3. Scoping of Environmental Impact Assessment Report – Section 37D
Upon receipt of notice that the application is deemed to be strategic infrastructure development and that the application should be made directly to the Board, the prospective applicant may request the Board to provide scoping advice in relation to the information to be contained in the EIAR to be submitted with the application. Scoping cannot be requested in 7th Schedule cases unless the Board has given an opinion under section 37B that the proposed development is strategic infrastructure.
Before providing a scoping opinion, the Board must consult with bodies specified by the Minister including the relevant planning authority, and may also invite submissions or observations from other prescribed bodies (listed in article 213 of the 2001 Regulations, as amended) regarding the information to be contained in the EIAR. It is expected that planning authorities will engage fully in this process and that they will make submissions to the Board within a relatively short timeframe which will be specified by the Board. Generally, a period in the order of 3 weeks will be specified. Such submissions or observations by the planning authority should be made in written form. The Board will notify the planning authority of its file reference number of any request for a written opinion on the information to be contained in an EIAR.
When this scoping phase has concluded and the Board has issued its advice on the scoping request, it will publish that fact in its weekly list of cases disposed of and on its website and make its file available to the public for inspection. It will also send a copy of its file to the planning authority for similar purposes.