Companies in the process industry manage numerous projects, which differ in size, capital expenditure and environmental aspects. Although environmental impact assessments (EIAs) are required for all these projects, the EIAs consequently range in comprehensiveness from screening to full EIAs. Due to market demands the projects are typically on extremely tight schedules. Project managers therefore need to ensure the proper alignment of project lifecycles with various other processes, of which the EIA process is one. The South African EIA legislation fails to take project life cycles or gate reviews into considerations. A literature review was conducted in order to compare the South African EIA process with various international approaches, as well as to determine the various project lifecycles that are applicable to the process industry. Based on the literature review findings a questionnaire was compiled and distributed to various stakeholders that participate in EIAs, i.e. EIA consultants and environmental specialists. The survey established the specific model that is usually followed when conducting an EIA in South Africa, and focused on the specific stages of an EIA in relation to the project execution lifecycle phases. The survey ascertained problems that currently exist with the EIA procedure in the process industry, which relate to the poor alignment of the EIA process with the project lifecycle. These problems negatively affect the efficiency of project management practices in South Africa (and elsewhere). Possible solutions to these identified problems are discussed and a stage-gate model is subsequently proposed, whereby the proper alignment of the EIA process followed in South Africa and the project lifecycle is ensured.