In Swedish transport infrastructure planning, cumulative effects are not given the attention demanded by
the Swedish Environmental Code and the European so-called SEA and EIA directives (Strategic
Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment, respectively). In the Environmental
Code, the formulations concerning cumulative effects are vague. The EIA handbook of the Swedish
Road Administration does not give much guidance. There is thus a great need for development of
procedures and methods adapted to Swedish road planning.
The overall aim of the report is to contribute to the development of the treatment of cumulative effects in
SEA and EIA of road planning in Sweden. Specific aims are to describe the concept of cumulative
effects and to give advice on approaches and methods that can be used in cumulative effects analysis and
assessment. The report mainly builds on American and Canadian literature. “Cumulative effects” are
changes to the environment that are caused by an action or measure together with other past, present and
future actions and measures.
The report advices a structured procedure for the description and assessment of cumulative effects. The
recommended procedure takes ”Valued Ecosystem Components” as its point of departure. VEC are any
parts of the environment that is considered important by the proponent, public, scientists and authorities
participating in the assessment procedure. The procedure has five steps: 1) scoping, 2) analysis of effects,
3) identification of the need for mitigation, 4) evaluation of significance, 5) follow-up. The report gives
examples of the application of these steps adapted to Swedish road planning.