Landsvirkjun encourages local residents and other stakeholders to familiarise themselves with the project and the results of the Environmental Impact Assessment. The results can be accessed on Landsvirkjun’s website and at the Icelandic National Planning Agency.
The law requires that environmental impact assessments for all major projects be conducted in a professional manner. The developer is obliged to account for the planned development, assess the environmental impact and reduce any negative effects by implementing specific mitigation measures. An important factor in this process is the public presentation of facts pertaining to the potential environmental impact of the project. The transparency of information gives the public the opportunity to put forward any comments or recommendations they may have.
The first step is to submit a scoping document where the company outlines ideas and priorities for the Environmental Impact Assessment. The scoping document describes the development project and the potential environmental impact, including specific environmental aspects (e.g. vegetation, hydrological conditions) that could be affected and how relevant research should be conducted. Any plans for presentation and consultation should also be outlined.
The scoping document is made available for public review, and the Icelandic National Planning Agency is responsible for sending the document to the necessary public organisations and government offices for review. The developer is then given the opportunity to answer any queries and address comments relating to the scoping document. The Agency subsequently makes a decision to either accept or reject the scoping document.
An Initial Environmental Impact Statement (IEIS) is subsequently prepared by the developer once the scoping document has been approved. The IEIS must be prepared in accordance with the scoping document and the decision made by the Icelandic National Planning Agency. The results of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should then be presented in the following manner:
The IEIS is sent to the Icelandic National Planning Agency who then sends the statement to the relevant bodies for review. The public is also given the opportunity to comment. The developer then completes a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) based on the feedback received on the IEIS.
The Icelandic National Planning Agency releases its opinion on the EIA once the final EIS has been submitted. The Agency also outlines conditions and mitigation measures, in addition to those specified in the EIS, that should be taken into consideration in licensing procedures. The Icelandic National Planning Agency then presents its findings to the developer, licensors and to the public.