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Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

SEA is a systematic process for evaluating the environmental consequences of policies, plans and programmes, to ensure that environmental issues are addressed on a par with economic and social considerations before adoption.

Ultimately, this aids in achieving the goal of an implementable plan with the minimum negative and maximum positive environmental impact.

RPS ensures that the content and analysis included in our SEA Environmental Reports rigorously follow the requirements of the SEA Directive. In addition, the SEA process benefits from our:

Communication skills in informing key stakeholders

Range of SEA experience at the national, regional and local plan levels

In-house expertise in each of the required SEA technical disciplines

Proven track record in environmental service areas

Experience in the management of multi-disciplinary projects

Our ability to deliver to the highest professional and technical standards

Case Studies

SEA for Bray Town Development Plan

SEA for Bray Town Development Plan 2011 - 2017

Bray Town Council

RPS completed the preparation of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the Bray Town Development Plan (2011- 2017).

The Development Plan sets out an overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the administrative area of Bray Town Council for the period 2011 to 2017. The main site of interest for Bray includes Bray Head, which is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The area has been covered by a Special Amenity Area Order (SAAO) since 2007.

The SEA recognised the potential for indirect impacts to Bray Head and recommended that guidelines be drafted as part of the SAAO Management Plan to ensure that development in the area, particularly along the nearby seafront, did not result in indirect impacts to the SAC.

SEA for Major Sources Water Supply Project

SEA for Major Sources Water Supply Project – Dublin Region

Dublin City Council

RPS was appointed to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the development of a major new sources water supply for the Greater Dublin Region.

The purpose of the plan was to assess the long-term water supply needs of the Dublin Region (Water Supply Area) in the context of projected economic growth strategies for the region and current / projected water supply & demand management initiatives. In addition, examine nationally available new sources and recommend a preferred new water supply scheme (to meet long-term water supply needs) and evaluate the technical, environmental, economic and socio-economic (stakeholder) aspects of the new scheme.

The early input by the SEA team ensured that sustainability was an important aspect of the objectives in the Plan and also avoided any impacts on Natura 2000 sites.

SEA for the Freshwater Pearl Mussel Sub-Basin Plan

SEA for the Freshwater Pearl Mussel Sub-Basin Plan

Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the Freshwater Pearl Mussel Sub-Basin Plans and corresponding Action Programmes.

RPS completed the preparation of the SEA of the Freshwater Pearl Mussel (FPM) Sub-Basin Management Plans (SBMPs) and corresponding Action Programmes, for waters designated for protection under the European Communities (Freshwater Pearl Mussel) Regulations 2009 S.I. 296 of 2009. These Regulations set environmental quality objectives for the habitats of the freshwater pearl mussel populations located within 27 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and require the production of SBMPs with programmes of measures to achieve these objectives.

The SBMPs provide the more detailed programme of measures required to restore the habitat of the freshwater pearl mussel in SACs to a condition that will support the long-term survival of the species and the achievement of favourable conservation status.

This project is seen as a key step in the continued implementation of the WFD in Ireland.

SEA for the Midlands Waste Management Plan

SEA for the Midlands Waste Management Plan

Offaly County Council

RPS was appointed to prepare a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Midlands Regional Waste Management Plan.

The SEA was conducted under the guidance of the EPA to pilot SEA assessment methodologies at a regional level on waste management plans with a view to applying the approach to all waste management plans in the future. The Plan team and SEA team within RPS worked closely together throughout to ensure full integration of the review and assessment stages for the plan and ensure environmental considerations were taken on board throughout to EPA requirements.

In the first instance, broad waste management options and technologies were reviewed taking into account the Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO). The SEA then assessed each individual policy of the Waste Plan against a set of agreed strategic environmental objectives coving issues such as population, human health, biodiversity and landscape.