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英国代写:Project Types and Environment Impact Assessment Methodology

2017-06-16 | 来源:51due教员组 | 类别:Essay代写范文

下面为大家整理一篇优秀的英国essay代写范文- Project Types and Environment Impact Assessment Methodology,供大家参考学习,这篇论文讨论了项目类型和环境影响评估方法。在分析项目环境影响的过程中,对不同方案的影响进行评估是做出决策的关键。食品工业和农业是自然环境最强的综合性产业之一,消耗大量的自然资源,与整个生态系统的健康息息相关。因此,了解本地环境是选定评估方法的主要目标。而轻工业包括塑料、日用化学品、橡胶、纺织、皮革、木材和纸张的制造,这是一个以农业发展为基础的次要工序。污染参数的监测是环境影响评估的主要信息来源。最普遍采用的方法之一是使用基线监测和定量模型。

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1. Introduction

In the process of Environment Impact Analysis for a project, the assessment of impacts of different alternatives is the key to decision-making. According to Fischer (2016), there are over twenty methods used in EIA assessment for different type of projects. It would be an enormous waste of resources to apply all the methods in one project. Meanwhile, it is also necessary to make sure the methods applied can fully capture the problems. Therefore, understanding the characteristics of different projects and the specializations of different methods is crucial in finding the right matches, minimizing resource usage while ensuring comprehensive and accountable assessment results. In this research paper, different projects are categorized into three groups, which are industrial projects, living facilities projects and critical infrastructure projects.

It should be noted that the three categories are not necessarily exclusive, but each of them carries distinctive characteristics that will simplify the project-method matching process. Since most of the discussions presented in the paper are supported by case analysis, it is also inevitable for types of projects to be left out of discussion. Instead of trying to exhaust the endless possibilities of real-life projects, this paper will try to summarize commonalities by looking at the representative features and needs of different projects. In each category, detailed characteristics of both the projects and the correlating methods will be discussed and evaluated, to form general guidelines in the adoption of assessment methods for a specific project.

2. Industrial Projects

2.1  Agriculture & Food Industry

As one of the most highly integrated industries with the natural environment, food industry and agriculture consume extensive amounts of natural resources, and is closely related to the health of the entire ecosystem. Therefore, understanding the local environment is the main target of the selected assessment methods. Baseline data collection, laboratory testing, landscape evaluation and photographs are among the most frequently adopted methods, since they provide information about the water quality, biodiversity and stability of the ecosystem before and after the project initiates (Chukwu, 2008). For projects that have high level of integration with nature, the assessment should not be carried out in isolated environments. Checklists are also used to record all the natural environmental elements involved (Chukwu, 2008). According to the guidelines for agricultural EIA (NaturalEngland, 2012), any consent decisions in the impact assessment are made with advice from appropriate consultation bodies. Since different areas have different environmental conditions, which cannot be measured comprehensively in a short amount of time, help of experienced and specializing experts, or even the residents, are valuable for the assessment.

2.2  Light Industry

Light industry includes the manufacturing of plastic, daily chemicals, rubber, textile, leather, wood and paper, which is a secondary process built on the agricultural developments. Monitoring of the pollution parameters is the major source of information for the EIA assessment. One of the most commonly adopted methods is the use of baseline monitoring and quantitative models. Baseline monitoring involves the rapid monitoring/analysis of the environmental parameters, which usually takes a few weeks to months (San Envirotech, 2015). In a project of an organic chemical manufacturing plant expansion, baseline monitoring was used by the scenario building method (Mitcon, 2014). To simulate the environmental conditions, the impacts are evaluated after superimposing the predicted scenario over the baseline scenario.

Quantitative models are based on mathematical models that can monitor the changes in specific environmental parameters (Fischer, 2016). Since environmental parameters such as atmospheric environment, surface water quality, groundwater quality, noise levels are easily quantifiable through baseline monitoring, they can be easily used as inputs in the models. Similar considerations are shown in the EIA report for a textile industry in China (Song, 2013). The importance of both qualitative and quantitative evaluation is stress in another report for a polyester plant in Gujarat, India (Detox, 2010).

2.3  Heavy Industry

Like light industries, EIA of heavy industries also require baseline monitoring and application of quantitative models. In addition, large scale industrial projects also need resource evaluation, or cost benefit analysis, due to the large amount of investments. According to the Ministry of Energy and Minerals of Tanzania (2014), public participation is the key to analyzing physical, social and economic data, to obtain the significant positive and negative project environmental impacts. Since heavy industry often has more significant impacts on the environment, consultation of relevant policy, administration and legal framework is also necessary. Method of literature review is used for this purpose. Literature reviews enables the decision makers to see the correlation between policy actions and environmental impacts (Fischer, 2016).

In the Technical EIA Guidance Manual for the Indian Government, environmental indicators are used as one of the assessment methods. The indicators are further classified into environmental performance indicators (EPI) and environmental condition indicators (ECI). EPI typically addresses the issue of raw material consumption, energy consumption, water consumption, waste generated etc. ECI provide information about the environment, which include the local, regional, national or global environmental conditions (IL&FS Ecosmart Limited, 2009). The use of EPI and ECI helps the decision makers gain a deeper understanding of the environmental impacts, especially in large scale and complex projects.

2.4  Waste Disposal Site

Waste disposal sites can be either independent and subordinate to other sites. Treatment of solid waste, which involves burning, would cause significant disturbances without proper impact assessment and mitigation. Baseline monitoring and scenario building are the most adopted method due to the simplicity in execution. In an EIA report for solid waste management facility in India, scenario building is referred to as “prediction.” Prediction is regarded as the most important component in the impact assessment. With information of the estimated pollution loads during operation, it would be possible to obtain the quantitative information that is related to the impacts of the project (GWMCPL, 2008). This process also requires mathematical/statistical techniques that create quantitative models. The predictions will then be superimposed over baseline data to form the ultimate scenarios of the alternative. From these scenarios, the impact can be more directly perceived and then assessed.

Matrices use two-dimensional tables that relate actions of alternative with environmental impact parameters. Despite the simplicity in structure, the flexibility of the matrix makes it powerful in both execution and evaluation of EIAs. For example, Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix (RIAM) was used in the EIA of municipal solid waste disposal site in Varanasi (Mondal, Rashmi & Dasgupta, 2010). RIAM is a tool used to analyze both present and historic EIA results. It provides a concise, lucid and permanent analysis for the impact assessment (Mondal, Rashmi & Dasgupta, 2010). In addition, the use of matrices also makes the EIA procedure more organized, increasing the EIA efficiency significantly.

3. Critical Infrastructure Projects

3.1  Road&Railway

The biggest impact generating activity during construction of roads and railways will be clearing rights-of-way, cutting bumps and filling channels, blasting and dismantling of damaged pavements. The difficulties and level of impact on the environment is completely dependent on the surrounding environment. Due to the cuttings and fillings, topography along national highways and railways will face significant changes. The impacts of provincial highways and other types of roads are much lower, due to the lower requirement for the right-of-way areas (Summary, 2004). Such infrastructure projects often have strict timelines to follow. Therefore, checklists are used in the impact assessment. The checklists in the Summary EIA for NWFP Road Development (2004) include: physical environment, air quality, ground and surface water, noise, ecological environment, animal and plantations, as well as socio cultural environment. In each element of the checklist, impacts assessment follow the project timeline chronologically, in both the construction and the operation phases. Depending on the scale and location of the project, the specific impacts of each step of construction is predicted, with correlating mitigation methods proposed.

3.2  Airport

In the EIA report for the Istanbul New Airport (Environ, 2015) environmental and social baseline data is compiled after the screening and scoping of the relevant environmental elements. Air quality and noise monitoring are of top priority, since they have the biggest influence on the surrounding environment of any airport projects. Since the airport is the final link of the transportation system, the condition of its linkage to the road transportation and traffic should also be monitored or simulated. Surveys and interviews of the residents, engineers and experts are carried out to determine whether the new project is integrated into the local landscape (Environ, 2015). The assessment also drew upon experiences of existing EIA of projects, which is the method of analogs. For the analogs to be more effective and accurate representations of the current situation, the analysis needs to include details of both the past and the future projects, to ensure the key parameters in determining environment impacts are consistent. For example, the size of the airport and the city, the social, economic and environmental conditions, as well as policies and jurisdictions in the countries. Changes in these parameters must be carefully examined since they are the basis for the assessment.

3.3  Land Reclamation

Land reclamation is the gain of land from sea for agricultural industrial or other uses. Such projects carried out in countries and regions such as the Netherlands, the US (Washington DC), Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong (OSPAR, 2008). Such large-scale alterations are considered to have significant environmental impacts. However, there are not much direct evidence of the impacts and little is understood about the consequences of land reclamation. In the report prepared by OSPAR Commission (2008), it is assumed that the impacts of land reclamation are parallel to the impact of sediment disposal, since materials are deposited on the seabed in both cases. Therefore, the assessment of the former can be linked to the latter by the analogs created. The most significant impacts include: possible chemical disturbances, habitat alterations, burial and smothering of the benthic community caused by enhanced sedimentation, increased turbidity from local and temporal resuspension of sediments, regression of sea grass meadows due to increased suspended particle concentration (OSPAR, 2008). With the help of previous knowledge of sediment disposal, the problems in the assessment of land reclamation are quickly addressed, forming into a checklist of impacts.

3.4  Power Plants

Power plant projects have significant environmental implications in both the construction and the operation phases. In the EIA assessment of the proposed 100MW OCGT power plant at Purcellsinch, Kilkenny(GIL, 2012), the initial step of baseline data collection was carried out for the different study areas, which are defined according to the different environmental parameters. Such definitions are defined and justified by technical specialists, which applies the method of expert opinion. For each environmental topic, desktops reviews should be carried out, which are supplemented by specialized field studies and consultation with experts (Energy, 2009). In addition, relevant legislation and policies are also the main guidelines in the formulation of the rules. Since power plant project contains a factor of danger in its nature, stability becomes an important parameter in EIA assessment. If there were accidents in the power plant, no matter hydraulic, thermal, geothermal or nuclear, serious harms would be done to human lives. Therefore, risk assessment is necessary for projects such as thermal power station. Risk assessment focuses on the strategic risks of a proposed action (Fischer, 2016). Careful calculation of costs and impacts are needed to keep the worst from happening.

4. Living Facilities Projects

4.1  Residential Area Planning

Since planning of the residential area involves the daily life of the residents, public views are most valued as a tool in the EIA assessment. The impacts are not limited to the utilitarian level, cultural identity of the local community is also regarded as an important environment parameter. The appropriate methods to capture these are literature review, interviews and questionnaires. In the new town development project in Hong Kong (Aecom, 2016), the EIA assessment addressees the importance of public opinion by integrating it into the entire EIA process. Mitigation methods are proposed when there are strong opinions from the public. By adoption of ideas from the public the new projects are better localized and a higher level of user satisfactory can be achieved in the operation phase.

4.2  Commercial, Tourism and Leisure Facilities

When it comes to the commercial, tourism and leisure facilities, ideas are the most valuable tools in EIA assessment. Due to the interconnectedness of the facilities with other systems of the city, including power grid, sewage, public transportation, economy, demographic, culture, etc., it is difficult to come up with a comprehensive list that captures all the elements involved. Therefore, checklists are adopted by EIA assessment of many of such project types. Firstly, scoping and brainstorming is performed so that the comprehensive list can be created. Next, the lists are used to develop risk management for different alternatives in EIA, to find the one with the minimum amount of impact (McBride, 2016). According to Sadar (1996), benefits of applying simple checklists include: the simplest way to identify relevant environmental factor for the use of EIA; encouragement of discussion during early assessment stages; representation of the collective knowledge and judgement of the people who developed them. The flexibility of the form of checklists has made it one of the most accessible and applied tools for different types of assessment.

4.3 Urban Planning

In many of the developing countries, there is a lack of consciousness of EIA for large scale urban planning (Calgüner, 1999). Thus, many of the EIA assessment only come after the selection of the planning location. Consequently, the problems cannot be solved from the source when the local environment and resources aren’t enough to support the urban development. This leads to cumulative burdens on the environment. To avoid this, consideration of resource consumption, heat island, waste disposal problems should be brought up as early as the project conceptualization. It is always useful for planners to look as successful examples of urban planning as analogs. In the case where there is little precedence, laboratory testing must be conducted.

By conducting specific test or experiments, both qualitative and qualitative information can be obtained on the subjects, making it easier to justify selection of alternatives (Fischer, 2016). One example of it is the impact assessment of high rise buildings on wind. In the lab, the real-world conditions must be closed simulated, including scaling of wind force and arrangement of buildings, to ensure valid results (Yim, Fung, Lau, & Kot, 2009). This requires both lab facilities and manpower. Due to the resources needed, laboratory testing is only carried out for project that has a large area of influence, such as urban planning, regional power plants, waste disposal sites, dams and reservoirs.

5. Discussion &Conclusion

From the above discussions, assessment of the industrial projects is highly dependent on the nature of the industry. Most of the impacts are generated in the operational phase, which are not directly perceived. Therefore, baseline monitoring, indicators, landscape evaluation and scenario building methods are used to simulate the conditions of the operating project. Furthermore, the data obtained are used in quantitative models to provide more straightforward assessments of impacts. For project that include the construction of critical infrastructure, most of the impacts are in the construction phase. Analogs with existing projects are frequently applied which takes advantage of previous examples in generating more comprehensive assessments. Risk assessment, followed by cost benefit analysis are also common for infrastructure projects, since human lives and health are at risk when accidents occur and the structures fail.

These methods are no longer top choices for the living facilities and urban planning, since the projects are highly localized, and the primary purpose isn’t generation of revenue. For this last category of projects, literature reviews are important to understand the relevant policies for EIA assessment. Moreover, public participation in the forms of interviews and surveys becomes a valuable basis for the assessment. There are also several methods that are applied throughout the research, which include checklists, baseline monitoring and expert opinions. Easy of application, versatility, and effectiveness above all, have made these methods popular in all types of projects.


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