Environmental Clearance

Why is Environmental Impact Identification (ENVID) needed before Environment Clearance?

calendar11 Apr, 2023
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Why is Environmental Impact Identification (ENVID) needed before Environment Clearance?

The Environmental Impact Identification (ENVID) process focuses explicitly on assessing the anticipated environmental impacts of a project. During this procedure, specific activities are thoroughly evaluated to determine which environmental aspects may be affected. The primary objective of ENVID is to detect potential environmental impacts at an early stage. The process involves identifying measures to prevent, manage, or reduce any potential environmental hazards, and alternate measures and monitoring plans are developed prior to the environment clearance process. The main advantage of this procedure is that it offers crucial input that can influence the subsequent phases of project design. The outcomes of the ENVID process are also used to guide the development decision process, which aims to achieve a safer and more cost-effective design and implementation of the operation.

Objective of Environment Impact Identification (ENVID)

The purpose of Environmental Impact Identification during the EIA process is as follows:

  • To methodically recognise activities and scrutinise the intended and unintended environmental factors of the establishment;
  • To determine all environmental aspects and appraise the impacts connected to all activities;
  • To identify the control and monitoring measures currently implemented;
  • To recognise any additional measures needed to prevent or alleviate the effects that surpass acceptable environmental standards;
  • To supply guidance to management in their endeavours to manage the risks associated with environmental concerns.

Environmental Impact Identification Process

ENVID aims to recognise and explain potential environmental dangers and risks as soon as possible during the development process.

  • A workshop is organised with a highly experienced team composed of individuals from various disciplines. The team uses a structured brainstorming[1] technique that follows a checklist of potential environmental problems to determine the applicability of possible hazards.
  • The process is limited to identifying and describing potential risks; it is not intended to solve any potential problems.
Step Description
Define scope and objectives Determine the purpose and goals of the assessment, identify the environmental issues and specify the area or project being assessed.
Identify hazards Identify potential environmental hazards, including physical, chemical and biological hazards that may impact the environment or human health.
Assess exposure Evaluate the pathways and extent of exposure to the identified hazards, including the likelihood and frequency of exposure.
Determine risks Determine the risks associated with the identified hazards by considering the potential harm to the environment or human health, the likelihood of the harm occurring, and the consequences of the harm.
Develop risk management strategies. Develop strategies to manage the identified risks, including measures to prevent or mitigate harm to the environment or human health.
Implement risk management strategies. Implement the identified risk management strategies and monitor their effectiveness.
Review and update Regularly review and update the risk assessment to ensure it remains accurate and up-to-date and to identify any new hazards or risks that may arise.

Environmental Impact Identification Study Approach

The ENVID process necessitates a structured approach at the time of environmental clearance and pre-feasibility studies by including the following:

  • Identifying the tasks or jobs that will be performed.
  • Determining the activities that will be conducted during each task or job.
  • Choosing an activity (or providing guidelines) to identify the potential source and the risks that could lead to an environmental hazard.
  • Describing the potential environmental hazard.
  • Identifying any existing controls, mitigation measures, and monitoring plans.
  • Ranking the dangers based on their potential impact on the environment using an impact significance matrix.
  • Designating the person responsible for implementing the actions identified during the workshop.
  • Documenting all information on worksheets.
  • Reporting the outcomes of the ENVID process.

Pre-Feasibility and Risk Identification in Environmental Impact Identification

The purpose of the pre-feasibility stage is to identify potential environmental risks and impacts at an early stage before significant investments are made. This allows for considering alternative options and incorporating risk management measures into the project design. By identifying potential risks early on, the pre-feasibility stage can prevent costly and time-consuming project modifications at a later stage.

Severity Level Environmental Risk
Very High A risk considered Very High (intolerable risk) requires control measures to be implemented to move the risk to the lower risk categories.
High A risk considered High (intolerable risk) requires control measures to be implemented to move the risk to the lower risk categories.
Medium A risky medium requires additional control measures where possible or management and communication to maintain risk at less than significant levels. If the risk cannot be reduced to low, control measures must be applied to minimise the risk as much as possible.
Low A risk that is considered Low has a level of risk that is generally acceptable. Generic control measures are already assumed in the design process but require ongoing improvement.

Documents Necessary for Pre-Feasibility and Risk Identification Study

  • A comprehensive project description
  • Water requirements, waste generation
  • A site/layout plan
  • Evidence of the machinery installed
  • Proof of land ownership
  • Identification proof of the signatory
  • Quality test report (if relevant)
  • Evidence of the adopted mitigation options
  • Evidence of electricity and water connections

Conclusion

Environmental Impact Identification is important for the early identification of potential environmental impacts associated with industrial activities. It involves a structured approach that systematically identifies activities and analyses a facility’s planned and unplanned environmental aspects. The purpose is to identify all aspects of the environment and evaluate the impacts associated with all activities. The process also involves identifying control and monitoring measures that are in place and additional measures required, if any, to prevent or mitigate the impact on allowable environmental standards. The results are used to inform the development decision process that is intended to lead to safer and more cost-effective design and execution of the operation. The severity of environmental risks is classified based on the potential impact, and control measures are put in place to move threats to lower categories. It is highly recommended to take expert advice while managing environmental risks associated with industrial activities to get full support in the Environmental Impact identification.

Also Read:
Why Is Environmental Clearance Needed?

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