I. Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
Section 1 SEA: Introduction and Benefits
This is the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Environmental Report for the Chief Executive’s Draft Carlow County Development Plan 2022-2028. It has been undertaken by CAAS Ltd. on behalf of Carlow County Council. The purpose of this report is to provide a clear understanding of the likely environmental consequences of decisions regarding the adoption and implementation of the Plan.
Environmental assessment is a procedure that ensures that the environmental implications of decisions are taken into account before such decisions are made. Environmental Impact Assessment, or EIA, is generally used for describing the process of environmental assessment for individual projects, while Strategic Environmental Assessment or SEA is the term which has been given to the environmental assessment of plans and programmes, which help determine the nature and location of individual projects taking place. SEA is a systematic process of predicting and evaluating the likely significant environmental effects of implementing a proposed plan or programme, in order to ensure that these effects are adequately addressed at the earliest appropriate stages of decision-making in tandem with economic, social and other considerations.
The SEA is being undertaken in order to comply with European SEA Directive, which introduced the requirement that SEA be carried out on plans and programmes that are prepared for a number of sectors, including land use planning.