The EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) is a technical-administrative procedure with the purpose of verifying the environmental compatibility of a project, it was introduced in Europe with the 337/85 CEE directive and it was integrated by the 11/97CE directive.
The procedure was created as an instrument to identify, describe and evaluate, through a transparent and popular evaluation project, the direct and indirect effects of a project about human health and some environmental elements such as fauna, flora, soil, waters, air, climate, landscape and cultural heritage and their interaction. The aim of EIA is to protect human health, contribute with a better environment to the quality of life, provide for the conservation of the species and preserve the ability of renovation of the ecosystem as essential life resource.
…each federal agency should include in every recommendation or report on proposals for legislation and other major federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment a detailed statement by the responsible official covering, inter alia, the ENVIROMENTAL IMPACT of the proposed action and of alternatives to it.
(USA 1969, National Environment Policy Act)