Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Recommendations for Change
|✅ Paper Type: Free Essay||✅ Subject: Environmental Studies|
|✅ Wordcount: 3030 words||✅ Published: 8th Feb 2020|
The following are the key learning’s in terms of limit of growth:
“Peak oil” is the one of the major problems which is given more importance in this paper, which implies that the oil production has reached the top level and stared diminishing.The price of the oil has increased and there used to be high waiting time at the gasoline stations in 1970s.There is a threat to ecology and the biodiversity, due to which the energy and resources are becoming extinct or obsolete. There is a rise of population in the recent times due to which the resources of food availability have diminished to a large extent and the people have even faced the consequences due to this low food production. The fossil fuels usage is increased which allows the food productivity though it is an advantage, however the fossil fuels are getting decreased which is a drawback. In 19th century the problem of the malnutrition was prevalent. The “Tragedy of the commons” explains about the way that the individuals are greedy and overusing the combined property for their own purposes and being aware of that it is not at all advantageous to others. In the year 1979 the coal, electricity, food and home heating oil prices also increased and then again surge is there in the oil price which is about $35 per barrel. In the beginning of the 1980s, there is a decrease in the economic development as a result of increased interest rates, rise in the prices and great depression. Due to this increased rate of population, threat to the environment also increases like all kinds of acid rains, pollutions, depletion of the ozone layer, global warming,.
The causes by which the country is presently tackling these issues:
To decrease the scarcity and depletion of the energy resources, nuclear fusion is used by the country which has been proven to be increasing renewable resources and also by replacing the non-renewable. Fossil fuels are also used in the agriculture to reduce the problem of the famine which results in the increase of the food production but this increases the usage of fossil fuels which become problem and by using modern technology in agriculture this is problem is being tackled and fossil fuels are replaced with other materials to increase the food productivity. To address the “peak oil” problem, the country discovered a huge amount of previous oil which was not been used and this is likely to solve the problem to some extent. Green houses are used to solve the environmental problems, and by using some of the eco-friendly substances and also avoiding the usage of the chemicals which are harmful. The gasoline price has dropped during the mid-1980s and the excess oil production is imported. By increasing the efficiency of the markets the problem of unemployment has been reduced and creating new jobs for the recycling, waste management and environmental management. Hence the population growth problems are being mitigated though there is threat in the near future and that can be handled in the same manner or more effective way.
Comparison of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Steps between Western Australia and Queensland:
EIA steps in Western Australia are taken care by EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) and Department of Environment and Science in Queensland. In these two states, to propose the presumed project which have significant impact on the environment and both respect departments is the first step taken by them to check whether the proposal is having a significant impact or not and decides whether to accept or reject the proposal. The second step in WA is proposal Assessment which includes scoping the public opinion or review, proponent environmental review, EPA draft Assessment preparation, preparing other addition information and finalizing the EPA assessment which also includes rejecting some times by the decision making authority and project has some minor works to be carried out and also they recommend changes to the proposal in the assessment. The next step includes an EPA report on the proposal assessment which is prepared and also contains some recommendations to the Environment Minister. While in Queensland different type of acts are there for the EIA which are “Sustainable Planning Act in 2009 (QLD) (SPA)”, “Environmental Protection Act in 1994 (QLD) (EPA)”, “State Development and Public Works Organization Act in 1971 (QLD) (SDPWOA)”, “Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in 1999 (CTH) (EPBC Act)”.The different process in different acts is explained in the figures given below
The figure above is for the “EIS process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)”.
In conclusion from the above process Western Australia and Queensland, two different states we can say that the steps for a project to be approved and requires Environmental Impact Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement which is different for different states but in common all states contain similar steps which are accepted universally.
Public participation signification in the Environmental Impact Assessment:
Opinion of the public plays a major role in the Environmental Impact Assessment. In this aspect public are considered as stakeholders and we can obtain the sustainable development through active involvement and participation of the stakeholders. For the Environmental protection, the participation of the public is important so that they can address the environmental issues. We can avoid or reduce the controversy in the public and it becomes more effective in the conflict management. From public participation we can gain the local knowledge and values of evaluation, prediction and to mitigate the impacts. We can achieve the acceptability and improved quality of the EIA report. This helps in evaluating and recognizing the mitigation measures potentially. This facilitates to find out the groups and the local residents who got a special expertise. We can evaluate and get the complete criteria for the importance of recognized impacts. The public participation in the process of EIA will be ramped up. This allows to define the scope of work and the overall process assessment schedule can be obtained. To assess the impacts on the physical and social environment, we can recognize the data or statistics and information which is required.
The reasons where public opinion to be sought can be explained through the case study
This case study took place in Egypt, Agrium Egypt which produces ammonia and urea, when the public opposed a petrochemical company refused to relocate. Under the governance of the Damietta they decided to establish the Agrium petrochemical plant in an area called as New Damietta which is close to Ras El-Bar. The public/residents in that area are very much concerned about the environmental hazards of this plant. Strong opposition is raised by the public for the construction of the plant and relocation is suggested for the project. Public opinion is not considered by the project team in the initial steps of EIA and went ahead with the process and got the approval from academic reviewers but due to public opposition during the implementation the project has been reallocated. From this case study we can understand that where to sought the public opinion and why it is very important in the Environmental Impact Assessment.
The steps involved in the EIA for the selected project are as follows:
The project chosen here is to establish a wood cutting Industry in the area which is shown in the map.
Step 1:To identify the study goal is the 1st step and here the goal is to do the complete Environmental Impact Assessment and getting approval to establish a wood cutting industry.
Step 2: In this step we will do the screening level assessment. This construction is very close to river, close to the residential areas and also an industry is present nearby the construction. Hence we need to do full Environmental Impact Assessment. We have to consider all the indirect, direct and beneficial impacts.
Step 3: Scope is considered in this step, we are identifying the significant impacts here. The amount of energy consumed in wood processing and manufacturing is high which in terms emits high amount of Co2 and this can cause the pollution of air, people’s health may also be affected due to the emission of Co2. Coking and wood making are the major impacts. This also includes solid wastes, wastewater contaminants and other hazardous wastes.
Step 4: In this step baseline conditions are required to be measured, and environment actions are tested for the effect and revisiting the scope if necessary. Presumably the air pollution prevailing in the area is the current base line condition and some of the ground water might be polluted due to the presence of an industry. This is the measure of the current conditions roughly.
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Step 5: Effects and likelihood of actions are predicted in this step. The impacts mentioned in scope are the ones predicted and during the construction of the industry there might be some noise and air pollution and high amount of co2 is released after the construction and this may be released due to high consumption of energy in the process. Solid wastes and hazardous wastes also might be emitted in little amounts.
Step 6: Summarizing and analysing the findings are done in this step. The above mentioned affects are just findings and we have summarized them. Now moving on to the next step.
Step 7: To evaluate the significance of the findings are done in this step. From these findings we conclude that more importance is given to the air pollution which is caused due to high energy consumption and therefore there will be a chance that global warming might take place.
Step 8: In this step, alternate solution and mitigations are given to the proposed actions by modifying them. For this project we took a decision to relocate the project from the place “A” to place “B” in the map.
Step 9: Findings and recommendations are explained to public. Websites, advertising and social media are used to disclose the EIA report to the public.
Step 10: In this step we have decided on the proposed action which is relocation of the project.
Step 11: We need to monitor the impacts even after the construction and need to compare with the predicted value. Checking whether it is decreasing or increasing.
Step 12: After the step 11 in order to minimize the impacts even if some are there we need to further modify and mitigate the actions.
Public participation is included in steps 1, 3,6,9,10, 11.
Strategies to control the plastic waste:
Bringing your own bag for shopping: These thin and easily ripped bags is extremely limited, from one estimation, plastic bags of five billion to one trillion are used in every year in the world. Any way there will be free distribution for the shoppers, these bags will cost high in environment and are one of the most visible forms of garbage. Getting your own plastic bag is common and good advice for environmental issues, and such of the ideas are implemented by some government by policies to encourage more people to do it. However instead of using bigger carryall bags, people can further reduce waste by bringing their own produce bags which can be reusable or just skip them entirely. Disposable shopping bags have been banned in a number of cities, like Washington, D.C and San Francisco. In the policy known as the plastic straw apocalypse, consumers started to request metal or paper substitutes in the place of disposables. In Europe, some coffee shops are giving reusable mugs that are borrowed with little deposit and are used by consumers.
Avoid buying water in plastic bottle:
Unless there is some kind of contamination crisis, plastic water bottles are the only easy target which can reducing waste. Instead of that people can reduce plastic bottle by keeping their own refillable bottle. In Thailand, government is delivering treated water in big 20 liter drums to households and businesses, and when the containers are empty they are returned for refilling of the water. In this way plastic water bottles are avoided. In December, Gove confirmed that the Department for Food, Entertainment, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) was looking at greater access to water fountains across the UK. So there will be less use of water bottles.
Bringing own thermos to the coffee shop:
When coming to refillable, people bringing their own thermos for coffee shops is another major way to reduce the use of plastic. Disposable coffee cups are looked same as that of paper but a type of plastic resin like polyethylene are usually lined up in that. These materials can be recycled theoretically but infrastructure lack is occurred in the most places. Lids, stirrers, and coffee vendors that still use polystyrene foam cups are also there, which can all be avoided with using their own mug. Raise in the tax of up to £438 million, and lead to a 30% reduction in the number of cups were used in the UK.
Choosing cardboard instead of plastic bags and bottles:
Generally speaking, it is very tough to recycle plastic than cardboard, plus paper products can be biodegradable more easily without adding any weight to the product. The way glass or aluminium are similarly used. So, whenever you have a choice, pick pasta in the box instead of pasta in a plastic bag, or detergent in the box over the plastic bottle. Even better if people would check for companies that source their cardboard sustainably or have complete information about deforestation. Boston implemented a dual approach of adding tax and ban on single time use of bags. Started in December 2018, plastic bags are banned and a 5 cent tax is added on sustainable single time usage of bags.
Say no to straws:
In many cases like for home use or when you ordered a drink at a restaurant or bar, plastic straws are often a single-use item that’s just not necessary. Instead of using them we can use a glass straw or just ignore of using straws. Vancouver is the first major city in Canada to ban plastic straws, and taking further steps to ban all solid waste by 2040.
Get the plastic off your face:
Micro plastics that are tiny particles that are impossible to filter out are the high amount of pollution produced in the oceans. These plastics are generated from breaking down of bigger items, but they are also commonly added to face wash, toothpaste and other consumer products. These little produced plastics are intended to be exfoliators, but any waste water treatment facility is not able to stop those plastics enter into the ocean. There are many types of biodegradable types, so avoid items like “polypropylene” or “polyethylene” on the list of ingredients. Instead of using those type of plastics we can create our own natural type of cosmetics. In UAE, instead of face masks, natural home remedies are taken by saving plastic to enter into the oceans.
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