Understanding which segments of the environment are vulnerable is a prereguisite to identifying and managing environmental risks.
The assessment should not only consider the environmental impacts on a site, but whether or not off-site effects are possible.
An initial assessment of the site should be conducted to identify sensitive environmental areas or uses that require protection. These may include:
- sensitive or endangered flora and fauna;
- aquatic plants and animals, if a natural waterway is affected;
- groundwater recharge areas.
Depending on whether or not the construction site is near houses, schools or hospitals, the impact of air discharges, noise and vibration on the health and amenity of adjacent residents will need to be included in the assessment.
Once a particular project has been approved, but before construction commences, it is important to initiate an environmental monitoring program to collect baseline data on all sectors of the environment.
Environmental Assessment Objective.
To identify or obtain information on any relevant environmental impact that the construction project may cause.
Environmental Assessment Suggested measures
- Identify sensitive environmental areas or uses that may be affected by construction activities.
- Identify whether residents adjacent to the site could be affected by pollution from construction activities or suffer reduced amenity.
- Monitor baseline air and water quality and ambient noise levels adjacent to the construction site.
- Conduct an assessment of expected noise levels from construction activities which may affect the surrounding community.
- Conduct a desk study to identify potentially contaminated sites in the construction area, and sample and analyse soils that are suspected of being contaminated before construction commences.