Environmental Assessment

Factus Environmental provides consulting services in environmental assessment to help industries through the permitting process or comply with environmental regulations.  The range of services includes Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

Environmental Assessment refers to a variety of analytical tools utilized to assess the state of the environment or the effects human activities may have on the environment.  Different types of assessment exist: EIA, ESA, SEA, CEA, LCA, etc .  While those tools have the same goals of preventing or mitigating environmental effects, they differ at which step of the decision making or permitting process they are used, intended users of the findings and the extent of the assessment.  

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a systematic process used to identify adverse environmental effects of a development project prior to a decision to carry out or not  the project. It is a predictive tool of analysis and its main purpose is to influence the decision making in order to prevent or minimize the environment impacts of a project. In most jurisdictions, it's 5 or 6 step process.

Environmental site assessment (ESA) seeks to determine the presence and concentration of hazardous contaminants on a piece of land. It is designed to establishes the environmental quality of a site soil and groundwater in relation to a transfer of property or a site redevelopment activity. The site assessment process is often implemented in phases. Phase 1 ESA is the first step of the process that seeks to determine whether a particular site is subject to actual or potential environmental contamination. If a site is likely contaminated, a Phase 2 ESA may be conducted to characterize the contaminants. Phase 3 ESA typically addresses the physical improvements to the property through remediation and reclamation.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is similar to EIA, but unlilke EIA which is designed for projects before they are carried out, SEA applies to policies, plans and programs. As an analytical tool used during the early stage of the decision making process, it has the potential to provide relevant information (that should be based on science) that address environmental concerns at strategic level and therefore helping in the design of more sustainable development programs and projects.