As an officer with a consultant firm located in a developing country, you are in charge of preparing an Environmental Impact Assessment Report for a new airport project in the capital city. Provide a guideline for such a report, stating important requirements that are needed. Make appropriate assumptions when necessary.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a study to indentify, predict, evaluate, and communicate information on the environment of a proposed project and to detail out the mitigating measures prior to project approval and implementation. The EIA is essentially a planning mechanisme for preventing environmental problems due to an action. It ensures that the potential problems are foreseen and addressed at an early stage in the project planning and design. Thus this will avoid costly mistakes in project implementation, either because of the environmental damages that are likely to arise during project implementation, or because of modifications that may be required subsequently in order to make the action environmentally acceptable. The purpose of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report is to investigate and assess the principal environmental concerns associated with the proposed airport. The scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study covers both the construction phase and the operational stage of the airport, investigating and analyzing
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The effects of aircraft noise on institutional and residential areas, particularly at night
Increased traffic congestion in the airport approaches
Ambient air quality
Surface water quality
Impact on flora and fauna
Social perception, and
This environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been prepared as an evaluation and condensation of a full environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the proposed airport in the capital city, Kolkata situated in the developing country, India prepared for the government by the consulting group, following the developing country , India government's guidelines and the methodologies described in Environmental Assessment Requirements and Environmental Review Procedures and the Environmental Guidelines for Selected Infrastructure Projects. The guideline is based on (i) the EIA, (ii) the airport project feasibility study (iii) field visits to the airport project site and local government capital, and, (iv) discussions with local government and pertinent National Government officials with environmental responsibilities. The methods used to carry out the EIA include:
(i) review of available literature,
(ii) meetings with National and local government officials
(iii) site visits to the capital city of the proposed airport and surrounding areas,
(iv) discussions with inhabitants near the site,
(v) ambient noise and air quality and surface water quality sampling and testing in the field and in the laboratory, and
(vi) application of professional knowledge and experience.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT
The project consists of the design, financing, construction, and operation of a new airport. The proposed new airport will be located in the capital city of the developing country, which is in Kolkata in India.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT
A study is conducted to identify the ambient air quality in the selected area. The daytime noise in the vicinity of the site is also surveyed. Temperature range in the proposed area is also identified. It is good to have no forests near the project site as there will not be any endangered species of flora and fauna. The population at the site has to be relocated. Besides, the water supply has to be good and the sewerage system is better to be connected to the drainage system. Finally a good source of electric power is vital.
ANTICIPATED ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS AND MITIGATION MEASURES
Environmental impacts are anticipated during both the construction stage and the operational stage.
The daily water estimated requirement for the project should not affect the supply of water to the residents in the capital city. Earthwork, soil excavation, ground preparation, and concreting activities will further increase the TSP level. However, a comprehensive system of netting to be used as well as constant daily watering of the ground will mitigate the impact. Solid waste generated from the construction activities will be disposed of daily by garbage trucks. Employment opportunities and other sources of income for the residents of the capital city will be generated by the project.
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No significant increase in the level of TSP of the air quality within the vicinity will be generated during operation. Nevertheless, the terminal building will be fully air-conditioned and equipped with dust filtration system which that will be regularly checked and cleaned. The additional aircraft movements will increase the noise level. However, flights are normally scheduled during daytime to minimize noise disruption to settlements relatively near the airport. No breach of acceptable airport noise standards will take place. Further, the flight path of aircraft will not be over densely populated areas. The commercial operation of the airport may cause a mild migration of potential job seekers to the capital city, since jobs will be created by the project.
If the airport is not constructed there would be no effects, either positive or negative, on physical environmental factors. In addition, no adverse impact would be suffered by the adjoining city institutions. There would be, however, other significant sociological and economic losses to the city. The loss of this facility would inhibit terminal development and the economic and ensuing sociological gains, and would conflict directly with established, approved master plans and goals. The international passenger congestion would restrict the growth of terminal activities. Even without the proposed Project, air pollution and noise levels will increase due to vehicular emissions, heavy traffic flow, and increase in domestic air flights.
COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS
Project costs include (i) civil works, (ii) other construction, (iii) equipment and its installation, and (iv) consulting engineering design and supervision. These Project costs also include the cost of mitigating all negative environmental impacts during construction and into the operating phase, which amounts to $400,000, or about 0.6 percent of the total Project base cost.For the cost item, the estimated total Project cost of $504 million was used. The total Project cost includes the total cost of relocation of PAF facilities, the schools, church, and Community center, estimated at $7 million; the cost of the Fire Prevention Plan; the cost of sewerage and drainage systems, estimated at $2 million; and such other costs as provision of a carpark building ($21 million) and road access improvements. In terms of the benefit, the stream of cashflow after debt servicing but before tax payments (because tax payments are considered as one of the benefits) was used. The internal rate of return and net present value are calculated as 21 percent and $506.7 million, respectively. Facilities will also be temporarily subjected to nuisances associated with major construction, including increased noise levels, dust, heavier traffic on Andrew Avenue, and other similar effects. On a permanent basis, the traffic and noise from terminal activities will cause some disturbances. The disturbances will depend on the arrival and departure of various types of aircraft. There will be some direct costs related to the relocation of affected residences and facilities. However, the airport project will result in several beneficial impacts on both a temporary and a permanent basis.
INSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING PROGRAM
During the whole airport project cycle, monitoring of noise and of air and water quality parameters will be undertaken regularly and continuously. Regular monitoring will be undertaken to assess the effectiveness and integrity of the mitigating measures being implemented to minimize the adverse impacts of the airport project activities. Monitoring will also cover (i) performance of the facility after construction, (ii) verification of proper effluent disposal at the facility, (iii) yearly physical testing of the airport project area, (iv) proper solid waste disposal, and (v) traffic management.
A social perception survey will be conducted for the airport project by a group of social scientists. The survey will be undertaken among the residents of the developing country's capital city, site of the proposed airport project. The social perception survey will be carried out by taking a random sample of the residents of the capital city with the primary objectives of ascertaining awareness of the proposed airport project, eliciting from the interviewees their acceptance or non-acceptance of the airport constuction, and identifying what in their own judgment are its positive and negative effects. It is planned that, during the airport project implementation, the airport project administration, in coordination with the local government, will keep related agencies and the local population near the airport informed about the airport project, and will request their views as the project progresses. Based on consultations with the local government and local residents, the airport construction will begin.
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The proposed airport project will definitely be to public advantage. The major benefit will be socioeconomic. The primary long-range effects on the physical
environment include the relocation of several houses due to road widening, and several institutions. Finally, the residents of the capital city will be subjected to both temporary and permanent increases in noise level, which, however, in terms of level,
time of occurrence, and distribution will not cause a major impact. The construction of the proposed airport will assure optimum use of a section of unused land.
Although it will result in a few limited temporary environmental adverse effects, the life expectancy of the terminal's productivity will prove profitable to society on both a regional and local basis.
The proposed airport development will have no significantly adverse impacts on the surrounding environment. The construction, while involving soil improvement and considerable earthwork will, use proven construction techniques and conventional earthwork methods. Potentially minor adverse impacts can readily be avoided by good site management and construction practices, particularly related to drainage system design. A simple monitoring program is needed to cover the construction phase and the first three years of operation. This will be prepared during the design phase of the project by the engineering consultants. It will then be implemented during the airport project construction by the administration assisted by the engineering consultants, and by the staff operating the airport during airport operation. The monitoring program will also be supervised.
This report has been produced to inform and facilitate the request for a Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations. In accordance with the EIA regulations, only those issues which give rise to potential significant environmental effects need to be assessed in detail within the airport project. Those matters which have been identified as potentially giving rise to significant environmental effects include:
• Surface transport and access.
• Air and ground noise.
• Air quality.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) when integrated into the existing planning and decision making structure, provides additional information towards a better decision making. Project proponent must make sure that the concept of the proposed project does not contradict any development plans, policies or any decisions of the government prior to the EIA study.