JBS Vol 20. Num 2. 2018 - A Critical Look at the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Rampal Power Plant

Wahida I. Rashid

The paper reports on a critical review of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Rampal Power Plant that was approved by the Department of Environment of Bangladesh in 2013. The review was conducted utilizing definitions and standard norms for preparing and reviewing EIAs for Public Projects in the United States. These include examination of the process flows, transparency, public engagement, assessment of environmental impact to the resources in and adjacent to the proposed project site, and consideration of alternative sites. All appear inadequate in the Rampal EIA, especially the consideration of alternative sites in view of the close proximity of the project site to the Sundarbans, rendering the EIA incomplete and insufficient. The EIA was examined for the necessary impact assessment of coal transport through the Passur River ecosystem and of power plant operation. None was found in the EIA. This step was left to an external entity which had not performed this key assessment at the time the project was approved.