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EIA for dummies

a more interesting way to revise. Sources - Anna Korre and Sevket Durucan (Imperial College London) Environmental impact assessment course

Luke Tan

on 28 April 2013

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Transcript of EIA for dummies

k depends on the importance attached to it by decision-makers = scaling factor
U = utility function
x = attribute The Environment Environmental systems are not fragile. They change continually.
There are four properties that determine an environment's response to change: Environmental Impact Assessment Life Cycle Assessment 1) Sections of the environment are connected in selective ways and this needs to be taken in to account. They interact!
2) Events are not uniform over space. Impacts on the environment change over time and in intensity!
3) Environments often exhibit sharp shifts in behaviour. Methods of assessment must account for this!
4) Environmental systems have self-monitoring and self-correcting capabilities. They vary! Impact An environmental impact is a change in the value of one or more environmental quality as a result of an action - compared to the environment if that action had not taken place. Impacts have spatial and temporal effects

Effects of impacts - e.g. mining
Primary - Subsidence from mining - increased area of flood plain
Secondary - Flood
Tertiary - Change in 'value of local farmland / native flora affected Significance The significance of a development is based on geographic, economic, cultural and social factors. It is location dependent: United Kingdom Philippines Australia Is it more than a local significance in terms of physical scale?

Is the location sensitive, eg: national park or site of special scientific interest (SSSI)

Is it likely to give rise to complex or adverse effects, eg: pollution discharge Environmentally Critical Projects:

- Heavy industry
- Resource extraction
- Infrastructure projects eg dams Environmentally Critical Areas:

- National parks
- Fisheries
- Coral reefs Split in to two main categories Have environmental screening guidelines which define: - major construction of infrastructure (airports, roads, railways)
- energy production stations
- industrial development (petrochem refinery)
- mineral extraction When? What is an EIA? What will it do? How! Why? Who? In the UK, projects are defined by the UK Dept Env (1989) as being either: Schedule 1 - EIA is required in every case

Schedule 2 - EIA is only required if the particular project in question is judged likely to give rise to significant environmental effects Crude oil refineries
Thermal power stations
Storage facilities for radioactive waste
Steel/Iron works
Chemical installation
Waste disposal - incineration, chemical treatment Agriculture
Energy industry
Chemical industry
Mineral industry
Textile industry
etc US National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) - 1969
Shortly after, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and Japan followed with similar legislation

The EC Directive on 'the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment' (85,337,EEC) - 1988 (UK and UE)

Voluntary Recommendations by the minerals industry - following the Global Mining Initiative MMSD In an EIA, the principle authorities/people are: - The local planning authority
- The environmental authority
- The public
Identify physical and temporal boundaries of an effect
Investigate proposed site(s) and surrounding physical, ecological, social and economic environment ----->
Provide baseline studies and identification of on-site and off-site environmental conditions, currently and in the future, without the proposed development
Provide a detailed analysis of the workings of the proposal, including its various phases, functions, and connections with the environment
Investigate environmental impacts of the proposed development
Analyse alternatives to proposed action, including environmental effects
Evaluate development alternatives and environmental protection measures
Indicate recommended course of action for implementation of the proposal, including environmental monitoring, environmental management, and post-development provisions Site Survey includes:
Physical boundaries (often arbitrary)
Temporal boundaries (time limitations)
Geology and soils
Water resources
Fauna (ie animals) and flora
Items of cultural or heritage significance An EIA will:
Comprehensive - so that all important impacts are detected and all 'unsuspected' impacts are identified
Selective - focused on major impacts
Mutually exclusive - impacts should only be included once
Objective - free from bias
Capable of predicting interactions between impacts

Needs to show range of uncertainty. It should be: EIA Method Here's the important bit: 1) Developer of the EIA formulates a
2) Proponent (developer) submits the proposal to the local planning authority (LPA)
3) The LPA screens the proposal and assesses the significance of the impacts - for this, checklists
and screening guidelines are used for assistance
4) The LPA considers the scope and programme for an EIA
5) The LPA notifies the Environmental Authority (EA)
6) The EA determines the level of EIA, scopes the key issues, and establishes the terms of
reference or guidelines for the EIA and any public review
7) The develooper then undertakes a detailed EIA and documents it in an Environmental Impact
Statement ( )
8) A public inquiry can then be held to enable local stakeholders (public) to provide useful
comments on the EIS
9) The EIS and the proposed mitigation/monitoring system are reviewed by the EA
10) The final EIS is prepared with full account of mitigation/monitoring measures
11) The LPA makes the decision to proceed of cancel the project
12) The LPA and EA conduct a post-audit to determine the accuracy of the predictions The EIA Procedure proposal EIS proposal A good proposal should include the following: - Spec of development proposal with discussion of feasible alternatives
- Implementation and management plan
- Description of existing environment
- Potential environmental impacts
- Outline of proposed environmental safeguards and mitigation measures
- Description of monitoring programme
- Identification of relevant statutory requirements
- Scope for modification of proposal
- Issues of special concern
- Financial profitability or feasibility
- Expenditure of environmental protection
- Off-site financial impacts
- Economic interpretation of the major on-site and off-site benefits and costs EIS An Environmental Impact Statement contains: A description of the proposed activity and its deed or rationale
A description of feasible alternatives
A description of potentially affected environments
An assessment of all the likely or potential environmental impacts
- including cumulative, direct, indirect, short and long term effects
Mitigation measures - an identifications, description and assessment of
An account of provision for post-audit Methods: Really fun things to know! Index methods
Map Overlay
System / flow diagrams
Simulation modeling Simple methods to provide guideance on data and techniques of prediction.
Impacts are quantified on a common scale, weighted in terms of relative importance.

They are good at identifying impacts but drawbacks include:
Impacts are considered in isolation (no interactions of feedback)
It can lead to attempting to quantify the unquantifiable Checklists: A method that uses a unit scale to represent the desirability of an attribute/impact

Each attributes utility function is given a scaling value, k Multi-Attribute Theory Advantages:
Incorporates probability and sensitivity analysis
Very easy if done with a computer
Incorporates decision making - highest utility = least environmentally damaging and hence should be chosen on environmental grounds
Utility theory is parallel to economic theory hence economic factors can be introduced Disadvantages:
Requires familiarity and is mathematically complex
It is difficult for the public to comprehend
It is tempting to quantify the unquantifiable Leopold:
Lists 88 environmental 'characteristics' along the vertical and 100 'project actions' along the horizontal.

At each intersection, the magnitude of impact and importance of impact is noted.

Very useful for identifying impacts and presenting results

But - probability is not considered. Matrices GIS - Geographical Information Systems:
A modern map manipulation method which is very effective in communicating results of an EIA

Traditional map overlay disadvantages:
extreme impacts with small probabilities are easily overlooked
sensitivity analyses and probabilities are not displayed effectively
often subject to technical errors Map Overlay The idea of simulation is to understand, predict pollution in the future. They were developed out of a need to integrate social, economic and environmental issues. Simulation Modelling AEAM - Adaptive Environmental Assessment and Management
Connects resources and relevant parties and integrates their talents and concerns on a computer-based platform

Takes in to account interrelations present in environment systems and allows investigation of changes in parameters within said system

There are attempts to quantify the unquantifiable Air Quality Groundwater
flow and quality Surface
flow and quality Noise Blast vibration Procedure:
Define the model domain
Select a modeling technique
Define boundary conditions
Provide input data
Model and validate using observed environmental data 'Life Cycle Assessment is an objective process to evaluate the environmental burdens associated with a product, process or activity by identifying energy and materials used and wastes released to the environment, and to evaluate and implement opportunities to affect environmental improvements.' (SETAC,1990) Life Cycle Thinking: Avoids burden shifting from
one life cycle stage to another
one geographic area to another
one environmental medium to another Key Objectives
System wide identification of environmental loads: raw materials, energy, emissions, wastes
Evaluation of potential environmental impacts of said loads
Assessment of options available to reduce the impacts ISO 14040
Life Cycle Assessment
and Framework: Goal and Scope Definition Inventory Analysis Impact Assessment Interpretation Goal Definition: what is the point of this LCA? Identify the decision context
Define the intended application of the study
Identify your audience Scope Definition: to what extent and how will you conduct it? Define the functional unit
Describe the system to be studied and how it will be studied: life stages (cradle, gate, grave)
define unit processes
define impacts to be investigated
define impact assessment methods to be applied
define interpretation methods to be used
show assumptions about data and methods
define any limitations or data quality requirements
define the type of critical review The compilation and quantification of the ins and outs of a given step in the life cycle. Prepare for data collection
Compile data
Proceed with calculation

Allocation of impact Relate the data to the functional unit
Examine each unit process
Aggregate all processes in to one holistic table Select and define
Classify (in to impact categories)
Characterise (using characterisation models)
Normalise (with means such as total world impacts)
Aggregate and weight impact categories, indicators and models Different Impact Categories: Depletion of abiotic resources
Impact of land use
Climate change
Ecotoxicity (freshwater, marine, terrestial (earth))
Human toxicity
Photo-oxidant formation
Eutrophication Impact Indicators and models: Indicators differ with impact category.
This table shows different models and their equivalency units used for different impact categories Normalisation Different scales and different units make indicators difficult to comprehend. Normalisation aids this, but is also subject to opinions regarding importance of impact categories. Importance of an impact is subject to the scale of the affect, which is often dependent on location, and can range from global to local scale Impact categories can be localised by considering an endpoint: You would use this by:
Defining the LCA inventory results --> CO2, SO2, NOx etc
Consider an impact category (eg acidification)
Extract applicable results from inventory --> SO2, NOx
Use characterisation model to define the potential of release (eg regional acidification information and simulation)
Use the calculated equivalency (kg SO2 eq)
Normalise these with reference values (can use total world impacts 2002 for example)
Use the DALYs defined by IMPACT+2002 to compare with other impact categories

If you are applying the 'endpoint' approach, the damage cateogy to which the impact category applies should be chosen
The impacts within the damage category should be summed to exhibit total impact Such a scale is the IMPACT2002+ with gives values in 'Daily Added Life Years' which can be compared over all impact categories
Ecoindicator 99 normalises effects using effects caused by the average European Interpretation depends on:
The relative size of the effects
The relative importance of those effects (highly opinion based) A good conclusion should be based on well normalised results that should supply the reader with results qualified for simple conclusion Once normalisation has been completed, a weighting factor needs to be applied with signify the importance of that factor Soil Contaminants Non Point Point Sources Contaminants in soil Health Sampling Soil is natural and comprises of solids, liquids and gases and occurs at the surface of land. Its composition is a affected by a number of things... Parent Material Climate Topography Biology Time Factors that affect What is rock is beneath the soil
It transforms in to the soil over time Rainfall and Temperature
Rain - controls chemical weathering
- rate of reactions (decomposition)
High Temp - faster rates of chemical weathering
- affects evaporation of water Mountainous:
- physical erosion > chemical deomposition
Low - low rate of erosion
- rock decomposition reaches eqm quickly Insects, rodents, sort vast amounts of soil
Extreme acidity near roots - corrosive
Many other factors Over time, dusts from numerous sources is added to the soil Most soils contain contaminants. It's whether levels are acceptable or not. Contaminated land legislation:
Part 2A of the EPA 1990: - Sets a minimum standard for developing. If you develop on land, once it is developed, it can not be contaminated (developer cleans up land)

- Local authorities must actively search for contaminated land. Upon finding it, someone pays to restore it: 1) polluter, 2) owner, 3) the authority themselves Non point sources are generally from diffuse sources
- snowmelt of rainfall
The run off carries pollutants and deposits in water bodies fertilisers, herbicides, intecticides
oil, grease, chemicals from energy production
sediment from construction sites
salt from irrigation
acid drainage from abandoned mines
bacteria / nutrients for livestock waste
atmospheric deposition Industries prone to contaminating land:
Textile, printing, coating
Waste management
Timber processing
etc Once they're in the soil, what happens to them and where they go depend on:

Organic - can undergo chemical changes and in some cases become less polluting
Metals - don't break down, but characteristics can change Contaminants vary in their tendency to
end up in water and hence leech
volatize to the air
bind to the soil Things that affect these are:
Soil mineralogy and clay content
amount of organic matter
moisture levels
other present chemicals Humans are not in danger unless a source-pathway-receptor relationship can be identified

eg: soil (fertiliser) leaches to river gets in to drinking water ingestion When sampling soils, there are four conditions:
1) It should be stratified (sectioned off)
2) Each stratum (section) should carry one sample location
3) It should be systematic
4) It should be aligned Herringbone: Ferguson 1992 - fulfills all 4 conditions The International Committee for the Redevelopment of Contaminated Land (ICRCL) define a threshold value and an action value: 'no limit' means that the contaminant is of zero risk to the surrounding environment Management Procedures for management of contaminated land are provided by the EA, basically:
In order to reduce/control risks:
1) Remove/treat the source of pollutants
2) Remove/modify the pathway(s)
3) Remove/modify the behaviour of the receptor(s) Ex-situ - extracting land and treating it elsewhere

In-situ - treating the land in the ground See paper notes for info on use of CLEA
model which works out consumption of pollutants Water Standards Temporal Spatial Inorganic Contaminants Point and non-point sources Monitoring water quality Bioavailability Organic Contaminants Organic contaminants are split in to 16 subgroups based on their functional group To name a few: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) these are known to pose potential toxic threats to humans and the environment Pesticides Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) known for their persistence in the environment
they are classified as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
have the ability to build and accumulate within biota and travel long distances
toxic to humans and the environment at very low concentrations Can be categorised in to three major groups: Major constituents Nutrients Metals/Metalloids such as Ca, Na, Mh SO4, SiO2 etc...
they all exist naturally at levels exceeding 1mg/L such as Oxygen, NO3-, PO4-...
links to eutrophication
high concentrations can reuslt in methemoglobinemia in humans Ag, Cd, Cr, Cu Hg...
trace metals found at concs < 0.1mg/L
metalloids are anything with properties between metals and nonmetals eg As, Se, B... Essentially the maximum level of a substance that can exist in a medium without being detrimental when the medium is used continuously for a specific purpose Water groups can be segregated in to: Recreational, Wetland, Groundwater, Navigation, Agriculture, Domestic water supply, Aquatic life Three standards exist: Surface and groundwater standards designed to protect the users of natural waters (human and aquatic life)
related to toxicity and health levels for both organisms
good status of surface water requires the protection of aquatic life (toxicity tests undertaken) Effluent standards the enforcement of BAT to ensure effluents are not damaging to the environment they are entering Drinking water standards designed to protect public health The most important non points to consider are agricultural and urban run off! Continuous, periodic, occasional, accidental?! Different bodies respond to different discharge types
Take a river during high flow season and low flow season, in low flow, a continuous discharge may represent an unacceptable risk. Most rivers exhibit 'base flow conditions' - the minimum amount of water moving within the river. minute-to-minute and day-to-day differences
diurnal variation due to biological cycle (day and night) pH and O2
day-to-month variation
seasonal and biological cycles
year-to-year variations related to human activity Types of temporal variation: Spatial variation depends on:
the scale of the study
the presence of natural and anthropogenic sources Spatial variation occurs in 3 dimensions

Due to monitoring limitations, surface waters are usually monitored in 2D using longitudinal profiles. Monitoring


Surveillance involves long-term standardisation measurement of the system so that trends and the status can be defined occur during a limited period of time for a specific purpose involves continuous measures in order to manage and define operational activities Contamination & Uncertainty To minimise risk of contamination during collection, transport, handling or storage: Good practice:
1) use equipment constructed of uncontaminated material that has been rigorously cleaned
2) handle equipment and samples in a way that minimises contamination
3) collect routinely quality-control samples to ensure high degree of confidence The ultimate toxicity of elements depends not only on their concentration but on their form Bioavailability can be seen from 3 perspectives: Environmental availability (external bioavailability) - depends on the partition of the chemicals between water and solids

Environmental bioavailability (internal bioavailability) - related to uptake, nutrition

Toxicology bioavailability - takes in to account the dynamic interactions at the site of toxicity Trace metals behave complexly: Where they end up depends on:
redox potential
major cations
dissolved inorganic/organic ligands
presence of surfaces for adsorption Thermodynamic equilibrium models Relying on different chemical equilibrium models simultaneously we can now predict where certain pollutants will end up. Models tend be be split between organic and inorganic Organic speciation models are very relevant when assessing metal distribution in surface waters. Two main types are: Non-ideal Competitive Adsorption (Nica-donne model) - presumes distribution of metal-binding functional group follows statistical rules

Windermere Humic Aqueous Model (WHAM) - relies on selction of a certain number of characteristic binding sites to represent the entire behaviour of the model Be sure to also read notes on the biotic ligand model and Darcy's law Air Quality Modelling Sources of Air Pollution Air pollution can come from either point sources (a factory) or a line source (a road) Ventilation outlets
Transfer points
Processing plants
Extraction Equipment Point Sources Line Sources Conveyor haulage routes
Truck haulage routes
Roads Similarly to water quality, a number of things can affect air pollution: Topography
Spatial extent of the source
Temporal elements of emission (continuous, instantanteous etc)
The type of pollutant (dust, vapour)
The effect the pollutant has on the recipient Stability and Wind Atmospheric Stability: A measure of the change vertical motion of air - turbulence Wind distribution: At the earth's surface, u=0m/s. As the surface roughness increases, so too does the height of the boundary layer as shown below. The Planetary Boundary Layer: The part of the atmosphere directly influenced by the earth's surface. Forces such as frictional drag and heat transfer result in boundary layers in the atmosphere; characterised by the level of turbulence Sunset and during the night: The Earth's temperature is lower
A positive temperature gradient results
A stable inversion takes place and a stable layer results from the surface to about 200m, eroding the residual later
In this layer, little mixing occurs
Neutral conditions - No buoyancy force acting on the vertical motion of the air Neutral conditions are uncommon, but 'quasi-neutral' conditions can occur in overcast conditions During the day The earth's surface is heated by the sun
A buoyancy force is present - enhancing vertical motion
It produces the 'convective boundary layer'
The convective boundary layer is considered unstable Mid to late afternoon There is a reduction in heat flux
Convective boundary layer starts to decay
Leaves a 'residual layer'
The residual layer has similar properties to the convective layer Laminar boundary layer Roughness layer Surface layer So near the surface that there is no turbulence (few mm) Flows are highly complex and generated by the features of the surface Turbulent fluxes and stress vary by less than 10% of their magnitude

Generally forms the bottom 5-10% of
the convective and stable boundary layers Modelling Air can be modelled using the Gaussian (normal) distribution method Meteorological Pre-Processor Software that uses windspeed, cloud cover, terrain, etc to model air flow accordingly Noise Noise is defined as unwanted sound. Environmental noise -

Ambient noise -

Specific noise -

Residual noise -

Background noise - sound generated by human activity outdoors, perceived in the domestic environment

noise from all sources combined

noise from one specific source

ambient noise without specific noise

sometimes used to mean the level measured when the specific source is not audible. Or, a value of a noise parameter, eg, the level exceed 90% of the time The effects of noise:
WHO says noise pollution affects: pain and hear fatigue
hearing impairment
interferences with social behaviour
interference with speech communication sleep disturbances and its consequences
cardiovascular effects
hormonal (stress) responses
work performance The Environmental Noise Directive's broad objectives are: Noise indicators and assessment methods should be harmonised
Noise mapping and action plans should be based on common indicators and assessment methods
Member states should set targets for noise
Noise maps and action plans should be available to public
Provide periodic reports on an EU data bank for noise maps and action plans
Set goals within EU to reduce the number of noise affected EU citizens, providing strategies to reach those goals
Develop future strategies for the protection of quiet areas Propagation! Attenuation Sound Sound can be defined as a pressure variation detectable by the human hear (20Hz - 20kHz)

Amplitude of sound is measured in µPa
Threshold of hearing - 20µPa
Threshold of pain - 100Pa

The ear responds logarithmically to stimuli so the power of sound is expressed in this way: Sound Pressure Level Pref = threshold of hearing
the location of distance from the source must be stated when Lp is stated Sound Power Level the sound power level is the energy output at a source Equivalent continuous sound level Leq is the steady sound level that contains the same amount of acoustic energy as the fluctating (equivalent constant L over time) Propagation is affected by many factors: Distance from source
Type of source
Atmospheric attenuation
Ground absorption
Temperature and temp gradient
Precipitation Combination of sounds: If it yields a change in Lp of zero, 3dB are added to the level caused by one source alone

And if the difference between two sound pressure levels is more than 10dB, then the contribution of the quieter one can be ignored! Point source Spherical radiation Attenuation is 6dB per doubling of distance from source In free space:

At ground level: Line source Cylindrical radiation Attenuation is 3dB per doubling distance from source Recall;
Lp = sound pressure level (dB)
Lw = sound power level (dB) In free space:

At ground level: Atmospheric absorption - High frequency sounds are attenuated more than low frequencies over distance Ground effects - can attenuate up to 3dB over about 100m, and up to 9dB over 1000m Barrier effects Noise barrier reduction depends on
a) the path difference (a+b-c)
b) the frequency of the noise If a source is half obscured - approx 5dB
If a source is completely obscured - approx 10dB
Max attenuation is 20dB Noise monitoring, measurement and assessment Recall;
Lp = sound pressure level (dB)
Lw = sound power level (dB) Sound level meters: K = the attenuation applicable Noise measurement report: The purpose of measurement
The standard used
The equipment used (including serial numbers)
A map showing position of sound sources, relevant objects and observation points In your results you should state: Measurement technique
Type of instrument used
Measurement procedure used
Calculations used
Prevailing conditions
Atmosphereic conditions (wind, rain, temp, pressure, humidity)
State of ground between source a receiver
Source variability
Calibration data
Measurement date, start, and stop times
Number of measurements made
Description of the sound source under investigation Anthropogenic noise modelling in GIS Point Define grids in GIS
Calculate geometric spreading (K1)
i.e. distance from GIS
Calculate air absorption (KL)

Calculate ground effects (KBM)
where hm is the average receiver height

Input barrier correction (KD)
Combine contributions from sources
Evaluate Impact Line Define road segments in GIS
Calculate basic noise levels (L10) over a certain time frame
total traffic flow
road classification (mean speed)
gradient (GIS)
% heavy vehicle traffic
road surface correction
Model propagation
distance correction (shortest slant distance from GIS)
Correction for ground absorbance (average height of propogation from GIS & % cover)
Barrier correction (visibility of each segment from points in GIS)
Combine contributions and segments
Evaluate impact Contaminants
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