Transport (Railway Infrastructure) Act, 2001

Environmental impact statement.

39.—(1) An environmental impact statement shall contain the following specified information—

(a) a description of the proposed railway works comprising information on the site, design and size of the proposed railway works,

(b) a description of the measures envisaged in order to avoid, reduce and, if possible, remedy significant adverse effects,

(c) the data required to identify and assess the main effects which the proposed railway works are likely to have on the environment,

(d) an outline of the main alternatives studied by the applicant and an indication of the main reasons for its choice, taking into account the environmental effects, and

(e) a summary in non-technical language of the above information.

(2) An environmental impact statement shall, in addition to and by way of explanation or amplification of the specified information referred to in subsection (1), contain further information on the following matters—

(a) (i)  a description of the physical characteristics of the whole proposed railway works and the land-use requirements during the construction and operational phases,

(ii)  an estimate, by type and quantity, of the expected residues and emissions (including water, air and soil pollution, noise, vibration, light, heat and radiation) resulting from the operation of the proposed railway works;

(b) a description of the aspects of the environment likely to be significantly affected by the proposed railway works, including in particular—

(i) human beings, fauna and flora,

(ii) soil, water, air, climatic factors and the landscape,

(iii) material assets, including the architectural and archaeological heritage, and the cultural heritage,

(iv) the inter-relationship between the matters referred to in this paragraph;

(c) a description of the likely significant effects (including direct, indirect, secondary, cumulative, short, medium and long-term, permanent and temporary, positive and negative) of the proposed railway works on the environment resulting from—

(i) the existence of the proposed railway works,

(ii) the use of natural resources,

(iii) the emission of pollutants, the creation of nuisances and the elimination of waste,

and a description of the forecasting methods used to assess the effects on the environment;

(d) an indication of any difficulties (technical deficiencies or lack of know-how) encountered by the applicant in compiling the required information; and

(e) a summary in non-technical language of the above information,

to the extent that such information is relevant to a given stage of the consent procedure and to the specific characteristics of the railway works or type of railway works concerned, and of the environmental features likely to be affected, and the applicant may reasonably be required to compile such information having regard, inter alia, to current knowledge and methods of assessment.

(3) (a)  If a person, before applying to the Minister for a railway order, so requests, the Minister shall, after consulting the person and such bodies as may be specified by the Minister for that purpose, give a written opinion on the information to be contained in an environmental impact statement.

(b)  The giving of a written opinion in accordance with this subsection shall not prejudice the exercise by the Minister of his or her powers pursuant to this Act to require an applicant to furnish further information in relation to the effects on the environment of the proposed railway works.

(4) The European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations, 1989 to 2000, and the Local Government (Planning and Development) Regulations, 1994 to 2000, and the Act of 2000 and any regulation made thereunder in relation to environmental impact assessment shall not apply to anything done under an order made under this Act.