The paper brings an analysis and a view of the five-year existence of the EIA Act for development of the process of public participation, as it can be followed in the process of environmental impact assessment of some of the most important proposed activities. It deals with the forms and the results of public participation as well as its with its assets. Particular attention is paid to such sociological instruments as surveys, information campaigns, public hearings. The article is also focused on the application of the civic rights in the course of building new structures in the environment and assessing their impacts on the social environment. An evidence of the practical application of EIS in the selected case studies (motorways, water works, landfills) is also demonstrated in the contribution. Its authors arrive at a conclusion that there are many things to be improved, primarily the higher willingness of investors and more active approach of citizens.