Procedure and assessment of cumulative environmental effects

Margrét Vala Kristjánsdóttir, Kristín Haraldsdóttir, Ásdís Hlökk Theodórsdóttir


This paper deals with a provision in Article 5.2 of the Icelandic Act on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), No. 106/2000 that allows for a special procedure of joint EIA of two or more associated projects. Its main aim is to ensure that the overall assessment of environmental effects is taken into account before decisions are made. This provision has raised questions in relation to its scope and applicability. The provision´s origin, substance and application are analysed as well as its conformity to Directive 85/337/EEC as it has been introduced into the EEA Agreement. The paper concludes that administrative implementation has clarified certain aspects, including the legal conditions for its application. However, the application of the provision raises questions as to whether its aim may be achieved by a less onerous procedure; in line with Directive 85/337/EEC as interpreted by the European Commission.


Environmental impact assessment; cumulative effect; Act on environmental impact assessment; Directive 85/337/EEC.

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