Greece's reformed EIA system: Evaluating its implementation and potential Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-08-11 Kalliope Pediaditi, Georgios Banias, Eftychios Sartzetakis, Maria Lampridi
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Greek government and the troika in 2010 contained numerous austerity policies and requirements for administrative reforms, among which is that of the national Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) system. Complying with this requirement, Law4014/2011 was passed, aiming at reducing bureaucracy and increasing the country's appeal to investors whilst ensuring environmental protection. The present paper provides the first systematic, multi-scale and multidimensional evaluation of the effectiveness of the new EIA system. The evaluation is based firstly on the results of a Pan-Hellenic survey, involving key EIA consultants and authorities; secondly, on additional, in-depth interviews with EIA specialists, National- Ministry and Regional EIA Authorities; and thirdly, on the content review of 105 Environmental Impact statements. The results highlight the persistence of serious problems despite the reform of the Hellenic EIA System. The data reveal a significant discrepancy between what is set out in law and the actual practice. Although Law 4014/2011 contains progressive and innovative elements (such as adopting a life cycle approach to the EIA process, and mandating the development and use of a central Electronic Environmental Registry (e-ER) to manage and publish results of the EIA process), the recorded failure to implement them in practice results in a non-transparent and ineffective EIA system. Recommendations for improvement are proposed as well as areas for further research.
Understanding perceptions of the social impacts of protected areas: Evidence from three NATURA 2000 sites in Greece Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-08-02 Nikoleta Jones, Chrisovalantis Malesios, Evdoxia Ioannidou, Rodanthi Kanakaraki, Fani Kazoli, Panayiotis G. Dimitrakopoulos
The social impacts of Protected Areas (PAs) are increasingly recognized as a key issue that needs to be explored and combined with existing evaluation frameworks assessing the economic and environmental impacts of PAs. The present paper focuses on the subjective assessment of social impacts of PAs and how these perceptions are formulated. Results of an empirical study, implemented in three PAs in Greece, are presented. According to the study, individuals' perceived quality of life, trust in institutions, social trust and place attachment are the most important indicators influencing perceptions of social impacts. A main conclusion of the paper is that measuring social impacts is not sufficient for the planning and designation of a PA. Additional research is needed exploring the reasons behind these perceptions in order to plan actions minimizing negative impacts for local communities.
The social vulnerability approach for social impact assessment Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-07-26 Emilio Climent-Gil, Antonio Aledo, Arturo Vallejos-Romero
The Social Impact Assessment (SIA) literature has highlighted the need to focus attention on the most vulnerable groups to improve the management of socio-environmental risk. However, methodological proposals to introduce vulnerability in SIAs are still incipient. The aim of this article is to present a proposal to analyze the role of social vulnerability in the production of risks generated by large infrastructure projects. Taking the theoretical-methodological advances made from the social vulnerability and natural disasters approach, and from the social vulnerability, development and poverty approaches, we have designed a Social Vulnerability Approach (SVA) which we aim at incorporating into the SIA of large infrastructure projects. To illustrate our methodological proposal, the case of the socio-environmental conflict generated by the HydroAysen Project (which entailed the construction of a set of hydroelectric dams on the Baker and Pascua rivers in the Chilean Patagonia region) has been selected. Our proposal allows us to identify elements of vulnerability throughout the whole project cycle and, therefore, windows for intervention in order to reduce social vulnerability as well as other kind of hazards that large infrastructure projects may generate on affected populations.
Investigating the substantive effectiveness of Strategic Environmental Assessment of urban planning: Evidence from Italy and Spain Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-07-21 Carlo Rega, Juan P. Singer, Davide Geneletti
We investigated the substantive effectiveness of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of urban planning in Italy and Spain, by looking at the changes made to the original plan as a result of the SEA process. The Italian and Spanish SEA legislations establish an SEA Authority, different from the one that elaborates the plan and the Environmental Report. This authority is in charge of supervising the SEA process and issuing a final statement containing directions and prescriptions on environmental issues to be implemented in the plan as a prerequisite for its approval. After having reviewed a sample of SEA in these two countries, we found that in the great majority of cases the SEA authority required some changes, despite the fact that the plans had undergone an environmental assessment. Results also indicate that the legal arrangements, and in particular the level of independence of the SEA authority (which in Italy and Spain is determined at the regional level), affect the quality and quantity of requested changes. In regions where the SEA Authority is established at a higher level in the planning hierarchy, more substantial changes tended to be required, including more mitigation and compensation measures. On the contrary, in regions where a subsidiary approach is in place, i.e. the SEA authority is established within the same municipality that elaborates the plan, less substantial modifications are more often required. We conclude that in the Spanish and Italian contexts a more effective SEA, in terms of environmental performance of urban plans, is supported by institutional arrangements that provide for an SEA Authority clearly separated and fully independent from the planning Authority.
Quality of federal level strategic environmental assessment – A case study analysis for transport, transmission grid and maritime spatial planning in Germany Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-08-02 Anke Rehhausen, Johann Köppel, Frank Scholles, Boris Stemmer, Ralf-Uwe Syrbe, Ina Magel, Gesa Geißler, Wolfgang Wende
Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) emerged from Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and was developed based on the procedural steps and understanding thereof, but with the goal to fulfil a more ‘strategic’ function. Federal level plans and programmes constitute the highest planning levels in Germany subject to SEA, as SEA for policies is not compulsory.In this article, we analyse the quality and procedural effectiveness of federal level SEA in Germany with the underlying hypothesis that federal level SEA might be more strategic than SEA at other planning levels, as it represents the highest tier. Therefore, we analysed three federal level SEA case studies in Germany according to a set of criteria and indicators based on international research outcomes, including SEA integration into decision-making, tiering, scoping, selection and assessment of alternatives, cumulative effects assessment, public participation, and monitoring.Results demonstrate that the procedural effectiveness of SEA practice at the federal level is limited in Germany, and the making of SEAs proved not to be as ‘strategic’ as its important role prior to subsequent planning processes and outcomes would suggest. Reasons include an alternatives assessment restricted to macro-siting instead of assessing scenarios of demand or system alternatives, tiering limited to general advice without specific guidance for subsequent planning levels, cumulative effects assessment limited to intra-plan effects, a lack of monitoring, and public participation limited to consultation on the environmental report. These findings support results from a variety of international studies. Reasons for limitations have been identified in current SEA regulations, prior policy-making, institutional settings, the institutions' willingness to learn and limited quality management by the German Federal Environmental Agency. Thus, our recommendations aim to improve quality management and learning by initiating a federal level SEA forum to discuss federal level planning and SEA practice and related issues, expanding the federal EIA portal to SEAs, quality management by the German Federal Environmental Agency in every federal level SEA scoping process and for every federal level environmental report, and further research and development to improve SEA practice.However, the general question for SEA research might be whether SEA contributes to long-term institutional learning processes beyond individual SEA processes, and how those learning processes can be supported, for instance by quality management and capacity building.
Ranking the importance of Wildfires' human drivers through a multi-model regression approach Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-07-27 Leone D. Mancini, Piermaria Corona, Luca Salvati
Wildfires are a major ecological disturbance in Mediterranean environments, and affect together natural resources, ecosystem services and human activities. The impact of socioeconomic forces on wildfire regimes is generally less investigated than the effects of biophysical drivers. Being grounded on a multi-model regression analysis of socioeconomic and territorial indicators, the present study identifies relevant factors influencing local-scale wildfires' regimes in Italy. An economically-disadvantaged context with persistent unemployment, rural poverty, social inequalities and population aging proved to be associated to more frequent fire events. Additionally, our analysis points out that occurrence, average size and density of wildfires reflect different correlation profiles with the local-scale socioeconomic context. Along with the socioeconomic profile of local communities, the empirical outcomes of our study show the importance of landscape structure, land-use and cropping systems in local-scale fire regimes. The empirical results of this study justify a multidimensional analysis of relevant socioeconomic dimensions in fire risk assessment and contribute to an informed approach to wildfire management. Moreover, our study provides basic knowledge advancing research on fire prevention, and informing spatial planning and developmental policies aimed at increasing preparedness to large fires.
How a large project was halted by the lack of a social Licence to operate: Testing the applicability of the Thomson and Boutilier model Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-07-13 David Jijelava, Frank Vanclay
We explore why having a Social Licence to Operate (SLO) is essential for large projects. We analyse the Khudoni Hydroelectric Power Plant in the Svaneti region of Georgia, which was halted in 2013 after much social protest. We assess why the project lacked a SLO and what lessons can be learnt from this experience. Using the Thomson and Boutilier model of SLO as our analytical framework, we elaborate its key elements – legitimacy, credibility and trust – in the context of dam and hydropower projects and assess where the Khudoni project failed. We conclude that the project lacked legitimacy, with local communities not seeing any social justification for the project. The credibility of the project and proponent was weak amongst the local population, and trust was absent at all phases of the project. We conclude that the concept of social licence to operate has the potential to encourage project proponents to consider and implement activities which will lead to better outcomes for all parties. We believe there is a strong business case for companies to take the concept seriously. Improving social performance will assist projects in gaining a social licence to operate and grow.
Seven good practices for the environmental licensing of coastal interventions: Lessons from the Italian, Cuban, Spanish and Colombian regulatory frameworks and insights on coastal processes Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-07-05 Cristina Pereira, Camilo M. Botero, Ivan Correa, Enzo Pranzini
Environmental licensing is the regulatory procedure that enforces the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of human activities inside a given country. Despite worldwide acceptance of EIA as a valid tool, its application in coastal environments is still too diverse and limited regarding the specificity of the natural processes influencing the shore. This paper compares the Environmental Licensing Procedure (ELP) of four countries, focusing on the activities that could affect the coastal geomorphology. The acquisition and validation of information were done through interviews with EIA representatives in each country, who signalized the official documents of environmental licensing and coastal management to be considered in the documentary review. The results present those differences and similarities among ELP stages in each country, based on the principles of the International Association of Impact Assessment and the national documents analyzed. In sum, 59 interventions associated with human uses and activities in the coastal zone were compared according to the prescriptive character of the environmental licensing in Italy, Spain, Cuba and Colombia. The natural processes influencing coastal geomorphology were also analyzed within the technical criteria included in the official guidelines for the EIA, finding a generalized weakness in processes associated with geochemical courses on coastal environments. By way of discussion, seven good practices are illustrated, according to their pertinence to the impact assessment of the coastal zone: 1) The integration of screening and scoping; 2) Evaluation focusing on the environment rather than the intervention; 3) Binding the coastal zone delimitation; 4) Institutional articulation; 5) Accreditation of environmental consultancies; 6) Official guidelines by types of environment; 7) The integration of environmental geographic information. Finally, general conclusions to assist EIA practitioners operating in the four countries and recommendations to lead further research are provided, introducing a novel process-oriented approach for ELP.
Environmental impact assessment follow-up for projects in China: Institution and practice Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-07-05 I-Shin CHANG, Wenqi WANG, Jing WU, Yuhong SUN, Rong HU
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is one of the important means of environmental management worldwide, and the EIA follow-up is one of the crucial measures to ensure the concrete implementation of the EIA. In this research, systematic reviews of EIA follow-up for projects in China were conducted to comprehensively appraise the implementation of the EIA follow-up and to identify the potential to improve the practice of an EIA follow-up. First, the EIA follow-up reports were collected through various sources. In total, there were 74 EIA follow-up reports that were identified and acquired. Second, a reviewing framework, containing 16 different indicators, was developed to systematically document and classify these EIA follow-up reports. Third, these EIA follow-up reports were grouped into several categories according to various indicators and then were analyzed to recognize their key features, including sources of data, analytic tools adopted, spatial-temporal distribution, industrial distribution, triggering causes, content, structure and effectiveness. The results showed that there were considerable disparities in the quality and the rigor of EIA follow-ups conducted. These features, along with some existing deficiencies of EIA follow-up, such as the lack of corresponding monitoring and management, can greatly limit the overall application and effectiveness of EIA follow-up in China. However, a number of good practices were identified. For example, a list of projects subject to mandatory EIA follow-up was promulgated, and the conditions for projects subject to EIA follow-up were explicitly stipulated in regulations. These good practices would be very helpful for the international EIA community to advance the practice of EIA follow-up, to reduce the disparities in the quality and the rigor of EIA follow-up, to improve the overall effectiveness of EIA follow-up and to promote the future implementation and development of EIA follow-up
Nocturnal flight activity of northern gannets Morus bassanus and implications for modelling collision risk at offshore wind farms Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-07-04 Robert W. Furness, Stefan Garthe, Mark Trinder, Jason Matthiopoulos, Sarah Wanless, Jana Jeglinski
Assessing the potential impacts of proposed offshore wind farm developments on seabird populations requires estimation of nocturnal flight activity of seabirds for input into collision risk models. One of the seabirds considered most at risk from collision with offshore wind turbines is the northern gannet Morus bassanus. The recommended correction for gannet nocturnal flight activity is currently a highly precautionary value. Here we use data from tracking studies to derive evidence-based correction factors for nocturnal flight activity of adult gannets during the breeding and nonbreeding seasons, and of immature gannets during the summer prospecting phase. Flight and diving activity of gannets was minimal during the night, astronomical and nautical twilight, for adults during the breeding season and nonbreeding season, and for immatures. Some flight activity occurred during the short period of civil twilight, but on average at about half the level seen during the day. Based on evidence from numerous tracking studies, we recommend that precautionary values of the nocturnal (sunset to sunrise) flight activity factor for estimating collision risk should be 8% of daytime flight activity during the breeding season and 3% of daytime flight activity during the nonbreeding season. Use of these evidence-based correction factors will improve the accuracy, and reduce the uncertainty of collision risk models, providing a more reliable assessment of the impacts of offshore wind farms on gannets.
Implementing next generation assessment: A case example of a global challenge Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-06-30 A.J. Sinclair, M. Doelle, R.B. Gibson
IA regime design has evolved significantly over the past 50 years. Current thinking includes a package of next generation approaches such as the incorporation of requirements for regional and strategic IA, the consideration of cumulative effects and alternatives, and the inclusion of sustainability criteria and trade-off rules for decision makers. These suggested changes to IA design largely come from the recognition, through experience, of the weaknesses with current IA laws and regulations and needs to accommodate new understandings, for example about sustainability and complexity. Here, we reiterate the key generic components of next generation assessment that are broadly suitable for application in all jurisdictions with at least moderate assessment capacities, focusing on the necessary process requirements that could be captured in IA law, regulation and policy. Through an illustrative case example of Manitoba, Canada, we show how the components of next generation assessment might be implemented as a package in the context of an existing IA regime. Our application of these principles reveals the value of careful consideration of the current legislative frame as well as needs to cooperate with other jurisdictions. It shows, for example, the importance of experience with using streams of assessment and ensuring meaningful public participation. We conclude that many jurisdictions are likely to find moving consistently to this more comprehensive form of assessment to be a natural progression and that the greatest challenges will probably be in building interjurisdictional cooperation, ensuring good faith application of the sustainability criteria in decision making, and implementing regional and strategic assessments.
The ecosystem approach in ecological impact assessment: Lessons learned from windfarm developments on peatlands in Scotland Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-06-27 Joanna Wawrzyczek, Richard Lindsay, Marc J. Metzger, Fabien Quétier
The Ecosystem Approach introduced in 1994 through the Convention on Biological Diversity, together with related Ecosystem-based Management and Landscape Approaches, are frequently called upon to improve ecological impact assessment. Current practice typically does not have such a systems focus and we explore the potential for explicitly adopting an Ecosystem Approach in the Environmental Impact Assessment process using wind energy development on peatland, in Scotland, as a case study. Based on a review of 21 windfarm projects (>50 MW) approved by the Scottish Government we provide an overview of current practice and identify and discuss how the 12 principles of the Ecosystem Approach can help identify options for more appropriate impact assessment. These include defining functional units of analysis that reflect the spatial and temporal linkages of peatland elements through hydrological connections, rather than a focus on individual vegetation types and simple distance buffers. Our conclusions are not limited to peatland and are relevant wherever meaningful functional management units can be defined, including in marine environments. Our results also show that environmental statements for wind energy development in Scotland largely ignore ecosystem services and the people that benefit from them. As for threatened species and other biodiversity features, an Ecosystem Approach is a prerequisite to the meaningful inclusion of ecosystem services in impact assessment.
Analyzing stakeholder's perceptions of uncertainty to advance collaborative sustainability science: Case study of the watershed assessment of nutrient loads to the Detroit River project Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-06-22 Robert Goodspeed, Anikka Van Eyl, Lynn Vaccaro
The topic of uncertainty is of growing interest in the impact assessment (IA) field, due to increases in contextual uncertainty and the awareness of the complexity of advanced analysis. IA practitioners can now draw on maturing theoretical frameworks to manage uncertainty, but questions remain about whether these frameworks align with stakeholder concerns and how their use can benefit IA projects. This article reports on an empirical application of the leading framework for organizing IA uncertainty proposed by Walker et al. in 2003. Twenty-two stakeholders involved in a large water quality modeling project in the U.S. Great Lakes region were interviewed, and their uncertainty-related statements were categorized according to the Walker dimensions. Overall, the framework's three primary dimensions performed well and allowed for the analysis of differences in uncertainty perceptions among the stakeholder groups. In addition, the analysis resulted in useful insights for the project, such as identifying top scenario uncertainties to use for modeling as well as highlighting specific concerns about the assumptions, data, and modeling approach for further exploration. In addition to encompassing the variety of uncertainty concerns raised in the case, the paper illustrates how the Walker framework can support IA practices like stakeholder collaboration and scenario construction which may improve IA outcomes.
Measuring greenhouse gas emissions from international air travel of a country’s residents methodological development and application for Sweden Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-06-20 Jörgen Larsson, Anneli Kamb, Jonas Nässén, Jonas Åkerman
Applicability and relevance of water scarcity models at local management scales: Review of models and recommendations for Brazil Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-06-20 Ana Lídia de Almeida Castro, Edilene Pereira Andrade, Mateus de Alencar Costa, Tayane de Lima Santos, Cássia Maria Lie Ugaya, Maria Cléa Brito de Figueirêdo
With water shortages increasing worldwide, several Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) models have been developed for assessing the potential impacts of water consumption (deprivation) on ecosystems and human health. Each model uses different water scarcity concepts, measurement scales, and indicators, resulting in distinct characterization factors (CFs) available for the same region over time. However, to date, no previous work has compared water scarcity models to identify those more suitable for countries outside of Europe, considering national hydrological divisions and environmental conditions. Furthermore, no previous studies have investigated the sensitiveness of background hydrological data, applied to calculate water scarcity CFs, in regions that historically experience water scarcity, such as the Brazilian semiarid region. This is important because global hydrological data may present high uncertainty and indicate low scarcity in regions that suffer with water scarcity issues. Therefore, this work initially evaluated midpoint models for water scarcity and recommended the most appropriate models for application at the Brazilian hydrographic division level, defined by the Brazilian Water Agency (ANA). A critical review of twelve midpoint models was performed based on four main criteria: (i) indicator broadness; (ii) scientific robustness; (iii) availability of CFs for Brazil; and (iv) regionalization potential of CFs for ANA geopolitical hydrographic divisions, considering the availability of national data. Each criterion was given a score of 1 to 5 for each analyzed model and a recommendation was made based on the final score, obtained by averaging the scores of each criterion. Results showed that the best-rated models were those that adopted the monthly Water Stress Index (WSI) and the AWARE index. Both models were robust, presented CFs at a monthly scale, and could be partially regionalized by applying national monitoring data available in national databases. Nonetheless, none of these models applied a broad water scarcity concept that encompassed both physical and economic water scarcities, nor presented CFs for the Brazilian hydrographic divisions. Furthermore, a case study was performed, comparing the CFs provided by AWARE and WSI with the regionalized values, which were calculated using national hydrological data. This case study focused on the São Francisco watershed and on the Rio Verde Grande, a smaller watershed belonging to the São Francisco, known for its historical water scarcity problems. The results of this case study showed that a finer regionalization scale and the use of local data allow to represent better the local water scarcity for sub-regions in comparison with the original watershed level, especially for semiarid regions. The approach proposed in this study for evaluating life cycle impact models at country level is new and may be applied in other studies, aiming to indicate models for specific world regions.
Initiating sustainability assessments: Insights from practice on a procedural perspective Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-06-05 Thomas Borgert, Jerome D. Donovan, Cheree Topple, Eryadi K. Masli
Sustainability assessment is a key method that offers a platform from which the private sector can implement systematic processes to address sustainability. While this presents a unique opportunity for broadening the use of sustainability assessments, this is constrained by the lack of commonly accepted processes and little empirical evidence on private sector practices. This study directly engages with this dilemma, examining the initiation step of the sustainability assessment from a procedural framework perspective. A multiple case study approach is utilised with semi-structured interviews of 32 respondents from nine multinational enterprises operating in the manufacturing industry of Indonesia. Findings indicate the initiation step is initially directed by regulatory compliance, with organisations using checklists based on mandatory sustainability issues to consider. The majority of organisations go beyond this compliance approach, however, with the role of the headquarters directing these organisations to more holistically consider sustainability issues through the use of established lists and materiality analysis. This is informed through headquarter commitments to voluntary international standards and global sustainability guidelines, which have translated into corporate practice through established policies and procedures. These findings highlight the importance of an emerging trend for the private sector to undertake voluntary activities beyond the regulatory context of the country they are operating within, and guided by corporate codes of conduct, when undertaking sustainability assessments.
Introducing a risk aggregation rationale for mapping risks to aquifers from point- and diffuse-sources–proof-of-concept using contamination data from industrial lagoons Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-05-31 Sina Sadeghfam, Yousef Hassanzadeh, Rahman Khatibi, Marjan Moazamnia, Ata Allah Nadiri
A comparative analysis on how different governance contexts may influence Strategic Environmental Assessment Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-05-26 Margarida B. Monteiro, Maria do Rosário Partidário, Louis Meuleman
This paper explores the relationship between governance contexts and the development and outcomes of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). The main objective of this paper is to understand if, and how, the governance context may influence the system and institutionalisation of SEA, and the capacity of SEA to reach its objectives. The research methodology is based on the comparison of six country-cases that have an established SEA system, including three European countries, two Asian countries and one in Latin American, with distinct national culture and political-administrative setting. Results show that cultural and institutional values impact how SEA is interpreted and carried out, and that SEA systems are facing constraints of a more normative and cognitive nature. Connecting governance contexts and patterns in the SEA systems confirm that SEA is not ‘context free’, but instead ‘context-influenced’, while its capacity is dependent on its level of adaptation to the governance environment.
Life cycle impact assessment of artisanal sandstone mining on the environment and health of mine workers Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-05-26 John Francis Agwa-Ejon, Anup Pradhan
Artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) is considered as a means to support and improve the quality of rural life, and is often the only activity that local communities have to sustain themselves. It is important to understand the nature of ASM and associated environmental effects in order to make informed decisions on the management, licensing and policy formulation of the ASM sector. Compared to other mined commodities such as, gold or diamond, the studies focusing on environmental and health impacts of sandstone mining are limited. This study used life cycle assessment (LCA) tool to evaluate the overall impact of artisanal sandstone mining (ASAM) on the environment and human health. The impact categories assessed in the study included: resource depletion, global warming, ozone layer depletion and acidification. It was observed that the impact of ASAM on the environment was minimal, however the high physical demand of the work negatively affected the health of the miners. The most common health related issues with the miners was observed to be silicosis and musculoskeletal problems. Fossil fuel used during transportation was observed to be the highest contributor for most of the impact categories.
Mining project's economic impact on local communities, as a social determinant of health: A documentary analysis of environmental impact statements Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-05-25 Jessica Hresc, Emily Riley, Patrick Harris
Australian mining developments cause indirect economic impacts on nearby communities leading to poor health and wellbeing of local residents. Economic instability is a recognised social determinant of health (SDoH); however, SDoHs are rarely considered adequately in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). This research aimed to determine the extent economic impacts as a SDoH are considered in three Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) of mining projects in the New South Wales, Australia. We adopted an exploratory case study design following Yin (2012). Three cases in New South Wales, Australia, were purposively sampled as being of concern to the local community who had sought legal advice about the content of the EIS (although not necessarily for health reasons). Two were open cut mines: Watermark located in the Liverpool Plains and Warkworth Continuation in the Hunter Valley Region. The third is a comparative case – the underground Mandalong Southern Extension located in Lake Macquarie. We adapted a health-focused EIA coding framework to investigate how economic indicators as SDoH were explicitly mentioned in EISs and applied this to the three cases. Economic indicators as SDoH were rarely considered. There was a greater focus on population characteristics rather than the potential economic impacts of the mining projects on the communities. Causal association of economic determinants and health outcomes were insufficiently reported compared to best practice, and health data were not used to inform assessments. Despite two EISs – Warkworth Continuation and Watermark – associating some economic indicators to health outcomes, impacts were not adequately discussed when compared to the known literature on economic impacts of mines. Our findings show that the three EISs were inadequately utilised to determine economic impacts of mining projects on the health and wellbeing of local communities. The evidence base linking economic impacts of mines to health is underdeveloped, which compromises assessing the quality of economic coverage in EISs. EIA scoping should enable sufficient inclusion of broader determinants of health using appropriate methodology, and the economic-focused content of EISs should be subject to rigorous peer-review process to fully inform government approvals for projects. Our methods lend themselves to research in other contexts to investigate the quality of EIAs.
Social life cycle assessment of concrete bridge decks exposed to aggressive environments Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-05-22 Ignacio J. Navarro, Víctor Yepes, José V. Martí
Sustainable design of structures includes environmental and economic aspects; social aspects throughout the life cycle of the structure, however, are not always adequately assessed. This study evaluates the social contribution of a concrete bridge deck. The social performance of the different design alternatives is estimated taking into account the impacts derived from both the construction and the maintenance phases of the infrastructure under conditions of uncertainty. Uncertain inputs related to social context are treated through Beta-PERT distributions. Maintenance needs for the different materials are estimated by means of a reliability based durability evaluation. Results show that social impacts resulting from the service life of bridges are not to be neglected in sustainability assessments of such structures. Designs that minimize maintenance operations throughout the service life, such as using stainless steel rebars or silica fume containing concretes, are socially preferable to conventional designs. The results can complement economic and environmental sustainability assessments of bridge structures.
Comparison of substitution status of chemical substances under REACH and OSPAR legislation Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-05-16 Georgie Anderson, Bob Rowles, Steven Supple, Claire Phillips, Roxana Sühring
The EU REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals) was adopted in 2006 to regulate the human and environmental risks of chemicals in all applications and will be implemented by 2018. So far, the environmental risks from offshore chemicals in the North Sea have been regulated by the Harmonised Mandatory Control Scheme developed by OSPAR. Both the OSPAR scheme and REACH identify hazardous substances based on their persistence, bioaccumulation potential and toxicity (PBT), but the mechanisms employed are different. As a result, carrying out OSPAR's declared aim of harmonising with REACH where possible will not be straightforward. The presented research compared the assessment and classification of chemicals used in offshore oil and gas production under OSPAR and REACH. The aim was to establish the extent of commonality in classification between the two regulatory frameworks as well as their specific differences due to the different foci of REACH (human health and environment) and OSPAR (marine environment). These intrinsic differences in the assessment of PBT substances were identified as the main challenge in harmonising the two pieces of legislation. At the same time, the comparison of OSPAR and REACH assessments for offshore chemicals provided insight in the driving factors for observed differences between assessments and highlighted the benefits and need of having targeted legislative frameworks that focus on the protection of specific aspects of the environment.
Comparative review of EIA in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-05-11 Kanokporn Swangjang
Environmental sustainability is one of the frameworks for cooperation under the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II, 2015. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been recognized as a crucial tool. This paper proposes the review of EIA in ASEAN countries in three key areas, namely legal enforcement, implementation approach and EIA effectiveness as the basis for a sustainable approach. The results showed that almost all the countries established their EIAs at the legal level with the complete EIA process; however, the implementation was somewhat different depending on the unique characteristics of the EIA processes. Such unique characteristics can be divided into three groups. The first belongs to the countries that initiated the EIA process before 1990, although they have their own outstanding topography, namely, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The second group includes the countries that applied the EIA after 1990. The Asian Development Bank has played an active role and their EIA processes have rapidly developed especially EIA monitoring, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Transboundary Impact Assessment. The countries in this group are Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar. The last group contains the countries with stringent environmental regulations and is becoming part of environmental laws. They include Singapore and Brunei. The tools to support the achievement of sustainability, such as ecosystem services, biodiversity offsets and transboundary impacts will be of prime importance to the ASEAN EIA in the future.
The discretionary power of the environmental assessment practitioner Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-05-09 Jie Zhang, Lone Kørnøv, Per Christensen
Discretion is an essential and unavoidable element of most decision-making and is thus often closely related to the judgment exercised by politicians and practitioners alike. It is evident that discretionary power can be executed in different ways, leading to different results. Therefore, it also has a significant influence on the effectiveness of the environmental assessment (EA) as examined in recent environment impact assessment (EIA) and strategic environment assessment (SEA) literature. However, limited attention has been given to the practitioners' role and how they exercise their discretion, while the effectiveness and implementation of decisions has been a recurrent theme in EA literature. This article explores the connections between discretion and some of the fundamental ideas behind how EIA and SEA function in our societies. Firstly, the article develops and presents a theoretical model of discretion, allowing us to explore the phenomena of discretion from four dimensions: source, form, value and dynamics of discretion. Secondly, a review of EA literature is performed with the purpose of mapping how discretion is studied and what kind of discretion is found in the context of EA – focusing on one of the dimensions – ‘source of discretion’. The results imply that it is prevalent for practitioners to exercise rule, value and task discretion in every choice they make at each stage of the EA implementation process, which influences EA effectiveness, either positively or negatively, depending on how discretionary power is exercised and reflected in EA practitioners' practice. It draws both the management's attention to how to regulate EA policies and the practitioners' attention to how to make a difference.
Public participation in EIA: A comparative study of the projects run by government and non-governmental organizations Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-05-08 Md Arif Hasan, Kh Md Nahiduzzaman, Adel S. Aldosary
Assuring public participation in different stages of environmental impact assessment (EIA) is essential since the success of a project largely depends on its type, nature, and process. Before starting a development project in Bangladesh, both government organizations (GOs) and non-government organizations (NGOs) need to conduct an EIA. However, in most of the governmental projects, there is still no significant influence of public participation in EIA. Contrarily, under NGO administered projects, the systematic participation in EIA is quite unknown and often goes without being acknowledged. This paper, thus, studies public participation practice in EIA through an investigation of two NGO governed projects (i.e., BRAC's fisheries and sericulture project and CARE's integrated food for work program) and compares with two projects by GOs (i.e., Rampal coal-based thermal power plant project and Jamuna multipurpose bridge project) to critically understand the prevailing differences. As well, pivotal factors responsible for differentiated nature and type of public participation being practiced within a certain institutional context are examined. The study indicates that NGOs tend to ensure participation of the pertinent stakeholders at different stages of an EIA while harnessing their inputs to successfully complete a project. By contrast, public participation in government's run projects is mostly found to be carried out towards the end of an EIA exercise, which severely limits the stakeholders' ability to contribute and questions the legitimacy of such attempt. This process of neglect systematically overlooks stakeholders' concerns, critics, and suggestions while pre-emptive motive of the project gets glorified and implemented. By tapping these voids, this study attempts to offer an insightful understanding of the gap between conventional ‘practice’ and formal ‘pledge’ when comes to ensuring public participation in various stages of EIA. This study expects to benefit other countries where NGOs are considerably involved in development projects.
The nexus between water, energy, and food in the context of the global risks: An analysis of the interactions between food, water, and energy security Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-05-08 Wellyngton Silva de Amorim, Isabela Blasi Valduga, João Marcelo Pereira Ribeiro, Victoria Guazzelli Williamson, Grace Ellen Krauser, Mica Katrina Magtoto, José Baltazar Salgueirinho Osório de Andrade Guerra
The purpose of this article is to analyze the interactions between water, energy, and food security, referenced in this study as the nexus between water, energy, and food, and the impacts of global risks using the World Economic Forum's, 2017 Global Risks Report as a guideline. In this analysis, the authors reveal that water, energy, and food are interdependent and essential resources demanding sustainable, integrated and intelligent management. These vital resources are susceptible to many global risks which are maximized by extreme weather events, mass involuntary human migrations, and other hazards that predominantly endanger the vulnerable communities of less developed countries. In conclusion, policies carried out by the international community, decision-makers, civil society, and the private sector, must align to target and mitigate global risks, specifically, water, energy and food security.
Development blind spots and environmental impact assessment: Tensions between policy, law and practice in Brazil's Xingu river basin Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-02-20 Eve Bratman, Cristiane Bená Dias
This paper explores the tensions involved in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and environmental licensing through a detailed analysis of the legal disputes and public contestations surrounding two projects, a large hydroelectric dam and a gold mine, which are proximately located to each other. Broadly, we argue that EIAs may function to reinforce rather than genuinely inform or potentially resist prevailing developmental logics. The research extends David Mosse's argument that development self-perpetuates “success” through participation and procedural licensing mechanisms while on-the-ground realities diverge significantly. It offers a critical examination of EIA utility and processes through identifying three general mechanisms within EIA and environmental licensing procedures that contribute to approval of projects and promote a perception of their legitimacy, while detracting from the intended purposes of EIAs as opportunities for meaningful public discussion and sustainability-oriented decision making. These mechanisms include discourses that entrench project necessity and make them appear inevitable, public participation, and the isolated treatment of related projects. This work situates an understanding of particular EIAs within a deeper process of regional territorial development and resource extraction.
A cradle-to-gate based life cycle impact assessment comparing the KBFw EFB hybrid reinforced poly hydroxybutyrate biocomposite and common petroleum-based composites as building materials Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-03-02 Seyed Meysam Khoshnava, Raheleh Rostami, Mohammad Ismail, Abdul Razak Rahmat
Aligning the sustainability in construction process can be achieved through material selection process with low impact on environment and human health. Today, biocomposite materials are investigated and developed to replace with none, and less eco-friendly materials used in the construction industry leading to emergence of next generation of sustainable and green building materials. This paper aims to develop a model of fully hybrid bio-based biocomposite based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and comparing it with fully petroleum-based composite, which are common conventional building materials. The methodology framework of this research is determined based on ISO 14040 and 14044. Also, the ReCiPe as the common method in SimaPro software is chosen for appraising and comparing LC impact assessment (LCIA). This research highlights the negative effect of these kinds of building materials with providing single scores coming from three gauges including Human Health, Ecosystems and resources. It is observed that substituting the biocomposite with the fully petroleum-based composite has led to a decline of about 30% in single score outcome. The significance of this research is related to important judgement information to policy makers and the prospective manufacturers in the commercialization phase of this new biocomposites as sustainable and green building materials.
Preferences for a lake landscape: Effects of building height and lake width Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-03-16 Li Lin, Riken Homma, Kazuhisa Iki
Cities with lakes must balance the relationship between development and preservation of the natural landscape. Tall buildings are important in urban development, while landscape destruction and visual pollution caused by tall buildings have attracted more attention. Many qualitative or quantitative restrictions for building height have been designated along lakefronts. However, it is unclear whether the public accepts these restricted heights. This study aimed to assess the effects of building height and lake width on public preferences for lake landscapes. Two experiments were designed with two common lake scenarios. Three levels of building height crossed with three levels of lake width were presented in nine synthetic lake landscapes in each experiment, which were assessed by 50 participants using a psychological evaluation tool, namely the Affect Grid. The results showed that when lake width was within the Close View range with only trees on the other side of the lake, a lake landscape with the heights of buildings' visible part moderately less than average height of the trees contour was preferred over rigidly restricting that all buildings be barely visible. For lake landscapes with mountains in the background, it was found that a lake-wide threshold existed between 0.6 km and 1.8 km. Using this threshold, the Medium View range could be reclassified so that a lake width within this range might correspond to a particular type of building height restriction. These findings provide a reference for urban planners and suggest that lakes can be categorized on the basis of lake width and, in this category, building height can be restricted more appropriately.
Are current effectiveness criteria fit for purpose? Using a controversial strategic assessment as a test case Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-03-21 Jenny Pope, Alan Bond, Carolyn Cameron, Francois Retief, Angus Morrison-Saunders
The aim of this paper is to test the broader utility of the sustainability assessment effectiveness framework of Bond et al. (2015) by applying it to a controversial strategic assessment case study. The effectiveness framework comprises six dimensions: procedural effectiveness, substantive effectiveness, transactive effectiveness, normative effectiveness, pluralism, and knowledge and learning. It was originally developed to evaluate sustainability assessment at a system-wide level and it has not been previously applied to a specific case study. The analysis was conducted through document review and the first-hand experience of two of the authors who were involved in the case study in different capacities. The case study selected was the strategic assessment of the proposed Browse Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Precinct in Western Australia, which was conducted over the period 2007–2015 under the strategic assessment provisions of both the Western Australian and Australian Commonwealth environmental legislation. The framework provided a useful structure within which this complex case study could be explored, its strengths and weaknesses brought to light, and the interactions between the dimensions highlighted. We also found opportunities for refinement of the framework. As a result of this analysis we propose to replace the final three dimensions of the framework with legitimacy, where a legitimate process is one which all stakeholders agree is fair and which delivers an acceptable outcome for all parties, though we acknowledge the need for further conceptualisation of this dimension. We also suggest that the concept of substantive effectiveness should be expanded to incorporate the unintended consequences of impact assessment. Our research thus makes both a useful addition to the literature already published on the Browse case study, as well as to the literature on impact assessment effectiveness.
Effects of soundscape on rural landscape evaluations Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-03-26 Xinxin Ren, Jian Kang, Peisheng Zhu, Shiyuan Wang
Sufficiently capable for effective participation in environmental impact assessment? Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-03-30 Nicholas Philip Simpson, Claudia Basta
Where environmental procedures do not adequately include affected parties in decision-making, particularly those from vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society, environmental justice cannot be realized. Further, the practice of EIA will likely perpetuate the negative and disproportionate distribution of environmentally associated harms on vulnerable persons. Thus, this paper explores the potential merits of the capabilities approach for establishing sufficiency grounds for public participation in environmental impact assessment (EIA). The paper identifies shared principles of justice in decision-making between the practice of EIA and the capabilities approach by highlighting key ethical and theoretical concepts of the latter as a means to fortify this weakness in the participation practice of EIA. Capability probes explore individual stakeholder's opportunity, ability and constraints to participation. The findings of four South African (EIA) case studies are discussed, highlighting the instrumental relationship between participatory actions, potentials and entitlements as they are mediated by empowering or disempowering procedural mechanisms. Cases exhibiting convincing stakeholder empowerment demonstrate the value of sufficient support for participatory achievement. Instances of disempowerment in the cases underscore the dangers of insufficient and inequitable participation. Reflecting on the findings, the work applies the recent notions of capability ‘sufficiency’ (Nielsen and Axelsen, 2016) to outline what can be delimited, and later contextually specified, for support provisions in EIA building towards more meaningful, and perhaps more just, public participation processes.
Accessibility indicator for a trails network in a Nature Park as part of the environmental assessment framework Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2017-11-28 Nicoletta Setola, Luca Marzi, Maria Chiara Torricelli
On legitimacy in impact assessment: An epistemologically-based conceptualisation Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2017-12-01 Alan Bond, Jenny Pope, Francois Retief, Angus Morrison-Saunders
Impact assessment (IA) is carried out as an ex ante process to inform decision-making. It includes requirements for engagement with stakeholders (including the public) regarding actions proposed by a proponent. A key issue with the various stakeholders involved is the perceived legitimacy of the IA, which can have implications both for the reputation of the proponent, and the likelihood of conflict over the decision. But the understanding of legitimacy in the IA literature has changed over time in line with an ontological shift from positivism (that scientifically generated information leads to better informed decisions) to the post-positivist acknowledgement of the limitations of scientific method whereby assumptions must be subject to transparency, deliberation and openness. This has led to an epistemological shift towards greater subjectivism which, we suggest, has created new opportunities (which have been realised in political decision-making) to subvert knowledge through the increased use of the Internet and social media. To address the potential for such subversion of legitimacy, we seek to conceptualise legitimacy in the IA context through framing IA around a critical realist ontology and a reliabilist virtue epistemology. This allows us to identify ‘knowledge legitimacy’ as an equally important component of IA legitimacy along with organisational legitimacy. We conceptualise knowledge legitimacy through literature review drawing on rich understandings of knowledge from IA and other fields of research in order to develop a four-dimensional typology. This includes the dimensions of: knowledge accuracy; knowledge restriction; knowledge diffusion; and knowledge spectrum. This is the first theoretically grounded attempt to understand legitimacy in IA. It is hoped that it will provoke discussion in the IA community to further advance theoretical understandings of IA and legitimacy of practice.
Assessing changes in eco-productivity of wastewater treatment plants: The role of costs, pollutant removal efficiency, and greenhouse gas emissions Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2017-12-06 Germán Gémar, Trinidad Gómez, María Molinos-Senante, Rafael Caballero, Ramón Sala-Garrido
Improving eco-efficiency of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) has been identified as being essential for achieving urban sustainability. Several previous papers have evaluated the eco-efficiency of WWTPs using data envelopment analysis (DEA) models. However, those models provided only a static assessment in that they ignored possible fluctuations over time within each plant. To overcome this temporal limitation, this paper evaluates dynamic eco-efficiency (changes in eco-productivity over time) of WWTPs using the dynamic weighted Russell directional distance model (WRDDM). This approach allows one to obtain an eco-productivity change index for each major component of the WRDDM model (costs, pollutants removal, and greenhouse gas emissions). Our results illustrate that although eco-productivity improved in half of the WWTPs we assessed, there was still potential for improving some eco-efficiency components. Moreover, operational costs and greenhouse gases emissions were the main drivers reducing eco-productivity. This paper demonstrates the importance of evaluating change in eco-productivity over time and in identifying the drivers associated with those changes, both of which can be used to support decision-making focused on the sustainability of WWTPs.
Exploring pluralism – Different stakeholder views of the expected and realised value of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2017-12-07 Lydia Cape, Francois Retief, Paul Lochner, Thomas Fischer, Alan Bond
This paper explores the concept of pluralism by evaluating different stakeholder views on the expected and realised value of strategic environmental assessment (SEA). The research followed a single embedded case study approach (of a national-level SEA for renewable energy planning in South Africa) and engaged with four different stakeholder groups, namely government, industry, conservation groups, and interested and affected parties (IAPs). A total of 21 different value expectations (VEs) across all four stakeholder groups were identified. However, stakeholder groups contrast significantly in terms of VEs, with government concerned more with process and mandate; industry with cost, efficiency and certainty; conservation groups with data and technical aspects; and the IAPs with local scale issues. In terms of realisation of VEs the results suggest that SEA does provide opportunities for learning; focussing project level EIA and providing spatial guidance on the location of projects. However, SEA was less successful in realising integration of decision making and alignment of policy within government. Recognition and better understanding of the pluralistic nature of expected and realised VEs could potentially improve the legitimacy of SEA processes and methodologies if they are designed and implemented to accommodate pluralism.
Quantitative-qualitative assessments of environmental causal networks to support the DPSIR framework in the decision-making process Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2017-12-08 Fernando Ramos-Quintana, M. Laura Ortíz-Hernández, Enrique Sánchez-Salinas, Esmeralda Úrsula-Vázquez, José Antonio Guerrero, Montserrat Zamorano
The DPSIR framework helps to identify and situate stressors, drivers and pressure variables within a dynamic environmental process composed of cause-effect relations. However, an important aspect related to its structural deficiency implies the use of unidirectional causalities between variables. In this work, we extend the capacities of the DPSIR framework by addressing three important points. Firstly, causal networks are built instead of unidirectional causalities, the former based on paths represented by sequences of cause-effect relations between involved variables. These paths are derived from the population growth as a driving force variable, along with CO2 emissions, waste, water and loss of vegetation cover as pressure variables. Trends of these paths are combined to determine and quantitatively assess a global environmental state trend whose impacts on the environment require corrective management actions as a response. Secondly, quantitative assessments of environmental trends are transformed into fuzzy-qualitative data to facilitate their interpretation. Thirdly, a method based on weighted environmental management actions is presented to decision-makers who aspire to change current path trends in order to approach desirable scenarios similar to those put forth by the OECD outlook towards 2030. The results obtained applying this framework to the State of Morelos, México, show that it can be a useful support tool in the selection and monitoring of management actions capable of reaching favorable environmental trends.
Life cycle assessment of an energy-economy nexus: The case of Israel and South Korea Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2017-12-15 Hojin Yu, David Pearlmutter, Moshe Schwartz
Israel and South Korea have both achieved rapid economic growth since their post-war establishment, and among the common challenges that the two countries have faced is a conspicuous lack of domestic oil supplies. Although this chronic energy scarcity has not impeded the economic trajectory of either country, it has influenced their industrial structures in strikingly different ways – with Korea nevertheless developing a vast energy-intensive manufacturing sector, while Israel has largely relied on its service sector to support a growing consumer society. While different in industrial structure, however, the two economies have been connected by intensive trade relations, meaning that energy is consumed in one country for the production of goods used in the other. In order to examine the economic and environmental implications of the two economies' structural divergence and bilateral trade relations, we use economic input-output analysis to track the life cycle (LC) energy consumption of passenger cars – a product which has significant environmental impact due to energy consumption in both its production and use stages – which were manufactured in Korea and exported to Israel during the period of 1997–2011. Our findings show that while most of the LC energy consumption of the vehicles occurs in Israel where the vehicle operation takes place, this does not mean that Israel's “avoided energy” by importing the Korean cars is insignificant. The embodied energy of vehicles traded in 2011 reached 3179 TJ, exceeding the amount of energy used by Israel's entire on-site building construction sector over the same period. If the Israeli economy had hypothetically developed its own auto manufacturing industry including secondary suppliers to meet domestic demand as well as exports – as was done in Korea – the energy consumption in those industries would be equivalent to about half of the current energy use by Israel's entire industrial sector.
Participatory tuning agricultural sustainability assessment tools to Flemish farmer and sector needs Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2017-12-26 Ine Coteur, Fleur Marchand, Lies Debruyne, Floris Dalemans, Ludwig Lauwers
Many tools to analyse and support sustainable development exist, but their use in the agricultural sector remains obstructed by the sector's complexity and diversity. The objective of this research was to analyse, with a participatory action-research approach, various aspects of the design and use of sustainability assessment tools. The research originated from a Flemish farmers' union request to develop a sector-specific sustainability assessment tool (SAT). This request allowed action research by combining: (i) stakeholder involvement to clarify needs regarding sustainability assessment; (ii) the link between SAT and strategic decision-making and (iii) a supra-farm coordination or governance. The research, applied to four Flemish agricultural sub-sectors resulted in a context-specific SAT for each sector. They differed in complexity; procedural differences are described for two sub-sectors, in particular the links of SATs with strategic decision-making and the importance of supra-farm governance. We concluded with key attention points for future SAT development: (i) tuning sustainability assessment to stakeholders' needs, in particular with respect to strategic decision-making, (ii) the development context of a SAT, in particular with respect to governance and continuity in the envisioning process.
Assessing direct and indirect emissions of greenhouse gases in road transportation, taking into account the role of uncertainty in the emissions inventory Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2017-12-27 Alessandra La Notte, Stefania Tonin, Greti Lucaroni
Greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration in the atmosphere has increased since the beginning of the industrial era, with dramatic effects on climate change. Transportation is one of the main sources of GHGs, with more than two-thirds of transport-related GHG emissions attributable to road vehicles. Any policy that aims to reduce GHG emissions needs robust measuring methods that guarantee the quality and reliability of primary data and estimates. However, these estimates are subject to uncertainty, both at the stage of compiling accounting tables and at the stage of using this information to formulate a specific policy question. This paper considers how to reduce uncertainty in estimating GHG emissions from road transportation, with specific reference to a regional emissions inventory in Italy. We propose the application of a use-chain model that can tackle uncertainty in measuring GHG emissions by enhancing the quality of the emissions data registry in the inventory. This new metric, which we call emission value at risk (VaR), draws from methodologies and concepts employed in the insurance and financial sectors. Moreover, additional assessments are performed, integrating the inventory data with those available in the regional energy balance and disaggregated sectoral economic dataset. The results show that a sound accounting method enables uncertainty in emission data to be taken into account, thus improving the design of appropriate strategies to reduce GHG emissions.
Delays, stoppages and appeals: An empirical evaluation of the adverse impacts of environmental citizen suits in the New South Wales land and environment court Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-01-10 Andrew Macintosh, Phillip Gibbons, Judith Jones, Amy Constable, Deb Wilkinson
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) promotes considered and participatory decision-making, which can delay development and, at times, lead to projects being temporarily halted or permanently discontinued. Over the past decade, governments in a number of jurisdictions have proposed ‘streamlining’ reforms to eliminate perceived causes of unnecessary delays and stoppages. A target of these reforms has been environmental citizen suits (ECS): legal or merits-review proceedings initiated by private parties to uphold public environmental rights or interests for predominantly public purposes in order to generate public environmental benefits. This article reports the results of an empirical analysis of delays and stoppages attributable to ECSs in the NSW Land & Environment Court over the period 2008 to 2015. Key findings include: 109 finalised ECSs were identified over the period; 33 of the determined ECSs were successful (broadly defined); in 27 of the 33 successful ECSs, the activity that was the subject of the proceedings was subsequently approved or otherwise allowed to proceed; and the median major project delay caused by ECSs was 4.4 months. The results suggest the claims ECSs significantly hinder economic growth by delaying and stopping development are largely baseless. ECSs were relatively uncommon, rarely stopped development, and rarely caused major project delays.
A methodological approach to quantifying socioeconomic impacts linked to supply shocks Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-02-04 Juan C. Surís-Regueiro, Jose L. Santiago
Input-output models are commonly used to assess socioeconomic impacts. These models typically evaluate exogenous variations in demand-related elements; however, they do not fully capture the associated effects of backward and forward sectoral linkages simultaneously. An analysis from the supply perspective is of greater interest to economic sectors that exploit natural resources because their activity is subject to natural variations or political factors beyond the producers' direct control. This paper proposes a methodology to improve the estimation of the impacts of these variations or supply shocks. Within the methodological context of input-output analysis, a practical procedure is introduced including price mechanisms that allow us to consider all sectoral linkages (backward and forward). Therefore, the proposed method will improve impact assessments derived from supply shocks linked to environmental events.
A comparative method of air emission impact assessment for building construction activities Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2017-09-30 Malindu Sandanayake, Guomin Zhang, Sujeeva Setunge
Different construction activities may indicate distinct environmental impacts due to their uniqueness. Ability to assess and compare the environmental impacts from different construction activities can aid the process of minimising emissions at different building construction processes. The study presents a comparative impact assessment methodology to evaluate environmental impacts at different activities during the building construction stage. Significant impact related construction activities for five major impact categories namely global warming potential (GWP 100), acidification potential (AP), Eutrophication potential (EP), Photochemical oxidation formation potential (POFP) and Human toxicity potential (HTP) are compared from the global, regional and local perspectives. A case study of a residential building in Australia is used to demonstrate the application of the functions of the developed method. The results of the case study indicated that the method can be effectively used to compare environmental impacts of different construction activities at different geographical perspectives considered. The method can be used by designers and contractors in comparing impacts of various construction activities to identify the most emission effective construction processes.
Stakeholders' manipulation of Environmental Impact Assessment Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2017-10-12 Álvaro Enríquez-de-Salamanca
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process where several stakeholders take part, each with different interests, making bias unavoidable and a major cause of concern, but there is a big difference between inherent stakeholders' bias and manipulation, an illegitimate attempt to alter decisions for spurious interests. Although manipulation has usually been attributed to developers, any stakeholder may try to use it for self-benefit. In this paper we analyse manipulation possibilities, and how they can be used by stakeholders. While bias is unavoidable and should be reduced, understood and managed in EIA, manipulation is unacceptable and must be excluded.
Strategic Environmental Assessment, key issues of its effectiveness. The results of the Speedy Project Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2017-10-12 Donato Di Ludovico, Valter Fabietti
This paper describes the results of the European Speedy Project, concerning the application of cross-border SEA, a research that had two main objectives. The first has been the definition of cooperation modalities between various public body as well as private entity through the realization of a digital platform. The aims of this innovative platform include sharing of multidisciplinary knowledge, the training, the participation, etc. The second objective has been to draft a proposal for revision of Directive 2001/42/EC based on the criticalities of implementation in individual Member States emerged during the development of the project. This revision has taken, in the final research report, the form of problem areas and suggestions for amending the Directive. A particularly important result, in addition to those related to platform implementation and the SEA Directive revision, is the e-learning section of the same platform. The continuous training provision of the e-learning system, as well as providing a valuable support for professional upgrading, can provide a useful link between the experiences developed by territorial authorities or individual professionals and the construction of a disciplinary and technical corpus that meet new challenges arising from the changes in society and the evolution of the environmental system.
Evaluating EIA systems' effectiveness: A state of the art Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2017-10-19 John J. Loomis, Maurício Dziedzic
Analyzing the effectiveness of environmental impact assessment (EIA) is an important theme in EIA literature. Over the course of its development, the manifold term “effectiveness” has been delineated into four dimensions: Procedural, substantive, transactive, and normative. The present state of the art review covers not only studies about these concepts, but also the methods used to test them. It analyzes trends in 64 studies over a 20-year period. It is observed that results oriented research is more common than process oriented, but given the links between results and processes, procedural effectiveness remains the lens through which policy solutions are analyzed. Future research is recommended comparing developing and developed countries as well as studies focusing on subnational EIA systems. Serious gaps in the literature remain, such as developing methods to evaluate the direct impact of EIA on decision-making and how to integrate the pluralism found in the EIA process for sustainable ends. Reliance on perceptual survey and interview methods is common for substantive and normative effectiveness studies. The least studied dimension, transactive dimension, requires more study, specifically the cost efficiency of EIA. Promisingly, multidimensional studies are becoming more common that highlight linkages among these dimensions, although the nature of these linkages must be tested with more case studies
Environmental licensing in Brazilian's crushed stone industries Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-06-01 Nathalie Barbosa Reis Monteiro, Elaine Aparecida da Silva
The crushed stone industries' activities are characterized by the extraction and processing of stones for use as aggregates in construction. The sector causes environmental impacts that can be mitigated by the implementation of control instruments, namely, environmental licensing, whose purpose is to carry out monitoring of potentially polluting activities. In this paper, it was analyzed the environmental studies of three industries located in Monsenhor Gil, Piauí, Brazil, elaborated as requisites for obtaining the environmental and mineral licenses. There were made visits to the State Department of Environment and Water Resources (SEMAR) and to the National Department of Mineral Production (DNPM) to verify the environmental reports and the environmental and mineral licensing processes. There were also made visits to the analyzed industries, with the aim of comparing the information contained in the studies, with the reality and verifying the implementation of the mitigating measures proposed in them, through the observation of the industries operation, and interviews with the responsible managers. Furthermore, it was made a research in the scientific literature, to know the licensing process in other countries, to compare with the Brazilian reality. From the research, in Brazilian industries, it was observed that, although all the legal steps to obtain the licenses have been fulfilled, the environmental reports have elaboration failures, such as the lack of a multidisciplinary team and the fact that some data diverge from the reality, decreasing the reliability of the evaluation of the environmental impacts caused by the projects. Also, the environmental replacement cost is not accounted in the final value of the product, and any of the industries have started the implementation of the proposed mitigation measures since they do not have mineral depletion areas. SEMAR was delayed in issuing licenses within the period established by law, and there are no periodic inspections by both the environmental agency and DNPM. It should also be pointed out that the community did not claim public hearings and there is no participation in environmental education projects, factors that compromise the effectiveness of the environmental licensing process. Regarding the process in other parts of the world, in some countries, such as Uruguay and Paraguay, the agency responsible for licensing and inspection is federal. In Argentina, as in Brazil and USA, states have autonomy to legislate on environmental issues. There is also divergence in the period of execution of the licenses, being 12 months in Brazil, while in Thailand it can be up to 56 days. In Peru, the society participation is much more representative than in Brazil, and there is differentiation in the collection form of environmental compensation fees, among countries. The failures pointed out in the Brazilian process, as well as the system of other countries, can serve as parameters for the improvement of the process' effectiveness, both in Brazil and in other parts of the world, aiming at the conservation of the environment.
Interpreting best available technologies more flexibly: A policy perspective for municipal wastewater management in India and other developing countries Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-06-01 Markus Starkl, Josephine Anthony, Enrique Aymerich, Norbert Brunner, Caroline Chubilleau, Sukanya Das, Makarand M. Ghangrekar, Absar Ahmad Kazmi, Ligy Philip, Anju Singh
Inadequate sanitation is amongst the causes of escalating pollution problems in developing countries, as municipal wastewater treatment systems remove only a fraction of pollutants that could be removed with best available technologies (BAT). Although BAT is a proven instrument of environmental policies, its potential for municipalities remains largely unused in developing countries. In order to ease its implementation, the paper developed a simplified assessment approach towards identifying an approximating of BAT in terms of a “flexible BAT” (FlexiBAT), which is based on the identification of national reference plants assessed with respect to pollutant removal (environmental impact, health impact), costs (economic viability, affordability) and social acceptability. The concept was tested for 58 case studies in India, where none of the technologies passed all tests for FlexiBAT. Therefore, there is a need to improve or develop better and more innovative technologies. Amongst the most promising ones, membrane bioreactors provided good physical water quality, but costs were high, while for moving bed biofilm reactors costs were low, but water quality was insufficient. Conventional onsite systems require separate consideration. In order to ease the identification of FlexiBAT, a national environmental information system with data from the regular monitoring of existing plants would be needed.
Modelling golden eagle habitat selection and flight activity in their home ranges for safer wind farm planning Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-05-15 Hannu Tikkanen, Seppo Rytkönen, Olli-Pekka Karlin, Tuomo Ollila, Veli-Matti Pakanen, Heikki Tuohimaa, Markku Orell
Onshore wind farm development may impact vulnerable large eagles at both individual and population levels and requires appropriate assessment under the EU Bird and Habitat Directives. The present conservation policy (e.g. fixed safety zones around nest sites) improves species conservation but may not prevent habitat loss or reduce collision risk in the best possible way because this policy may not consider habitat-specific effects on eagle behaviour. Here, we develop a method for estimating habitat use and flying time distribution within Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) home ranges. Location data retrieved with GPS-transmitters (Global Positioning system) in Finland indicated that these large raptors used vast areas (mean 297 km2, 95% Minimum Convex Polygon), reaching up to 14 km, but not uniformly around their nests. The best resource selection function models (cross-validation performance 83%) revealed that flying Golden Eagles preferred the vicinity of their nests, steep slopes, and old forests in their home range. They avoided human settlements and neighboring territories. GPS data indicated short flying times per day (mean 2.2 h) and about 30% of the flying time within collision risk heights (50–200 m). Together with information on habitat selection, flying times can be used for predicting airspace use of birds and in assessing the collision risk at particular wind farm locations. Thus, our method can be applied in planning wind farm locations that enable a safer co-existence of large territorial birds and wind power plants in the same landscape.
Power lines and impacts on biodiversity: A systematic review Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-05-07 Larissa D. Biasotto, Andreas Kindel
The growth of energy consumption demands a large expansion of transmission line (TL) networks worldwide. The reduction of the environmental impacts of these infrastructures will depend on the effectiveness of environmental impact assessments, that ultimately depend on the quality of the screening phase, the scoping phase, and the prioritization of potential environmental consequences. We conducted the first systematic review that encompasses all known potential impacts on biodiversity of the installation and operation of energy TLs, documented in the scientific literature and in a sample of Environmental Impact Studies (EIS). We examined 206 articles and 19 EIS and identified 28 impacts that correspond to biotic outcomes at the individual, population and community levels. Although scientific interest on TL impact evaluation is increasing, most studies have been focused on vertebrate taxa, especially birds. There are few published studies concerning habitat loss and the responses of functional groups with lower mobility or sensitive to physical alterations, such as amphibians. Most impacts appear in early stages of a project, during TL construction, but persist during operation. We summarized the biotic impacts in a framework that may guide the screening of relevant impacts to be included in the EIS and consequently improve the outcomes of the environmental licensing process of transmission line projects.
The role of time and social churn in impact assessment: An engagement-based model Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-04-30 Kim A. Johnston, Anne B. Lane
To participate in social impact assessments, members of a community need to understand both the nature and complexity of impacts at the individual and social level. This study considers the role of engagement in developing community understanding of social impacts by documenting and analyzing organizational and community actions and responses in the Adani Carmichael mine case. Findings suggest engagement facilitates the conduct of social churn. We define social churn as a process of collective level discussion, meaning-making, and consensus-building from multiple information inputs in response to equivocality or uncertainty resulting from organizational behavior, out of which is generated an articulation of community level perceptions of that organizational behavior and its impacts at an individual, community, and societal level. Theoretically, the findings of this study challenge traditional linear notions of social impact assessments and offer an alternative engagement-based model. Practically, the model identifies ways in which organizations can recognize and participate in the social processes that both create and represent the differing levels of social reality determining perceptions of those impacts.
Potential impacts of China's climate policies on energy security Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-04-27 Hongbo Duan, Shouyang Wang
Energy security, as an indispensable constituent of economic security, has long been a top research priority, and the dynamics of energy security become particularly complicated with the involvement of climate change. In this work, we combined a one-sector integrated assessment framework with a series of well-proposed energy security metrics to extensively explore the unidirectional consistency between climate policy and energy security from the national perspective. Implementation of climate policy is generally beneficial for improving energy security. Specifically, climate policy helps to reduce the systematic risk of China's energy system according to the metrics of energy (oil) intensity, energy (oil) expenditures and per capita energy (oil) consumption independent of time scale options. As observed from the perspective of energy diversity, co-benefits arising from climate policy primarily emerge in the first half of this century, and they may gradually decline as emission constraints and the phasing out of fossil fuels are enhanced. Additionally, the macroeconomic costs required to reach China's committed carbon-peaking target might be far lower than the costs required to fulfill the emission budgets under the global 2-degree warming rise threshold. If the co-benefits of energy security are considered, the economics of climate policy is expected to significantly improve.
Can urbanization process and carbon emission abatement be harmonious? New evidence from China Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : Xilong Yao, Dong Kou, Shuai Shao, Xiaoyu Li, Wenxi Wang, Chentao Zhang
As the largest carbon emitter and developing country in the world, China's rapid urbanization in recent decades plays a significant role in carbon emissions. However, there is still no consensus on whether urbanization process and carbon emission abatement in China can achieve a harmonious state. Based on the panel data of China's 30 provincial-level regions during 2001–2014, this paper uses the threshold regression model and the mediating effect model to investigate the effect and its mechanism of urbanization process on carbon emissions measured by three indicators: carbon emission scale, per capita carbon emissions, and carbon intensity. The results show that urbanization can contribute to declines in carbon emission scale, per capita carbon emissions, and carbon intensity. That is to say, urbanization can present an abatement effect on carbon emissions. However, such an abatement effect is diminishing with a deepening urbanization. Moreover, the relationship between urbanization and carbon emissions is mediated by four mediating variables, i.e., technological progress, industrial structure, energy consumption structure, and foreign direct investment. Therefore, a harmonious relationship between urbanization and carbon emission abatement can be achieved if policy-makers attempt to arouse the positive mediation roles of such factors when formulating relevant policies.
Decoupling relationship between economic output and carbon emission in the Chinese construction industry Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-04-24 Ya Wu, K.W. Chau, Weisheng Lu, Liyin Shen, Chenyang Shuai, Jindao Chen
By positioning in the discourse that economic output is always coupled with natural resource depletion, pollution, and carbon emission, decoupling analysis is widely adopted to evaluate how “quality” economic growth can lead to fewer such downsides so as to encourage sustainable development. This paper aims at examining the decoupling relationship between economic output and carbon emission by focusing on China's construction industry, which is a pillar industry for national economic growth, meanwhile contributes a huge amount of carbon emission. The method of Tapio decoupling model is used to examine the decoupling relationships at both national and provincial levels from 2005 to 2015. It continues to identify the driving force leading to a certain decoupling state by adopting the logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI). Results show that: (1) there existed an expansive decoupling relationship between economic growth and construction carbon emission in most provinces of China during 2005–2015; (2) Shanghai presented the best decoupling performance, while in contrast, other provinces such as Guizhou and Fujian displayed expansive negative decoupling state; and (3) “Economic output” played the most significant role in inhibiting the decoupling at both national and provincial levels, while “Indirect carbon intensity” was the main driver for promoting the national decoupling. Although the paper refers to the specific construction of China, the decoupling analysis approach can be extended to other countries as well as to other pollutants such as land pollution, waste water and haze. The understanding of driving forces for the decoupling state in China's construction industry provides international policy-makers with valuable reference for formulating effective measures to balance the dilemma between economic output and carbon emission.
Health Impact Assessment of transportation projects, plans and policies: A scoping review Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-04-14 Faiza Waheed, Glenn M. Ferguson, Christopher A. Ollson, James I. MacLellan, Lindsay C. McCallum, Donald C. Cole
Background Transportation has significant direct and indirect impacts on health beyond the physical effects due to change in air quality or noise levels. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) analyzes a project or policy through a broad health lens. However, the practice of HIA varies widely with significant knowledge and data gaps. Objectives We aimed to summarize the current state of transportation HIAs, develop a framework of promising practices recommended for HIA practitioners within the transportation sector, and identify knowledge and data gaps in transportation HIA practice and science. Methods This scoping review was designed using a systematic primary and grey literature search strategy to identify 158 transportation HIAs. Data extraction of descriptive and analytic information from the HIAs was completed and descriptive analyses conducted. Results Although transportation HIA practice varied within and between sectors and countries, there were some core similarities. Non-Governmental Organization funding of HIAs in the United States provided a significant boost to the HIA community of practice. We noted that most transportation HIAs conduct screening and scoping, but these steps were neither methodical nor clearly defined. Most HIAs included in this review also lacked quantitative assessment methods and did not perform evaluation of the HIA process or effectiveness. Conclusions This scoping review demonstrated a need for greater rigour and clarity in transportation HIAs. We recommend several practice changes to improve HIA quality and credibility.
Improving carbon footprinting of agricultural systems: Boundaries, tiers, and organic farming Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-04-19 Cornelius Adewale, John P. Reganold, Stewart Higgins, R.D. Evans, Lynne Carpenter-Boggs
Purpose The purpose of this commentary is to call for consistent and improved methodology for agricultural carbon footprint (CF) studies. Methods The methods of published agricultural CF studies were compared to identify areas of inconsistency. Organic agriculture has been proposed as an approach to reduce net agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and sequester carbon. Therefore we used organic agriculture as a focal system to explore the impact on CF estimates of using inconsistent boundaries, soil emission accounting, and emission factor (EF) tiers. Results and discussion Studies of agricultural CF use inconsistent boundaries and most use EFs based on national averages or regional models. As a result the local and farm-to-farm variability of EFs are obscured and the comparability of CFs from different studies is dubious. We propose three principles for agricultural CF calculation: use of consistent broad agricultural system CF boundaries, incorporation of soil emissions and sequestration, and development and use of fine-scale EFs for agricultural inputs. The potential use of organic practices in GHG mitigation efforts, along with the annual inspection process for certified organic farms, justify the future use of organic farms as a longitudinal national or international study population using the proposed principles. Conclusions Using different boundaries, or generalized vs. site-specific EFs, can give not only different levels of precision but also fundamentally different answers. Policy based on averaged data or incomplete estimates may be misdirected. To support effective policy and individual decision-making that reduce GHG emissions and/or sequester more carbon, accurate and consistent assessments of the GHG emissions of agricultural practices and systems at a finer temporal and spatial scale are needed.
Behaviour related flight speeds of Sandwich Terns and their implications for wind farm collision rate modelling and impact assessment Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-04-07 Ruben C. Fijn, Abel Gyimesi
Accurate quantification of flight speeds is a prerequisite to accurately predict the numbers of collision victims of proposed wind farms using collision rate models that are a vital part of Environmental Impact Assessments. We used GPS-loggers on Sandwich Terns to collect novel data on instantaneous flight speeds during foraging trips, separated for different behavioural stages, and applied these estimates in a widely used collision rate model. Average flight speed during a foraging trip corrected for individual variation and flight type was 36.9 ± 12.3 SD km h−1 and flight speed was highest during inbound commuting (44.4 ± 12.0 km h−1) and lowest during foraging (29.9 ± 10.7 km h−1). Our results show significant differences in flight speeds of Sandwich Terns between behaviour stages during foraging trips, which resulted in divergent estimates of collision victims due to wind turbines depending on the function of the area in which wind farms are proposed. Since these conclusions are likely to hold for many other bird species, we conclude that behaviour of birds in a proposed wind farm is a factor to take into account when modelling collision rates as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment.
Analysis of strategic environmental assessment in Taiwan energy policy and potential for integration with life cycle assessment Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-04-04 Yen-yu Wu, Hwong-wen Ma
Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) has been implemented in many policies in the European Union since 2001. In Taiwan, SEA has been implemented for 28 cases since 2001, which includes various types of policies. National energy policy is the most challenging type. There are three most important steps in SEA process: alternative planning, scoping, and impact assessment. However, the current limitation of method application affects the effectiveness of SEA. In this case, life cycle assessment (LCA) is integrated with SEA for clarifying the role of LCA in whole SEA process. The method of combining LCA and SEA has been developed and is applied in a case of Taiwan's energy policy. Benefits from LCA in alternative planning, scoping, and impact assessment steps are explored. Finally, suggestions for enhancing LCA's application, for scoping operation, and for the improvement of SEA are proposed.
Quantified economic and environmental values through Functional Productization - A simulation approach Environ. Impact Assess. Rev. (IF 3.054) Pub Date : 2018-04-03 Sean Reed, Magnus Karlberg, Petter Kyösti, Daria Sas
Industrial companies rely on hardware and services from external providers to deliver functions that are critical to their operations, increasingly demanding solutions that not only meet technical and availability requirements but are sustainable too. Traditionally, industrial companies choose and purchase hardware and maintenance support to fulfil their functional requirements. An alternative arrangement, known as Functional Product (FP), involves external providers supplying customers with the functionality they require through contracts that specify guaranteed functional availability whilst giving providers freedom to choose and retain ownership of the supplied hardware and services. This paper describes an innovative simulation modelling and optimization approach to quantitatively compare economic and environmental values resulting from transition from traditional to FP arrangements. The approach is demonstrated through the analysis of a scenario involving a hydraulic drive system provider and set of customers in Sweden, with the results exhibiting simultaneous improvement in economic and environmental values at each stage of the transition.
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