Integrated EIA – EMS for a specific infrastructure development
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Management System (EMS) are tools available to organizations in addressing the impacts of their activities or projects on the environment. Traditionally, EIA is focused only on biophysical impacts of projects or development on the land, water, and air. However, with increased awareness and understanding of the interactions of the physical environment, society, and economic aspects, the scope has widened to include socio-economic and sustainability issues. In most cases, the scope of the study is dictated by the EIA process adopted in each country by legislation or institutional policies.
An EMS, based on ISO 14001, is a robust management system that is scalable to multiple industrial sites globally, voluntary, and cost-effective. Moreover, it allows for continuous improvements through cyclical iteration of plan-do-check-act (PDCA) elements, which are essential for long term sustainability. Companies and organisations have started to integrate EIA and EMS tools in managing the environmental aspects of their operations. There are success stories in certain sectors, like the oil and gas industry, and in numerous companies driven by their leaders’ commitment to environmental sustainability. However, despite these initiatives, the uptake of integrating EIA and EMS has been rather slow.
Part A: Recommend an approach to integrate EIA and EMS
- Identify the strengths and weaknesses of each tool: EIA and EMS.
- Develop and recommend a model or approach for implementing an integrated EIA and EMS. Illustrate your model using a diagram followed by a narrative to explain the approach to integration.
- Identify and explain the drivers or factors necessary for the successful implementation of your recommended model or approach.
Part B: Develop a coarse Integrated EIA-EMS for an infrastructure project
Using the model you recommended in Part A of this assignment, develop a coarse (brief) integrated EIA and EMS for an infrastructure project. An infrastructure project may include the following: an industrial facility (e.g. electronics, biopharmaceutical, oil, and gas); large residential development; transportation (e.g. highways, mass rapid systems). The integrated EIA-EMS report must include the basic elements of EIA such as Screening, Scoping, Impact Analysis, Consultation and Mitigation, and all the relevant elements of ISO 14001.
Develop an activity-impact network model and use it to identify the direct and indirect impacts that might arise from your chosen development project or industrial facility. Include a brief explanation of the activity-impact relationship so that a member of the public who is totally uninformed on this particular issue will have a basic idea.