EIA

How to Obtain EIA for Townships and Area Development Projects

calendar03 Mar, 2023
timeReading Time: 8 Minutes
How to Obtain EIA for Townships and Area Development Projects

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a township or area development project is a study that evaluates the potential environmental impacts of a proposed development in a particular area or region. The EIA process typically involves a detailed review of the proposed development site, including assessing the project’s potential impacts on the surrounding environment, such as air and water quality, soil quality, biodiversity, and natural resources. The study may also evaluate the project’s potential impacts on local communities, including social and economic impacts. Based on the findings of the EIA, the project developer and regulatory authorities can work together to identify measures to mitigate any negative impacts. This may include modifications to the project design, changes to the construction methods, or implementing of environmental management plans.

The goal of an EIA for townships or area development projects is to ensure that the proposed development is designed and implemented to minimise its environmental impact and protect the local community and surrounding ecosystems. The process helps to balance the economic benefits of the development with the need to protect the environment and the welfare of the local community.

What Constitutes a Township and Area Development Project

In general, Townships and Area development projects are self-contained and integrated in terms of social infrastructure, services, retail, entertainment, and waste management. Infrastructure and services include road network, water supply and management, energy supply and management and adequate communication services.

  • The social infrastructure includes schools, healthcare, recreation, and community centres.
  • A shopping centre with suitable facilities should be located inside the township.
  • Adequate waste management, including garbage collection, separation, and disposal.
  • The township should provide treatment and disposal.
  • The infrastructure and the residents’ security and safety must be maintained.

Impact of Township and Area Development Projects

The following are the environmental effects of Township and Area Development Projects:

Effects on Land

  • Compaction of soils by earth-moving equipment
  • Surface erosion and alteration
  • Excessive agricultural soil exploitation as a result of future growth in a prone-to-erosion zone
  • Mangrove swamp soils are irreversibly salinised and acidified.

Effects on Water

  • Use of a considerable amount of water in curing
  • Usage by dwelling for routine tasks throughout the operational period

Effects on the Air

  • During the Construction Stage
  • More vehicular movement
  • Waste-related emissions

Effects Due To Noise

  • Noise from construction equipment
  • Diesel generator operating noise
  • An increase in transit noise from nearby roads within site.

Effects on Environmental Biology

  • Biological loss as a result of site removal

Effects on Socioeconomic Implications

  • Has both beneficial and harmful consequences
  • Cultural Influences and Well-Being
  • Demographic shifts

Effects Due To Waste Produced

  • Debris from construction or demolition
  • Municipal garbage
  • Hazardous waste and electronic waste

Compliances for Expansion of Project

In the event of project expansion/modernisation, the environmental compliance status for the current project should be provided for the following:

The current project’s environmental clearance status and compliance with the terms and conditions.

The validity of the SPCB/PCC Air & Water Consent Orders and Hazardous Waste Authorization (HWA) for the current project.

Notices/directions issued by the regulatory agencies under:

  • Section 33 (A) of the Water Act of 1974;
  • Section 31(A) of the Air Act of 1981; and
  • Any orders made under the terms of the E (P) Act of 1986.

Screening of Projects in Township and Area Development projects

  1. Category A (EIA Required) –
    • Notified protected sites under the Wildlife Act
    • Critically polluted areas, as defined by the central pollution Board from time to time
    • Eco-sensitive areas as notified under sec 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986[1] – Inter-state boundaries and international boundaries.
  • Category B
    • Category B1 (EIA required) – Projects covering an area or having a built-up area greater than 1,50,000 square metres.
    • B2 category (EIA not required) – Projects having a built-up area of less than 1,50,000 square metres.

Other Clearances Required For Townships and Area Development Projects

The projects involving permission under the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 1991

  • Provide with the application a CRZ map duly delimited by one of the authorised bodies, demonstrating the project activities in relation to the CRZ (at the TOR stage) and the recommendations of the State Coastal Zone Management Authority (at the stage of EC).
  • Measures shall also be taken to acquire the necessary permission under the terms of the CRZ notice, 1991, for the operations to be situated in the CRZ.
    Scoping is the interaction between government agencies and project proponents.
    Scoping reveals the following:
    • EIA spatial and temporal limits
    • Significant challenges and concerns
    • Information required for decision-making

Important consequences and elements to consider

  • Sets the TOR for EIA meant For:
    • Category A
    • Category B1 projects

Importance of Scoping in Townships and Area development projects

  • Helps Promote efficient EIA by identifying acceptable areas for consideration.
  • Prevents wasteful costs and time delays caused by oversights or unneeded research areas.
  • Ensures that vital issues are not overlooked

Project Description in Townships and Area Development Projects

The project description must be supplied to comprehend the expected overall impact of the project construction and operating phases on several aspects of the environment:

  • Location
    • General location
    • Specific location
    • Project boundary and project site layout
  • Site Selection
    • Conformity of proposed development to the region’s Master Plan/Development Plan;
    • If the location is beyond municipal borders, justification of proposed development should be presented.
    • Identifying Natural Hazard Prone Areas and zoning restrictions based on them.
  • Personnel requirements for various kinds of skilled, unskilled, and technical workers throughout the building phase and specifics of compliance with Acts relating to employee service and welfare.
  • Project implementation timetable.

Environment Description in Townships and Area Development Projects

As previously noted, the project’s implications require baseline data for the many environmental components. Therefore baseline data has to be acquired for the following Area:

  • Site development area
  • Area with an angular distance of 2kms surrounding the site

For the following environmental facets:

  • Land Environment
  • Water Environment
  • Air Environment
  • Noise Environment
  • Biological Environment
  • Socioeconomic Environment
  • Solid Waste

Process of Obtaining EIA from Township and Area Development Projects:

Obtaining an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a township or area development project typically involves the following steps:

  1. Identify The Regulatory Requirements: Check the local and national regulations and guidelines to determine if an EIA is required for the proposed project. This may depend on the project’s size, location, and nature.
  2. Hire An Environmental Consultant: Engage an environmental consultant with expertise in conducting EIAs. The consultant will typically conduct a baseline study of the project site to identify the potential environmental impacts of the proposed development.
  3. Conduct Public Consultations: Conduct public consultations with the local community, stakeholders, and other interested parties to obtain their input on the proposed project and its potential impacts. This is typically a requirement of the EIA process.
  4. Prepare An EIA Report: The environmental consultant will prepare an EIA report based on the baseline study findings and public consultations. The report will include a description of the proposed project, an assessment of its potential environmental impacts, and a plan for mitigating any adverse impacts.
  5. Submit The EIA Report: Submit the EIA report to the regulatory authority for review and approval. The regulatory authority will review the report and may require additional information or modifications to the proposed project to address environmental concerns.
  6. Obtain Approval: Once the EIA report has been approved, the project developer can obtain the necessary permits and approvals to start construction.

It is important to note that the EIA process can be time-consuming and costly. However, it is a critical step in ensuring that the proposed project is designed and implemented to minimise its environmental impact and protect the local community and surrounding ecosystems.

Anticipated Impact and Mitigation Measures for Townships and Area Development Projects

As discussed earlier, the impacts of the project, baseline data for environmental facets should be used to:

  • Classy Impacts in the presentation as:
    • Direct
    • Indirect
    • Cumulative Impacts
  • Prediction of Impact during:
    • Construction Phases
    • Operational Phases
  • Anticipate the impact (which has already been described in previous slides) during the building and operation phases of the project, as well as mitigation methods for the following environmental considerations:
    • Land Environment
    • Water Environment
    • Air Environment
    • Noise Environment
    • Biological Environment
    • Socioeconomic Environment
    • Solid Waste

Analysis of Alternatives for Townships and Area Development Projects

Alternative Evaluation

  • Site
  • Technology

If the scoping exercise reveals the need for alternatives, this chapter must include the following:

  • A description of other possibilities, such as the site or technology investigated.
  • Each alternative’s positive and negative effects will be mentioned for comparison.
  • Appropriate avoidance/mitigation strategies can be offered for each alternative mentioned.
  • A summary of each alternative’s negative impact.
  • Alternative selection

Alternative Technologies in Townships and Area Development Projects

The use of alternative technologies to preserve energy and promote societal well-being should emphasise the following:

  • Construction Supplies
    • Wall
    • Roof
    • The structure
    • Highways and open places
    • Green Structures
    • Environmental Quality Indoors
    • Community concerns
  • Energy Conservation

Employ energy-saving devices to conserve energy. Should go through several key suggestions from the energy conservation construction code and the 2005 National Building Code for energy conservation.

  • Transportation

A well-planned road network inside the township linking to the nearest highway or main road must provide appropriate communication ties.

Environmental Monitoring Program in Townships and Area Development Projects

This involves measuring the effectiveness of mitigating measures on a technological level.

The following elements should be included in the monitoring program’s description:

  • A technical plan that details the measuring methodology needed, measurement frequencies, intended measurement site, data storage and processing, reporting schedules, and emergency procedures.
  • Total budgets, procurement plan for required equipment and supplies, and technical and administrative personnel.

The Environmental Monitoring Includes

  • Air pollution
  • Noise level monitoring
  • Water quality monitoring and groundwater level monitoring
  • Maintenance of rainwater harvesting pits and other water conservation methods used are to be done regularly.

The accurate data is to be furnished to the regulatory agencies.

Additional studies

  • Natural Resource Conservation
  • Detailed R&R Plan with data on the current socioeconomic status of the population in the study area and broad plan for resettlement of the displaced population, site for the resettlement colony, alternative livelihood concerns/employment for the displaced people, civil and housing amenities offered, etc.
  • Plan for Risk Assessment and Disaster Management (DMP) The overarching purpose of the Emergency Response Plan ERP is to make use of the pooled resources at the site and outside services to achieve the following: –
    • Localise the emergency
    • Minimise effects on property and people
    • Effective rescue and medical treatment
    • Evacuation

Major hazards identified include: –

  • Hazards pertaining to fires in buildings
  • Fire in diesel storage areas, garbage storage and disposal area
  • Earthquakes
  • LPG gas leak
  • Flooding from natural and man-made causes
  • Electrical accidents

Project Benefit

An explanation of the project’s advantages Benefits to the Area, neighbourhood, region, and nation should be included.

Upgrades to the project’s physical infrastructure and any auxiliary businesses that may emerge due to the project.

Social infrastructure improvements include roads, trains, townships, housing, water supply, electricity, drainage, educational institutions, and hospitals, among other things.

Possibility of employment of skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled labour both during the construction and operational phases of the project, with a particular focus on the employment potential of the local population as well as the need to impart any specialised skills to them in order for them to be eligible for such employment in the project on a long-term basis, i.e. during the operational and maintenance stages of the project.

Environmental Management Plan

After the project is cleared for execution, the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) is required to guarantee that the mitigation measures listed in the EIA are implemented.

After EIA approval,

The EIA report should describe the administrative components of ensuring that mitigation measures are implemented, and their efficacy is monitored. The following amenities will be included:

  • Water supply and management
  • Electricity supply and management
  • Infrastructure maintenance
  • Adequate Controls and Building Management Systems, solar water heating systems and other energy conservation methods.
  • Green belt to mitigate dust, noise and odour near sources of air pollution
  • Maintenance of rainwater harvesting structures
  • Sewage treatment plant
  • Grey water treatment
  • Treated wastewater reused for landscaping, car washing etc
  • Spent oil from DG Sets

Structure of Environmental Impact Assessment Document

In terms of the EIA notification of the MOEF dated 14th September 2006, the generic structure of the EIA document should be as under:

  • Introduction
  • Project Description
  • Description of the Environment
  • Anticipated Environmental Impacts & Mitigation Measures
  • Analysis of Alternatives (Technology and site) Environmental Monitoring Programme
  • Additional Studies
  • Project Benefits
  • Environmental Management Plan
  • Summary & Conclusion
  • Disclosure of Consultants engaged

Essential Toposheets / Maps to be Provided with TOR application

  • A map of the study area 2 km from the project border, highlighting significant topographical elements such as land use, drainage, habitat sites, and major constructions such as roads, trains, pipelines, and factories, if any exist in the Area.
  • A map covering an aerial distance of 15 kilometres from the proposed project area’s perimeter identifying environmentally sensitive regions as indicated in Form I of the EIA notice dated 14th September, 2006. The specifics of environmentally sensitive regions situated within a radial radius of 1 km from the project boundary should be clearly displayed on the same map.
  • Remote Sensing Satellite Imagery
  • 1:10,000 scale land use map of the research region defining forest, agricultural land, water bodies, communities, and other cultural elements based on high-quality satellite images.
  • To be provided is a detailed layout design of the proposed project development, including communication facilities, access/approach roads, landscaping, sewage disposal facilities, and trash disposal, among other things.
  • The intended development of built-up areas with covered construction, such as buildings, recreational facilities, DG set rooms, water supply infrastructure, and so on, must be laid out in detail.
  • Natural resource requirements and sources must be specified.
  • A summary report should be included.

It should necessarily cover and brief the following chapters of the full EIA report and address the following: –

  • Introduction
  • Project Description & Project benefits
  • Environmental Examination
  • Additional Studies
  • Environmental Management Plan and Post-Project Monitoring Program
  • Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) and Disaster Management Plan (DMP)

The following should be highlighted in the EIA report.

  • Public health and safety issues related to the project
  • The socioeconomic impacts of the project
  • New building technologies to be implemented
  • Energy conservation measures to be implemented
  • Statement of the overall impact of the construction activity on the environment.

Conclusion

EIA for a township or area development project is conducted to ensure that the proposed development is designed and implemented to minimise its environmental impact and protect the local community and surrounding ecosystems. The process helps to balance the economic benefits of the development with the need to protect the environment and the welfare of the local community. Therefore, it is generally recommended to hire an expert in this field to obtain EIA for a Township or Area Development Project and to have a hassle-free experience.

Also Read:
Environmental Audit Checklist
A Complete Guide For Environmental Audit
How To Obtain EIA For The Soda Ash Industry

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