The World Bank (WB) was piloting the Use of Country Systems in Bank Supported Operations in Egypt through the sub-projects of the Egyptian Pollution Abatement Project (EPAP II). The UCS was to prepare lending operations using the Egyptian system for environmental assessment and other environmental and social safeguards, rather than the WB’s policies and procedures. To that end, the quality of the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) submitted for EPAP II sub-projects had to be reviewed.
EPAP II contracted Environics to review the quality of EPAP II EIAs and comment on their completeness according to the new Egyptian EIA guidelines. The assignment also entailed recommending corrective measures to sustain the improved EIA process.
Environics reviewed studies and reports and conducted meetings with relevant personnel to investigate the EIAs of EPAP II sub-projects. This investigation covered the qualities of the EIAs, the role of EPAP II in their preparation and review, and the approval conditions and sectoral guidelines that governed them.
An analysis of the EIA system was then provided, which included the application and introduction of the new system; the EIA review period; the use of external experts; the follow-up on implementing EIA conditions; the EIA disclosure, and the EIAs submitted after construction. The modifications of the Egyptian EIA executive regulations were analyzed as to how they affected the existing EIA system.
Environics then made several recommendations to ensure the effective and smooth implementation of the new EIA system.