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Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA)

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Starter : Look at the photograph. This is the site for a proposed coal mine, providing essential fuel for the community. In pairs : D iscuss whether you think the mine should go ahead. Give reasons to support your answer. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA). Learning outcomes.

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slide1

Starter: Look at the photograph. This is the site for a proposed coal mine, providing essential fuel for the community.In pairs:Discuss whether you think the mine should go ahead. Give reasons to support your answer.

learning outcomes
Learning outcomes

You should all be able to:

  • Identify the different aspects of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Most of you should be able to:

  • Describe the use of an EIA

Some of you might be able to:

  • Evaluate the use of an EIA
slide4

The purpose of an EIA is to establish the impact of a project on the environment.

Predicts possible impacts on habitats, species and ecosystems.

The report should provide a non-technical summary for the public and the media.

Environmental Impact Assessment?

Addresses the mitigation of potential environmental impacts associated with the development.

Helps decision makers decide if the development should go ahead.

history
History
  • In 1969 the US Federal Government passed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
  • This made it a priority for Federal agencies to consider the natural environment for any land use planning.
  • Over the next 20 years other countries included EIAs in their planning policies:
    • Canada, 1973
    • Columbia, 1974
    • Netherlands, 1981
    • UK, 1988
    • Mexico, 1988
what are eias used for
What are EIAs used for?
  • Often part of a national planning process for large scale developments.
  • Developments that need an EIA differ from country to country.

The Three Gorges Dam in China

- needed an EIA.

examples

Durango – Mazatlan highway, Mexico

Examples

Severn Power Station, UK

  • Major new road networks, e.g. Durango – Mazatlan highway
  • Airport and port developments, e.g. Maasvlate Port development Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Building power stations, e.g. Severn Power Station, UK
  • Building dams and reservoirs, e.g. Three Gorges Dam, China
  • Quarrying
  • Large scale housing projects
group activity sort out the statements
GroupActivity: Sortoutthestatements

A. Limiting the effects of impacts to acceptable limits (MITIGATION).

B. Predicting the scale of potential impacts.

C. Identifying impacts (SCOPING).

D. Deciding if an EIA is needed and which impacts need to be considered (SCREENING).

stages of an eia
Stages of an EIA
  • Deciding if an EIA is needed and which impacts need to be considered (SCREENING).
  • Identifying impacts (SCOPING).
  • Predicting the scale of potential impacts.
  • Limiting the effects of impacts to acceptable limits (MITIGATION).
baseline study
Baseline Study

Carried out because we need to know what the physical and biological environment is like, before the project starts.

  • Variables measured as part of a baseline study include:
    • Habitat type and abundance (total area of each habitat)
    • Species list (number of species, flora and fauna)
    • Species diversity (estimate abundance and calculate diversity)
    • List of endangered species
    • Land use (land use type and coverage)
    • Hydrology (volume, discharge, flows and water quality)
    • Human population (present population)
    • Soil (quality, fertility, pH)

Group Thought: What variables do you think would be measured?

measuring impact
Measuring Impact
  • Consider all potential environmental impacts whether good or bad.
  • Detail the potentially significant impacts on:

Ecosystems

People

Resources

andtheir interactions

evaluation
Evaluation

When evaluating the environmental impact of different projects the following criteria are used:

  • Magnitude:
  • Extent:
  • Duration:

In pairs discuss what you thing they mean…

What scale will the impact have?

How big an area does the impact affect? Site only, local or regional.

How long will the impact be for? Short, Medium or Long term.

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