Environmental Impact Assessments
Orkustofnun grants licenses for power development. Orkustofnun also grants licenses to construct and operate a distribution system in a specific distribution zone, as well as licenses for construction of transmission lines and to engage in trade in electricity.
If the proposed plan for power plants or for construction of transmission lines is a subject to environmental impact assessment proce-dures, according to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act, an environmental impact assessment must have been finalised and an opinion by the Planning Agency of Iceland must have been published.
The purpose of the Environmental Impact Assessment Act is to ensure that before decisions are made on projects that may have a considerable impact on the environment, natural resources and the community, an assessment is made of these issues.
Suggestions on improvements are sought, and a description is drawn up outlining the mitigating measures that will be employed to minimise disruption. The assessment procedure ensures the public's right to comment. This gives the authorities an idea of public opinion to help decide whether the project should be allowed to continue.
All Icelanders are entitled to submit comments to the environmental impact assessment of every project. This supports democratic decision making and an open public debate.