Once a decision has been made on whether to approve an EIA Report or not, the ‘front-end’ steps of the EIA process are complete. If the EIA Report is approved and an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) or similar certificate issued, then, subject to any other regulatory requirements (e.g. permits from line agencies, etc.), the project may proceed to implementation. In these cases, the final step in the EIA process applies – monitoring project implementation and ensuring compliance with the approval and any relevant conditions.
This step addresses public participation during project implementation (including pre-construction, construction, operation, decommissioning and rehabilitation) after the EIA Report has been approved (and any other regulatory processes completed). Sometimes referred to as post-decision, auditing, monitoring, evaluation, compliance and/or enforcement, it is essential for following up on the specific outcomes of the EIA process and for ensuring compliance with the permitted activities and outcomes for a project, required management and mitigation measures, and acceptable project impacts. It is during the project implementation that the impacts will start to be felt by the PAP. As the project gets underway, there should be opportunities for the PAP and other stakeholders to ensure that the project proponent (including its sub-contractors) fulfils all the conditions of the approval or permit and complies with the obligations and commitments made during the EIA process. In particular, the EMMP serves as a key reference for monitoring expected mitigation measures and project conditions. The key results from monitoring, compliance and enforcement of EIA reports and EMMPs can help improve the EIA monitoring system.