A Review of Environmental Factors (REF) is an environmental assessment undertaken to assist in meeting the requirements of Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). It should be completed before a determining authority undertakes an activity, or grants approval allowing an external party to undertake an activity that could potentially impact upon the environment. A review of environmental factors examines the significance of likely environmental impacts of a proposal and details measures required to mitigate those impacts, as well as:
- Assists and documents the determining authority’s determination of whether an activity should be approved, considering all matters affecting or likely to affect the environment. It further assists in the development of appropriate conditions should approval be given.
- Assists the determining authority’s determination of whether the activity is likely to have a significant impact upon threatened species, populations or ecological communities or their habitats. If an impact is deemed likely, an environmental impact statement (EIS) and/or species impact statement (SIS) will need to be prepared and considered before approval may be granted.
- Includes a commentary on potential impacts upon, soils, water, air quality, heritage, noise and vibration, biodiversity, traffic, and visual amenity
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