The Environmental Impact Assessment
As required by the Electricity Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2000, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been carried out for each of the connections comprising the SWS Project. The EIA has been undertaken by Land Use Consultants (LUC) and associated specialist consultants, in accordance with Government regulations, policy and good practice.
The EIA culminated in the production of an Environmental Statement (ES). The ES includes a description of how the work was undertaken and any assumptions made during the assessment process. It also presents the results of the assessment of likely effects on the environment, outlines proposed mitigation measures to avoid, reduce and offset identified significant effects and reports on the likely ‘residual’ effects following adoption of the mitigation measures to which SPT is committed to implementing. The ES also includes a Non-Technical Summary which summaries the findings and conclusions of the ES in non-technical language.
The Scottish Government and its consultees were consulted on the scope of the EIA. On the basis of the responses to this consultation, and in accordance with the EIA Regulations, a number of topic areas were ‘scoped out’ of the EIA as no significant effects were anticipated, and these have been addressed only briefly in the ES. These topics include physical effects (electric and magnetic fields and operational noise), air quality and climate, peat stability, coal resources, agriculture, aviation and defence and existing services.
Following this scoping exercise, and informed by the preliminary findings of the environmental survey work, it was decided that the EIA should examine the effects of the SWS Project associated with the following topic areas in detail:
- visual amenity
- hydrology, hydrogeology and water resources
- cultural heritage
- traffic and transport
- felling and construction noise
- social and economic effects.
The ES comprises three volumes:
- Volume 1: Main Text
- Volume 2: Technical Annexes
- Volume 3: Figures
The ES was submitted to the Scottish Government on 18 February 2009 to accompany the individual applications for each Part (A, B, C, D1, D2, D3 and D4) of the SWS Project. Parts A, B, C and D2 were consented between December 2012 and November 2014.
ES Structure Diagram
Volume 1: Main Text
Volume 2: Technical Annexes
Volume 3: Figures