SEA monitoring in Swedish regional transport infrastructure plans: Improvement opportunities identified in practical experience

Publisher's full text
Kristina Lundberg
Berit Balfors
Lennart Folkeson
Måns Nilsson

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) requires monitoring in order to identify unforeseen adverse effects and to enable appropriate remedial action to be taken. Guidelines on how to monitor significant environmental impacts have been developed but experience from practice is limited. This paper presents a study of environmental monitoring in Swedish regional transport infrastructure planning. The result shows that essentially no environmental monitoring is currently performed. Monitoring of the plans merely involves checking the implementation of projects and performing an economic account. At present, a new planning period has commenced for the regional transport infrastructure plans. To obtain an iterative SEA process for the new plan with integrated SEA monitoring, the following means are suggested: reinforcement of practitioners' incentives to plan and perform monitoring; integration of monitoring in the SEA process; pre-determined impact thresholds that prompt remedial action; and more efficient use of monitoring results.

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