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IISC 3-4

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IISC 3-4

  1. 1. ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT CENTER FOR CONTINUTING EDUCATION, INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE, BANGALORE. by MAYURESH SURESH AMRALE 05/10/2016 based on online chat session coordinated by Ms. Christie, Ms. Arashpreet and Ms. Babitha on 29th & 3rd Sept., 2016
  2. 2. Assignments based on discussion Page 2 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT: GENERAL PROCEDURES Summary: Background: Experiencing the side effects of haphazard unplanned growth & exploitation of resources compelled nations to adopt tools for addressing environmental issues. The introduction of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) integrated environmental planning with sustainable development approach; which evolved over the years through global awareness. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) can be defined as a study of the effects of a proposed project, plan or program on the environment. For regaining the economic losses post World Wars encouraged development banks which implemented EIA processes for the preparation and approval of various developments projects across the globe; mainly in developing countries. This then adopted as statutory requirement for every development project. EIA generally covers Social Impact Assessment (community), Health (quality of life) Impact Assessment, and Strategic (broader sustainable development) Environmental Assessment. EIA Process: EIA following multidisciplinary approach; considers & studies impacts on the natural, social, economic and human environment. Prior to EIA, proponent or consultant sets out the terms to be considered or examined when carrying out an EIA; these are called Terms of Reference (ToR). The pre examination of the significant impacts, the scale of impacts & mitigation mechanisms during the Screening process is carried out generating Initial Environmental Examination report. Scoping identifies the key issues, parties, their affected interests of concern at an early stage of planning process. It can be carried out by tools like Checklists, Matrices, Networks and Consultations. Collection of background information on the biophysical, social and economic settings of proposed project area through field samplings, interviews, surveys from the period of project inception is carried out to provide a description of the current status and trends of environmental factors like air, water, noise, population, biodiversity. Then, quantitative (Magnitude, Extent) & qualitative (Duration, Significance) predictions of impact based on the available environmental baseline of the project area are proposed by Experiments, Professional judgment, Past experience, Numerical calculations, mathematical models, GIS, Risk assessment, or Economic valuation.
  3. 3. Assignments based on discussion Page 3 Upon identification of possible impacts, the various mechanisms like Avoid (alternate site), Replace (raw materials), Reduce (waste generation), Restore (restoration of damage), and Compensate (Relocation/Compensation for affected) can be adopted to mitigate the impacts. Monitoring of the Baseline data, Impacts and Compliances to mitigate the same is then practiced over a period of duration. Considering the overall study of the above particulars, a report called as Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is generated with the detailed description of project as Summary, Impacts, analysis of alternatives, mitigation plan, and environmental monitoring plan. The EIS is submitted to designate authority for scrutiny for technical review before the panel. The panel determines the quality of EIS and gives the public further opportunity to comment. Based on the outcome of the review, the authority will accept, reject or make further modifications to avoid future confrontation. If the EIS is accepted, an EIA license is issued and if otherwise, additional studies or recommendations are made. Environmental Impact Assessment has now become an integral part of project planning. EIA can be Comprehensive EIA which considers all the seasons of the year or it can be for a single season terming it as Rapid EIA. THE DRAWBACKS OF EIA IN INDIA: Statutory norms in “Environment impact Assessment Notification”, for some industries (which impact the environment more or less) relaxes the necessity of EIA preparation as per its screening & scoping directives. The scale of the project & thereby its impact is evaluated based on the total project cost which is irrelevant to assessment. The selection of expert committee members observed to be biased or ignorant about the subject. Poor consultation & participation of public led to failure of projects due to lack of general sharing of information. Poor baseline data collection without exhaustive study and without description of process of qualitative & quantitative assessment due to lack of a centralized baseline data bank Improper or undefined Impact Mitigation Plan & Disaster Management plan Unnecessary confidentiality to avoid political &/or administrative conflicts Unchallenged/early implementation of inception of projects prior to EIA/EIS study