Training workshop on EIA report review: A case of thermal power sector with Japanese experience

August. 05, 2014

[ Partnership information ] Summary of the Consultation Workshop

A training workshop on EIA report review under the Twinning Partnership between Sri Lanka and Japan was held on 5 August 2014 at the Auditorium of the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) of Sri Lanka. Thirty one officials from both Head Office and Regional Offices of the CEA participated in the workshop. The workshop focused on EIA report review with the case of the coal power plant at Sampur, Sri Lanka. Mr. Yohei Suzuki and Ms. Tomoko Kaku, Consultants from the Environmental Resources Management (ERM), Japan as mentoring organization shared their experiences. Ms. Kanthi De Silva, Director of EIA/CEA explained major challenges in reviewing EIA report in Sri Lanka. In addition to the lack the adequacy and accuracy in the provided information about the assessment and mitigation measures, securing the objectivity in the EIA report reviewing is a key challenge. In Sri Lanka, the project approving agency appoints a Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) to review the completeness of the report, but currently there is no formal procedure for the TEC members to give recommendations according to their area of specialization nor relevant standards/guidance, policies or good practices for the reviewing process. This makes difficult to determine the acceptable level of the EIA reports. This workshop aimed at providing a practical exposure to officials who engage in the EIA process to review an EIA report using the JBIC (Japanese Bank for International Cooperation) checklist and IFC (International Finance Cooperation) guidelines. The number of new coal power plants in Sri Lanka are increasing. In the workshop, hence, the EIA report of the Coal Power Plant project at Sampur in Trincomalee District of Sri Lanka was used as a case study for the review process. Mr. KG S Jayawardana, Deputy Director of EIA/CEA presented the salient features of the case study, scope of the EIA study, water requirement, air & water pollution control systems and ash management systems. Mr. Suzuki, Consultant from the ERM, Japan explained that the JBIC checklist for the thermal power sector includes several components such as permit and approval requirements, antipollution measures for air & water quality, wastes, soil contamination noise vibration, and natural & social environmental component. He also introduced the IFC guidelines which is divided into several components in order to make the review process easy. In the group exercise, the participants were divided in to four groups to work on the EIA report of Sampur Coal Power Plant using the JBIC checklist and IFC guidelines. The participants found these checklist and guidelines useful for reviewing the EIA report and determining the scope and the acceptable level of reviewing in the future.