The expert system for the EIA process (screening) in the state administration

Stipendiatin/Stipendiat: Mario Petru


Process of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a process according to law and it is under control of the state administration. Screening level of the EIA process is the key part of the process. In this level public servants are making basic decision if projects need deeper analysis of environmental impact or not. EIA projects are very heterogeneous and including f.e. construction of power stations, chemical factories, roads or shopping centers as well as projects for the restructuring of rural land holdings, irrigation or land drainage and others. Also affected areas are very heterogeneous and including f.e. industry areas, residental areas, cultural areas or brown fields as well as forestry, water areas, farming areas or special protected areas and others. Underestimated decision of the EIA screening level can cause deterioration of the environment or even its irreversible damage.

Current situation

Since existence of the EIA process and the information technologies exist a lot of projects about expert systems for screening EIA. Most of them included too general settings with/or too extensive manual support of public servants. They were not able to full assess the interaction between specific projects and specific environment. An relevant information are the main condition for making of the correct decision. State administration still uses an conventional methods, including maps, basic knowledge, basic computing and basic description of projects. Also does not exist a complex support system for developers of projects. They are often too late confronted the problems of their projects and location sensitivity.

Main idea of the DBU project

Thanks to GIS technology we know any detail about environment. Thanks to EIA experts we know all environmental problems of projects. Thanks to models and computational programs we probable range of impacts. And thanks to expert systems we could make the decision of all these information. Such system can be helpful not only for public servants but also for project developers and engineers. With support of such system they can choose better site, shape or placement of their projects. It all before than they will draw the projects on the paper. 

Main aims of the DBU project:

  • possibility verification such systems in Germany and other member states of EU;
  • to find necessary conditions for development of the system;
  • demonstrator development;
  • results evaluation.

01.07.2008 - 31.12.2008

Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH - UFZ Computational Environmental Systems

Prof. Dr. Sabine Attinger

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