A Critical Evaluation of Impact Prediction Practices

The research paper should critically evaluate impact prediction practices in a number of published environmental impact statements (EISs).  You should investigate impact prediction practices for one environmental component and examine how it is covered in three EISs. You will not receive extra credit for looking at more environmental components or more EISs.

In order to critically evaluate impact predictions practices you will need to collate some basic data on the key elements of impact prediction. This may include:

 Methods used to identify impacts; Methods used to assess impacts; Methods used to evaluate significance; and The types of mitigation measures proposed.

 The research paper should be no more than 3,600 words in length. It should be structured as follows: abstract (max 150 words), introduction, methodology, results, discussion, conclusions, and references.

Please note that you must make use of the literature (i.e. journal articles, books, etc) within this paper in order to develop a satisfactory leve lof critical evaluation. Based on the definition included in the EU EIA legislation, the term environmental component is taken to encompass: human beings; fauna and flora; soil; water; air; climate; landscape; and, material assets and cultural heritage.

CASE STUDIES. The following EISs have been placed in the dropbox

•Bedford Energy Recovery Facility 2009.

•Berkley Nuclear Power Station: Construction of radioactive waste storage facilities, 2007.

•Clach Liath wind farm 2012.

•Kirkcaldy Sea Wall Improvement works 2013.

•M5 Junction 29 2009

•Madgwick Land and Stane Street 2014.Remember, you need to select three EISs from those available to you and examine impact prediction practices in these three EISs only.

Introduction

Purpose of the Paper  

This research paper evaluates impact predictions practices by exploring three environmental impact statements (EIS). The impact prediction practices reviewed are of the air component of the environment in the three EISs. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate impact prediction practices by addressing underlying data available on key elements of impact prediction that include:

  • The methods applied to identify impact
  • The methods used to assess impacts
  • The methods used to evaluate significance
  • The types of mitigation measures proposed

The contextual analysis of EISs will be used to accomplish the purpose of this paper. The EISs include include:

1.    Bedford Energy Recovery Facility 2009

2.    Madgwick Land and Stane Street 2014

3.    M5 Junction 29, 2009

Literature review

Brief history of EIA

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) ideology was laid out and initiated in the USA in 1969. Many countries around the world have embraced the idea, and it has become a common practice (Mohamed 14). Rapid industrialization and urbanization that was occurring in the western countries caused a rapid depletion of natural resources resulted in the formulation of EIAs. After the Second World War major concerns about the effects of pollution on the quality of life and environmental stress were experienced. The realization by investors and the public that various development projects were affecting the environment, natural resources and raw materials lobbied groups to come up with a tool that would safeguard the environment (Ogola 2). The devised instrument for to enhance environmental safety was the EIA. The EIA is used by decision makers to determine the potential effects of proposed development programs. Environmental, social and economic effects are the main emphasis of the EIA. The EIA ensures that the projects have the current requirements necessary in environmental conservation measures and a drive based on rationality, objectivity and scientific based environmental decision making. Additionally, the analysis ensures that there is public involvement in matters concerning the environment (Mohamed 17).

The concept of EIA

According to Mohamed, the EIA is a process that involves identifying, evaluating, predicting and laying mitigation measures before making important decisions and commitments to projects. Therefore, EIA is an important measure for incorporating environmental distresses in a sound decision-making framework. As a result of the analysis, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is developed to provide information and recommendations in the decision-making process (Mohamed 24). The EIA is used as a planning and decision-making tool that can influence the future of human being by enhancing long-term sustainability. According to a research review by Looijen, EIA procedures are not meant to prevent actions with significant environmental impacts from being implemented, but rather they ensure that projects are authorized with full awareness of their consequences in the environment (Looijen 34). Therefore, the EIA aims to identify:

  • The impact of the proposed action on the environment
  • Serious, unavoidable consequences that might happen to the environment during and after undertaking a proposed project
  • The alternatives that are more environmentally friendly than the proposed project
  • The short-term and long-term environmental gains or losses that the project impact as well as future options that can be incorporated to handle the effects of the project.
  • Identity certain irreversible entities that could be lost in the proposed action including natural resources, culture, labor, and materials.

The EIA process            

EIA is a technical and systematic process that surveys the environmental concerns of development projects before initiation. The first stage is the project screening. The initial stage starts by identifying the specific items that require assessment due to the effects of the project and are likely to have noteworthy environmental impacts. The second stage is scooping. This involves identifying all conceivable environmental effects of the project. Scooping, also helps to identify possible alternatives perceivable with less environmental impact and analyze them to get the most suitable replacement. One of the important stages of scoping in the EIA process is the impact identification. It involves identification and establishment of the basis required to design significant EIA studies targeting specific areas (Andersson 1)….

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