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Unit 5 Environmental Assessment

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) process is an interdisciplinary and


multistep procedure to ensure that environmental considerations are included in
decisions regarding projects that may impact the environment. Simply defined,
the EIA process helps identify the possible environmental effects of a proposed
activity and how those impacts can be mitigated.

The purpose of the EIA process is to inform decision-makers and the public of the
environmental consequences of implementing a proposed project. The EIA
document itself is a technical tool that identifies, predicts, and analyzes impacts
on the physical environment, as well as social, cultural, and health impacts.

The EIA process also serves an important procedural role in the overall decision-
making process by promoting transparency and public involvement.

BENEFITS OF THE EIA PROCESS


Potentially screens out environmentally-unsound projects
Proposes modified designs to reduce environmental impacts
Identifies feasible alternatives
Predicts significant adverse impacts
Identifies mitigation measures to reduce, offset, or eliminate major impacts
Engages and informs potentially affected communities and individuals
Influences decision-making and the development of terms and conditions

Depending on the EIA system, responsiblity for producing an EIA will be assigned
to one of two parties: (1) the government agency or ministry, or (2) the project
proponent. If EIA laws permit, either party may opt to hire a consultant to prepare
the EIA or handle specific portions of the EIA process, such as public participation
or technical studies.

Process
1. Identifying and Defining the Project or Activity: Although this step may seem
relatively simple, defining a project for the purposes of an EIA can become
complex and even controversial if a mining project is large, has several phases,
or involves multiple sites.
2. Screening: The screening process determines whether a particular project
warrants preparation of an EIA. The threshold requirements for an EIA vary from
country to country some laws provide a list of the types of activities or projects
that will require an EIA,
3. Scoping: Scoping is a stage, usually involving the public and other interested
parties, that identifies the key environmental issues that should be addressed in
an EIA.
4. Preparing Terms of Reference: The Terms of Reference serve as a roadmap for
EIA preparation and should ideally encompass the issues and impacts that have
been identified during the scoping process.
5. Preparing Draft EIA: A draft EIA is prepared in accordance with the Terms of
Reference and/ or the range of issues identified during the scoping process. The
draft EIA must also meet the content requirements of the overarching EIA law
6. Preparing Final EIA: This step produces a final impact assessment report that
addresses the viewpoints and comments of the parties that reviewed the draft
EIA.
7. Decision: A decision to approve or reject a mining project is generally based on
the final EIA, but in some instances, an environmental clearance may be just one
step in the mine permitting process.
8. Administrative or Judicial Review: Depending on the jurisdiction, there may be
opportunities for a party to seek administrative and/or judicial review of the
final decision and the EIA process.
9. Project Implementation: Provided all regulatory requirements are met and
permits are obtained, mine development will proceed following the project
decision and once opportunities for administrative and/or judicial review are
exhausted.
10.Monitoring: Monitoring is an important part of project implementation.
Monitoring serves three purposes: (1) ensuring that required mitigation
measures are being implemented; (2) evaluating whether mitigation measures
are working effectively; and (3) validating the accuracy of models or projections
that were used during the impact assessment process.

Environmental Auditing:
Environmental auditing is a management tool comprising a systematic
documented, periodic and objective evaluation of how well environmental
organisation, management and equipment are performing with the aim of helping
to safeguard the environment by facilitating management control of
environmental practices and assessing compliance with company policies which
would include meeting regulatory requirements.

Objectives of Environmental Audit:


The following are the objectives of environmental audit:
1. To provide management with information in order to help them make informed
decisions related to improved environmental action.

2. To determine the extent to which environmental management systems in a


company are performing according to their documented procedure and aims.

3. To identify potential waste management costs.

4. To reduce exposure to litigation and regulatory risk.

5. To increase employee awareness of corporate environmental policy and


responsibility.

6. To improve public image of the company.

7. To identify new markets and commercial opportunities.

Steps
It includes the following steps:
Step 1: Get started: asking for assistance if necessary.
Step 2: Draw a systems flow of the organization: Identify the major categories of
inputs, outputs and leakages.
Step 3: Provide a detailed itemization of the elements in Step 2: identifying the
products and materials and activities to which they relate.
Step 4: Review each item with a view to minimizationrefuse, reduce, reuse,
recycle, substitute.
Step 5: Assess financial costs and benefits (if any)what can the organisation
realistically afford?
Step 6: Identify crucial business factorswhat are the issues on which the firm
cannot compromise with environmental factors?
Step 7: Refine the organizationidentify people, housekeeping/office, processes,
products/services, emissions and wastes and repeat on site and/or business basis.

Types of Environmental Audit:


There are different types of environmental audit:
1. Compliance Audits (A):
Assessing compliance with current and future legal standards.

2. Compliance Audits (B):


Assessing compliance with consent, industry and guideline standards.

3. Compliance Audits (C):


Assessing compliance with corporate policy and standards.

4. Energy Audits.

5. Waste Audits.

6. Site Audits:
Reviewing every aspect of a site or spot checks on sites having actual or potential
problems.

7. Process Safety Audits:


Hazards and risks arising from processes and safety.

Lastly, Environmental Audit Report is prepared.


Environmental Audit Report:
1. Name and address of the owner /firm/industry.

Part I:
Water and Raw Material Consumption:
1a. Water Consumption [m3/d]
1. Process, 2. Cooling, 3. Domestic,

1b. Water Consumption

Impact of the pollution control measures on conservation of natural resources and


any additional investment proposal for environmental protection required.

Benefits of Environmental Audit Report:


The environmental audit report is a useful weapon in applying the principle of
polluter pays principle and user pays principle for the protection of environment.
The government can impose taxes on the polluting industries by verifying the
environmental audit report. Therefore, environmental audit is an excellent
management tool to assess the activities of an industry from a pollution angle and
measures the efficiency of control measures.

Moreover, the communication gap between the public and the industries can be
minimised by publishing environmental audit report. The wrong notion of public
in general that industries are the major pollutants can be minimised if industries
are transparent in this regard. Last but not the least, efficiency or inefficiency of
the various production units can be assessed by environmental audit report.

Environment Management System :

An environmental management system, also known as an EMS, can be developed


in compliance with theISO 14001 standard as part of an organizations strategy to
implement its environmental policy and address governmental regulations. An
EMS focuses resources on meeting the commitments identified in the
organizations policy
The standard was revised in 2015. As part of the development process, ISO
conducted a continual improvement survey to develop an understanding of the
needs of current, past, and potential users.

ISO 14000:
ISO 14000 series is a voluntary set of standards intended to encourage
organisation to systematically address the environmental impacts of their
activities. The goal is to establish a common approach to environmental
management system that is internationally recognised leading to improved
environmental protection.

ISO 14000 is a management system standard. It is intended to be applicable to


firms and organisations. It includes organizational evaluation standard and the
standard for product services and processes.

Further, it provides a general framework for organizing the tasks necessary for
effective environmental management. The series of documents that encompass
ISO 14000 includes components, such as environmental management systems,
environmental auditing, and environmental labelling and product life cycle
assessment.

ISO 14000 Series of Standards:


1. Environmental Management system includes: ISO 140001, ISO 14004

2. Environmental Performance Evaluation includes: ISO 14014, ISO 14015, and ISO
14031.

3. Environmental Auditing includes: ISO 14010, ISO 14011, ISO 14012, ISO 14013,
ISO 14014.

The Standard for Product, Services and Processes includes:


1. Life Cycle Assessment:
ISO 14040, ISO 14041, ISO 14042, ISO 14043.

2. Environmental Labelling:
ISO 14020, ISO 14021, ISO 14022, ISO 14022, ISO 14023,ISO 14024.

3. Eco-product Standards: ISO 14060.

The ISO 14000 standards are voluntary standards. By adopting these standards,
business sector may reduce the environmental pressure and will be able to
improve the quality of their products. Environmental management standards are
systematic in approach.

They help a company in their establishment where it is in the present, or where it


plans to go in the future and how it must meet its own individual targets to get
there. Along the way, they help to develop communication, reporting systems and
performance monitoring systems so that performance is ultimately improved.

Eco Mark

It is the mark that is attached on a product which is available in our daily lives as
well as certified as contributing to environmental preservation in terms of less
environmental burden. It is also aimed for the consumers to make an
environmental - friendly product choice, and also to consider the relation of life
and environment.

Indicating Eco Mark, products must meet the necessary criteria that comply with
the products categories. Precisely, it needs to be applied for formal qualification
examination which a product is subject to, then certified by Eco Mark Committee
for Product Certification.

The Eco Mark is a label given to an Environment Friendly Product. Household and
other consumer products which meet certain environmental criteria along with
the quality requirements of the Indian Standards Institute for that product may be
accredited and labelled under this scheme.
Any product which is made, used or disposed off in a way that significantly
reduces the harm it would otherwise cause the environment could be considered
an Environment Friendly Product.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, issues the Eco
Mark notifications.

Till date, 18 notifications have been issued by the Ministry of Environment and
Forests on different products criteria.

Sixteen product categories are covered under the Eco Mark scheme. They are
soaps and detergents, paper, food items, lubricating oils, packing materials,
architectural paints and electronic goods, food additives, wood substitutes,
cosmetics, aerosol propellants, plastic products, textiles, fire extinguisher and
leather.

Green Industry initiative


In the last few years, keeping with its mandate, UNIDO coined the concept Green
Industry to place sustainable industrial development in the context of new global
sustainable development challenges.

Green Industry means economies striving for a more sustainable pathway of


growth, by undertaking green public investments and implementing public policy
initiatives that encourage environmentally responsible private investments.

Greening of Industry is a method to attain sustainable economic growth and


promote sustainable economies. It includes policymaking, improved industrial
production processes and resource-efficient productivity.

Our Green Industry Initiative creates awareness, knowledge and capacities. We


work with governments to support industrial institutions that in turn provide
assistance to enterprises and entrepreneurs in all aspects relating to the greening
of industry. Following is a brief overview of the sectors within which we work.
Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP):
Taking care of materials, energy, water, waste and emissions makes good business
sense. RECP is the way to achieve this. RECP covers the application of preventive
management strategies that increase the productive use of natural resources,
minimize generation of waste and emissions, and foster safe and responsible
production.
Cleaner Production (CP):
RECP uses CP to accelerate the application of preventive environmental strategies
to processes, products and services, to increase efficiency and reduce risks to
humans and the environment. It addresses, a) Production Efficiency: optimization
of the productive use of natural resources (materials, energy and water); b)
Environmental management: minimization of impacts on environment and nature
through reduction of wastes and emissions; and, c) Human Development:
minimization of risks to people and communities and support for their
development.
Chemicals Management:
UNIDO works with projects, policies and regulations, institutions and sectoral
capacity-building, development of preventative approaches and new business
models such as Chemical Leasing, to assist enterprises reducing risks and impacts
associated to the use of chemicals.
Chemical Leasing (ChL):
Chemical Leasing (ChL) is a strategy which creates a business environment to
tackle the challenges of the changing global context and offers solutions for sound
management of chemicals and reduction of emissions to the environment. UNIDO
plays a leading and coordinating role for the implementation and further
development of ChL.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):


Nowadays, requirements for the integration of environmental concerns, human
rights issues, fair labour conditions and good governance in industrial
development are significantly affecting the business sectors in developing and
transition countries. This is referred to as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

In this context, UNIDO works on a framework for small- and medium-sized firms
(SMEs) that helps translate CSR principles into a relevant SME perspective,
thereby enhancing their competitiveness and market access. Through a series of
technical assistance activities, global forum events and research projects, UNIDO
offers SMEs and their support institutions a simple and practical approach to meet
productivity/quality, environmental and social requirements of stakeholders in
this area.
Water Management:
UNIDOs Water Management programme provides services to transfer the best
available environmentally sound technologies and environmental practices to
improve water productivity in industry, as well as prevent discharge of industrial
effluents into international waters (rivers, lakes, wetlands and coastal areas).
Protecting water resources for future generations is amongst the top priorities.

Energy:
Energy access is linked a global challenge needing to be addressed; it has links in
social development and poverty alleviation, environmental degradation and
climate change, and food security. It is a defining issue of our time.

UNIDO aims to provide access to modern energy services for the poor, with
emphasis on renewable energy projects. The Organization further helps to
increase productivity and competitiveness by improving industrial energy
efficiency projects, and works on reducing GHG emissions through capacity-
building projects for climate change in general, and Kyoto Protocol mechanisms in
particular.
Carbon Credit :
The concept of carbon credit came into existence as a consequence of growing
concern and increasing awareness on the need for pollution control in order to
ameliorate the environment. It seeks to encourage countries to reduce their
greenhouse gas emissions and rewards those countries which meet their targets
and provide financial incentives to others to do so as quickly as possible. Surplus
credits collected by overshooting the emission reduction target can be sold in the
global market. One credit is equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide emission
reduced or not emitted.
This concept became materialized through a voluntary treaty Kyoto Protocol
signed by 141 countries. Indian has also signed the treaty. The United States of
Americawhich accounts for one-third of the total greenhouse gas emissions
has not signed the treaty. The treaty set penalty for non-compliance.

In the first phase, which is to start in 2007, the penalty is 40 euros per tonne of
carbon dioxide equivalent. .In the second phase, penalty is 100 euros per tonne of
carbon dioxide equivalent. Carbon credits are certificates issued to countries that
reduce their emission of greenhouse gases which cause global warming.

This concept is one of the ways that countries can meet their obligations under
the Kyoto Protocol to mitigate global warming. Carbon credits are available for
companies engaged in developing renewable energy projects that offset the use
of fossil fuels. Developed countries have to spend nearly $300-500 for every tonne
reduction in carbon dioxide, against $10-25 in developing countries.

In countries like India, greenhouse gas emission is much below the target fixed by
Kyoto Protocol and such countries are excluded from reduction of greenhouse gas
emission and allowed to sell surplus credits to developed countries. Foreign
companies who cannot fulfil the protocol norms can buy the surplus credit from
companies in other countries through trading.

This allows Credit Emission Reduction (CER) trade to flourish between developing
and developed countries. Carbon emissions trading involves the trading of
permits to emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, calculated in tonnes
of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e).
A country or group of countries caps its carbon emissions at a certain level known
ascap and trade and then issues permits to firms and industries that grant the
firm the right to emit a stated amount of carbon dioxide over a time period. Firms
are then free to trade these credits in a free market.

Firms whose emissions exceed the amount of credits they possess will be heavily
penalized. Industrialized countries buy emission credits by investing in clean
projects in developing world.

India is the largest beneficiary claiming about 31% of the total world carbon trade
through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and is emerging as a serious
player in the global carbon credits market. This mechanism is expected to rate in
at least $5-10 billion over a period of time. The number of Indian projects in the
field of biomass, cogeneration, hydro power and wind power eligible for getting
carbon credits now stands at 225 with a potential of 225 million CERs.