implemented without damaging a Natura 2000 site. It involves a case-by-case examination or Appropriate Assessment of the implications of a proposed development for the Natura 2000 site and its conservation objectives. Appropriate Assessment essentially it addresses the likelihood that various plans and projects, alone and in combination with other plans and projects, may lead to the destruction or deterioration of these sites and the wildlife and habitats that they host. Natura 2000 is a European network of important ecological sites, and includes:
- Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
- Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)
- European Offshore Marine Sites (EOMS)
- Ramsar Sites
Proposals within (or with potential to incur adverse effects upon) Natura 2000 sites must be subject to an Appropriate Assessment. Following Articles 6.3 and 6.4 of the Habitats Directive, an Appropriate Assessment follows a series of steps and stages that need to be observed in establishing whether a plan or project can be implemented without damaging a Natura 2000 site. The significance of impacts is first assessed during an Appropriate Assessment screening exercise, the conclusions of which will either identify the potential for further significant impacts or a statement that no significant impacts are likely to occur. A complete Appropriate Assessment will also require mitigation and avoidance of impacts, with cognisance of provisions in the Directive for circumstances in which there are no alternatives and there are imperative reasons of overriding public interest requiring a plan or project to proceed.
ECOFACT are the experts in Ireland in relation to preparing Appropriate Assessments. We have set the standard in terms of quality and cost effectiveness, and will deliver for you project no matter how small or large.
Appropriate Assessment for Waste Water Discharge Licencing?
The Environmental Protection Agencies Waste Water Discharge Licensing Appropriate Assessment guidelines was prepared to assist the Local Authorities in the Appropriate Assessment process in relation to waste water authorisations pursuant to the Waste Water Discharge (Authorisation) Regulations, 2007, as amended. ECOFACT have prepared numerous Appropriate Assessment Screenings and Natura Impact Statements following these guidelines. Large scale assignments have included preparing these documents for almost every waste water treatment plant discharging in the River Barrow and River Nore Special Area of Conservation. For further infor ation please see our water services current projects section.