Environmental impact assessments in South Africa are usually conducted according to the integrated environmental management (IEM) procedure. The preliminary investigation reported here, indicates that most of the ecological requirements specified in the IEM procedure are supported in the ecological risk assessment (ERA) framework. The main concern about the ERA process is that it might not allow for sufficient feedback and consultation during impact quantification. A lack of appropriate techniques and expertise has also been identified in the collation and integration of the various disciplines involved in an environmental impact assessment. The outcome of this preliminary investigation suggests the need for a more detailed evaluation of the applicability of the ERA framework in the IEM procedure.