Introduction of Strategic Environmental Assessment System

Background and Significance of Policy Establishment

A prior environmental review system was introduced to consider the environment effect at the establishment stage of administrative plan or development project in August, 2000; however because the limitation that the systematic environmental review could not be achieved from the upper policy establishment stage to actual project, the social issues had continued to occur while promoting key national projects including road and dam.
Accordingly, the concept of strategic environmental impact assessment has been  introduced since June, 2000 to consider the environmental impacts at the establishment stage of administrative plan or development project and then promoted reorganizing EIA system in which the number of subject for assesment of administrative plan expanded (38 → 83); however, the problem linked to the lack of integration and consideration of environmental effects with economic and social effects was emerged when establishing policy plan, prior to the development plan. Also the purpose of a strategic environmental impact assessment was not fully reached because of its non legalization and poor level of concept adaptation.

To solve these fundamental problems, the revision of environmental impact assessment that reorganizes the previous administrative plan subjected to prior environmental review to a strategic environmental impact assessment had begun in earnest since 2008, the revision of law was completed on July, 2012. 

Policy Outcomes

The most significant performance in policy was to accord with international flow and enact advanced environmental management tool, which is the strategic environmental impact assessment that is suggested by UN and OECD.

Since the beginning of study on the introduction of strategic environmental impact assessment in 2003, a prior environmental review system was introduced to strategic environmental impact assessment and full revision of enforcement decree and enforcement regulations of the Environmental Impact Assessment Act were begun since April, 2008; finally the full revision of Act was completed on July 22, 2012.

A strategic environmental impact assessment is to be used as the most ideal way to realize the governance; however, in the previous, it is meant to be emerges from the application of DAD method (Decide → Announce → Defend) in which government itself decides and notifies the varied national projects but explains and persuades if a problem occurs later.

Also it may be evaluated that the ground to secure environmental validity through a systematic environmental assessment system from the establishment of development plan to execution of development project and also to minimize environmental conflicts by inducing social agreement at the early stage has been secured.

A Concept Map on Strategic Environmental Assessment

Project in the Future

Despite the legislation of advanced environmental management tool, the strategic environmental impact assessment, a key upper plan related to development including urban master plan is not thoroughly included in the plan subjected to strategic environmental impact assessment.
Currently the project plans subjected to strategic environmental impact assessment are total 101, somewhat increased from an administrative plan subjected to previous prior environmental review; however, Korea will continuously make an effort for key upper plans related to national land development to conduct a strategic environmental impact assessment. 

Operation of Environmental Location Consulting System

Background and Significance

One of the most importances in the early stage of development project which is a subject of EIA is the suitability of expected location. if project entity selected inappropriate location at the initial planning phase, this may cause delay in approval and environmental assessment and conflicts with community that will not allow project going through process smoothly; furthermore, this brake in project will generate delay in project completion, loss on investment purchasing cost and social conflicts. If considering the scale of development project subjected to EIA ranges from several million KRW to several trillion KRW , a preliminary assessment for environmental suitability of expected location could be the important factor to avoid social loss. 

Accordingly, since 2006, before this environmental assessment, a prior location consultation system that determines the legal and environmental appropriateness of development-expected site was conducted based on simple consulting data and created many productive results; however, the manpower shortage of the first-line administrative office intensified followed by the increased average demands, it was difficult in conducting a site investigation for expected site; a condition to provide service got worse. 

 Accordingly, in order to improve the reliability in decision of location appropriateness and provide more faithful administrative service, the prior location consultation were fully reorganized and newly introduced an environmental location consulting system that provides the location appropriateness consulting system with a private consultant in February, 2012. A private consult provides faithful and detailed consulting reviews that include results of site investigations; it would be expected to significantly increase the quality of service on location decision of regional environmental office.

Policy Outcomes

Through the decision of location appropriateness so far, the prior location consultation produced a great economic effect avoiding more than KRW 370 billion loss in investment and more than 20,000 hours delays in project period, averagely per year in advance. For this year, it prevented KRW 700 billion lost in investment and more than 9,480 hours delays in project period through 145 consultations from prior location consultation and environmental location consultation before the reorganization.

Also, it is expected for business operator to get more qualified helps for imperfection by providing detailed consulting opinions through site investigation in cooperaton with a private consultant.

 Results of Environmental Location Consultation Operation

Project in the Future

In order to improve the utilization of the environmental location consulting system, active promotion needs to be made targeting those who use environmental assessment services including developers and relevant institutes. Also in order to quickly settle down the cooperation with the private consultants, which is currently in the beginning stage, more reliable administrative services with expanded and trained workforce will be provided. In the long run, this system will enable the access to large ecosystem DB service through integration with a currently developed support program for ecological survey on planned development areas and realize a higher quality service.

Last modified : 2013-10-29 16:24

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