Public participation has become an important part in the Environmental Impact Assessment process. However, a few factors can affect, even change, its positive effect, including times when the public is to be involved, and the distribution of the necessary forms to the public involved. Therefore it is very important to pay attention to those factors and to design an integrated plan for public participation in the assessment process. In this article, the legal requirements for public participation are firstly set out, then current problems as well as the gaps between the practices and regulations of participation are analyzed. The design of a plan to improve the effectiveness of the assessment process, including designing principles, defining the roles of the different actors, setting standards for selecting the form(s) to involve participation of the public, and defining the times when the public is to be involved, is discussed.

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