Providing World Class environmental compliance consulting
that is both cost effective and focused on client needs

EPA Launches Appropriate Assessment GeoTool

The Environmental Protection Agency has recently launched an Appropriate Assessment online application map viewer to assist those involved in Appropriate Assessment. The GIS tool was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, to automate and streamline part of the data gathering process of Stage 1 and Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment.

 An Appropriate Assessment is an assessment of the potential adverse effects of a plan or project (in combination with other plans or projects) on Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas. These sites are protected by National and European Law. This Appropriate Assessment GeoTool uses the most up-to-date data directly from a web service provided by the NPWS.

This Appropriate Assessment GeoTool allows users to search for all Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Areas (SPA) within a user specified distance.  The distance selected by the user is dependent on the level of potential environmental impact from a plan or project.  The tool then returns the user with the distance of each European Site from the users selected starting point, the qualifying interests for each European Site and a weblink to the Conservation Objectives for each European Site.

The Appropriate Assessment GeoTool allows the user to select a point on the map and then search for SACs and SPAs within a defined distance/ upstream/ downstream of the point. The distance selected by the user is dependent on the level of potential environmental impact from a plan or project. The information gathered for each European Site located within the selected distance range includes the following:

  1. Site type, e.g., SAC or SPA;
  2. Unique site code for the site;
  3. Site name;
  4. Distance of the site from the users selected starting point;
  5. Search direction selected by user;
  6. List of qualifying interests for each site;
  7. Url link to the conservation objectives for each site.

Further information on specific European Sites can be found on the NPWS website.

The Northern Ireland European Sites are not currently included in this application. For more information on the Northern Ireland European Sites please consult the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs website.

For instructions on how to use the tool please refer to the User guide, accessible through the Help button in the application or directly here

The Appropriate Assessment GeoTool can be found here.

December 2018