The EIA process is a systematic approach to identify the environmental and social impacts of a project, and describing the mitigation, management and monitoring measures which will be implemented to address any impacts where it is deemed necessary. Ultimately, it allows the relevant competent authority to make informed decisions about development proposals, while also providing an opportunity for potentially affected stakeholders to participate in the approval process.

The EIA process followed for the Project is in line with the national EIA process. In order to provide a robust impact assessment, the Project’s EIA process was structured over a series of progressive stages, as follows:

Screening: An initial and preliminary identification of likely potential interactions between the Project activities and environmental and social receptors.

Scoping: Preparation of the EIA Application File which discussed the perceived required scope of the EIA to be undertaken into consideration the nature of the Project, the results of the screening and applicable legislative requirements and undertaking a Scope and Special Format Determination Meeting.

Field baseline studies:  Field surveys were conducted prior to the Screening Stage and also following on from the data gap analysis undertaken as part of the Scoping Stage.
Impact assessment: Identification and assessment of potential impacts, including their type, nature and magnitude and trans-boundary and cumulative impacts.

Mitigation: Once all Project impacts were identified, mitigation measures to avoid or minimise potential adverse impacts and enhance potential benefits were proposed.

Residual impact assessment: In light of the mitigation measures to be applied, an assessment of the residual impacts, being  the unavoidable Project impacts resulting after mitigation measures have been applied, was undertaken and an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) was drafted.

Stakeholder Engagement: Consultation with regulators and other stakeholders regarding the scope and content of the EIA and to receive input for  the identification of potential Project impacts. This included  Public Participation and Scope and Special Format Determination Meetings.

EIA Report Disclosure: Submission of the EIA Report to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation (MoEU) in line with Turkish relevant EIA regulation requirements. Commencement of the review and evaluation process and notification by the MoEU of the EIA decision.

Royal HaskoningDHV-ELC has been working on the project from  October 2012 onwards. The company achieved experience in managing  offshore EIA projects and acquired significant amounts of information on Turkish and European Environmental Legislation of the EEZ and more specifically the  Black Sea.