Environmental impact assessment is an instrument to evaluate the consequences of establishment of new project or expansion of project related to industries, mining, pipeline, highway etc.
The purpose of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is to identify and evaluate the potential impacts(beneficial and adverse)of development and projects on the environmental system.It is an useful aid for decision making based on understanding of the environment implications including social, cultural and aesthetic concerns which could be integrated with the analysis of the project costs and benifits.This exercise should be undertaken early enough in the planning stage of projects for selection of environmentally compatible sites,process technologies and such other environmental safeguards.
While all industrial projects may have some environmental impacts all of them may not be significant enough to warrant elaborate assessment procedures. The need for such exercises will have to be decided after initial evaluation of the possible implications of a particular project and its location.The projects which could be the candidates for detailed Environment Impact Assessment include the following:-
Those which can significantly alter the landscape,land use pattern and lead to concentration of working and service population;
Those which need upstream development activity like assured mineral and forest products suuply or downstream industrial process development;
Those involving manufacture,handling and use of hazardous materials;
Those which are sited near ecologically sensitive areas,urban centers, hill resorts,places of scientific and religious importance.
Industrial Estates with constituent units of various types which could cumulatively cause significant environmental damage.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be prepared on the basis of the existing background pollution levels vis-a-vis contributions of pollutants from the proposed plant.The EIA should address some of the basic factors listed below:
Meteorology and air quality
Ambient levels of pollutants such as Sulphur Dioxide,oxides of nitrogen, carbonmonoxide,suspended particulate matters,should be determined at the center and at 3 other locations on a radius of 10 km with 120 degrees angle between stations.Additional contribution of pollutants at the locations are required to be predicted after taking into account the emission rates of the pollutants from the stacks of the proposed plant,under different meteorological conditions prevailing in the area.
Hydrology and water quality
Site and its surroundings
Occupational safety and health
Details of the treatment and disposal of effluents(liquid,air and solid) and the methods of alternative uses
Transportation of raw material and details of material handling
Control equipment and measures proposed to be adopted
Preparation of Environmental Management Plan is required for formulation, implementation and monitoring of environmental protection measures during and after commissioning of projects.
Environmental Management Plan (EMP)
Preparation of environmental management plan is required for formulation, implementation and monitoring of environmental protection measures during and after commissioning of projects.The plans should indicate the details as to how various measures have been or are proposed to be taken including cost components as may be required.Cost of measures for environmental safeguards should be treated as an integral component of the project cost and environmental aspects should be taken into account at various stages of the projects:
Conceptualization:preliminary environmental assessment
Planning:detailed studies of environmental impacts and design of safeguards
Execution:implementation of environmental safety measures
Operation:monitoring of effectiveness of built-in safeguards
The management plans should be necessarily based on considerations of resource conservation and pollution abatement,some of which are:
Noise and Vibration
Occupational Safety and Health
Prevention,maintenance and operation of Environment Control Systems
Recovery - reuse of waste products
Environment Management Cell
Effluents from the industrial plants should be treated well to the standards as prescribed by the Central/State Water Pollution Control Boards.
Soil permeability studies should be made prior to effluents being discharged into holding tanks or impoundments and steps taken to prevent percolation and ground water contamination.
Special precautions should be taken regarding flight patterns of birds in the area.Effluents containing toxic comppounds,oil and grease have been known to cause extensive death of migratory birds.Location of plants should be prohibited in such type of sensitive areas.
Deep well burial of toxic effluents should not be resorted to as it can result in re-surfacing and ground water contamination.Re-surfacing has been known to cause extensive damage to crop and livestocks.
In all cases,efforts should be made for re-use of water and its conservation.
The emission levels of pollutants from the different stacks,should conform to the pollutin control standards prescribed by Central or State Boards.
Adequate control equipment should be installed for minimising the emission of pollutants from the various stacks.
In-plant control measures should be taken to contain the fugitive emissions.
Infrastructural facilities should be provided for monitoring the stack emissions and measuring the ambient air quality including micro-meteorological data(wherever required) in the area.
Proper stack height as prescribed by the Central/State Pollution Control Boards should be provided for better dispersion of pollutants over a wider area to minimise the effect of pollution.
Community buildings and townships should be built up-wind of plant with one-half to one kilometer greenbelt in adition to physiographical barrier.
The site for waste disposal should be checked to verify permeability so that no contamimants percolate into the ground water or river/lake.
Waste disposal areas should be planned down-wind of villages and townships.
Reactive materials should be disposed of by immobilising the reactive materials with suitable additives.
The pattern of filling disposal site should be planned to create better landscape and be approved by appropriate agency and the appropriately pretreated solid wastes should be disposed according to the approved plan.
Intensive programs of tree plantation on disposal areas should be undertaken.
Adequate measures should be taken for control of noise and vibrations in the industry.
Proper precautionary measures for adopting occupational safety and health standards should be taken.
Adequate safety precautions should be taken during preventive maintenance and shut down of the control systems.
A system of inter-locking with the production equipment should be implemented where highly toxic compounds are involved.
Proper house-keeping and cleanliness should be maintained both inside and outside of the industry.
Residential colonies should be located away from the solid and liquid waste dumping areas.Meteorological and environmental conditions should be studied properly before selecting the site for residential areas in order to avoid air pollution problems.
Persons who are displaced or have lost agricultural lands as a result of locating the industries in the area,should be properly rehabilitated.
Proper parking places should be provided for the trucks and other vehicles by the industries to avoid any congestion or blocking of roads.
Siting of industries on the highways should be avoided as it may add to more road accidents because of substantial increase in the movements of heavy vehicles and unauthorised shops and settlements coming up around the industrial complex.
Spillage of chemicals/substances on roads inside the plant may lead to accidents.Proper road safety signs both inside and outside the plant should be displayed for avoiding road accidents.
Efforts should be made to recycle or recover the waste materials to the extent possible.The treated liquid effluents can be conveniently and safely used for irrigation of lands,plants and fields for growing non-edible crops.
Industries should plant trees and ensure vegetal cover in their premises.This is particularly advisable for those industries having more than 10 acres of land.
Proper disaster planning should be done to meet any emergency situation arising due to fire,explosion,sudden leakage of gas etc.Fire fighting equipment and other safety appliances should be kept ready for use during disaster/emergency situation including natural calamities like earthquake/flood.
Each industry should identify within its setup a Department/Section/Cell with trained personnel to take up the model responsibility of environmental management as required for planning and implementation of the projects.
Any person willing to undertake any new project in any part of India or the expansion or modernization of any existing industry or project listed in the Schedule-I shall submit an application to the Project authority.
The application shall be made in the specified Performa and shall be accompanied by a project report which shall, inter alia, include an Environmental Impact Assessment Report, Environment Management Plan and details of public hearing.
Small scale industrial undertaking located in notified area by central Government.
Widening and strengthening of highways
Mining projects (major minerals) with lease area up to twenty five hectares
Units located in Export Processing Zones, Special Economic Zones
Modernization of existing irrigation new project.
Environmental Impact Assessment report will not be required for pipeline project.
In the case of pipeline and highway projects, public hearing shall be conducted in each district through which the pipeline or highway passes through.
The project authorities will intimate the location of the project site to the central government in the Ministry of Environment and forests while initiating any investigation and surveys in the case of following site specific Projects:-
Pit-head thermal power station
Hydro –power , major irrigation projects and/or their combination including flood control
Ports and harbors (excluding minor ports)
Prospecting and exploration of major minerals in areas above 500 hectares.
Impact Assessment agency investigates the reports submitted with the application by applicant and if deemed necessary it may consult a committee of Experts.
The Committee of experts shall have the exclusive right of entry and inspection of site or as the case may be, factory premises at any time prior to, during or after the commencement of the operations relating to project.
The Impact Assessment Agency on the recommendation of committee of Expert prepare a detailed report, the assessment shall be completed within a period of ninety days from receipt of the requisite documents and data from the project authorities and completion of public hearing and decision conveyed within thirty days thereafter.
The Environment Impact Assessment permission shall be valid for a period of five years for commencement of the construction or operation of the project.
1. Details of Applicant
2. Details of project Proposed
3. Details of Alternative Site
4. Details of nature of land
5. Details of objectives of project
6. Details of climate and air quality
7. Details of water balance at site
8. Details of solid Waste
9. Details of noise and vibration
10.Details of power requirements
11.Details of Manpower
12.Risk Assessment report
13.Disaster Management Plan
14.Environmental Impact Assessment repot
15.Environment management plan report
16.Detailed Feasibility report
17.NOC from State pollution control Board
18.Details of environment management cell
Once the permission is granted, it is valid for five years from the commencement of project but project authorities are required to report every six months on the progress of implementation of conditions stipulated, while according clearance to the project.
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