Environmental Impact Assessment
Bringing Expertise & Precision to Exploration, Estimation & Excavation
The rapid economic development is accelerating the growth of infrastructure. The swift rise in development is leading to rapid deterioration in environmental condition.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) ensures that the potential problems are foreseen and addressed at the planning stage of the project planning and design. It provides a rational approach to sustainable development.
On 27 January 1994, under the Environmental (Protection) Act 1986, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MEF), Government of India made Environmental Clearance (EC) compulsory for expansion or modernisation of any activity or for setting up new projects.
According to the recent notification from the MEF in September 2006, it is mandatory for various projects such as mining, thermal power plants, river valley, infrastructure (road, highway, ports, harbours and airports) and industries including very small electroplating or foundry units to get environment clearance. The new legislation has put the onus of clearing projects on the state government depending on the size/capacity of the project.
In addition to the government, even the donor agencies operating in India such as the World Bank have their environmental clearance processes to projects that are funded by them.
EIA involves the following steps:
- Screening: This is the first step which evaluates if there is any requirement of EIA in the project. If EIA is required, the level of assessment also is evaluated. The project plan is screened for the location, scale of investment, type of statutory clearance for development (if needed).
- Scoping: The project’s potential impacts, the zone of implications, mitigation possibilities and the need for monitoring are studied and chalked down in detail.
- Collection of baseline data: Collection of the current environmental status of the study area.
- Impact prediction: Impact prediction can be classified into the following types
i) Positive and negative impacts
ii) reversible and irreversible impacts
iii) temporary and permanent impacts
- Mitigation measures and EIA report: EIA report should include the steps and actions taken for preventing, reducing or by passing the consequences or else the level of compensation for probable environmental damage or loss.
- Public hearing: Environmental groups and public living close to the project site will be informed and consulted.
- Decision making: Authority takes the final decision, keeping in mind EIA and EMP.
Environment Management Plan:
Monitoring and implementation of Environmental Management Plan: Various phases of implementation of the project are monitored.
Environment Management Plan (EMP) is a site-specific plan that ensures the project is executed in an environmentally sustainable manner where the project owner and all contractors, understand the potential environmental risks emerging from the project and take appropriate actions to manage that risk appropriately. It ensures that the project is executed in accordance with the design by taking appropriate mitigation actions to reduce adverse environmental impacts during the project’s lifecycle.
The existing and potential problems that may adversely impact the environment and corrective measures to be taken are outlined. The plan also describes the roles and responsibility of the critical personnel and contractors who will be in charge of the responsibilities to manage the project site. EMP not only offers the means of managing its environmental performance but also include cost control and enhanced relations with the stakeholders.