Risk assessment and environmental impact assessment

Section 1

1.1 Introduction

This study is on the usage of hazard appraisal ( RA ) in Environmental impact appraisal ( EIA ) . Over the last three decennaries, there has been a singular growing of environmental issues in sustainability and the better direction of development in harmoniousness with the environment ( Glasson at al 2004 ) . The most popular and widely used environmental direction techniques are EIA and RA.

EIA is a procedure to place and foretell the impact on the environment and on adult male ‘s wellness and good being of legislative proposals, policies programmes, undertakings and operational processs, and to construe and pass on information about the impacts ( Munn 1979 ) . The EIA procedure includes showing, scoping, impact anticipation and rating, impact extenuation, determination devising ( EIA follow up ) with public engagement and consideration of options potentially incorporated in all the phases of the procedure ( Woods 1995, Canter 1996, Lee and George 2000 ) .

The US National Research council ( NRC ) defines RA as the word picture of the possible inauspicious consequence of human exposure on environmental jeopardies. A particular assessment process that aims at undertaking certain effects of human activities is called Risk Assessment ( Demidova and Cherp ) . The phases in hazard appraisal are as follows: jeopardy designation, exposure appraisal, hazard appraisal, hazard rating and hazard direction ( Eduljee 1999 ) .

Environmental hazard appraisal is a generic term for the series of tools and environmental hazards and the formation of opinion about them. ( DOE 1995, DETR2000 ) Risk appraisal emerged in the mid to late 1970s as an administrative demand in the signifier of both statues and executive orders necessitating non merely more extended certification to warrant proposed hazard ordinance, but besides the reconciliation of hazard against economic costs and benefits. ( Atkisson et al 1985 ) .

Environmental Health hazard appraisal has been defined as the systematic scientific word picture of possible inauspicious wellness consequence ensuing from human exposure to risky agents or state of affairss ( Faustman and Omenn 2001 ) .

In construct, EIA and RA have evolved as analogue and sometimes overlapping processs for rational reform to policy devising ( Andrews 1995 ) . The intent of both constructs is to supply an acceptable footing for doing public determinations, non needfully to bring forth new scientific cognition ( Andrews 1995 ) .

Table 1 below summarizes the similarities and differences of EIA and RA.


The most of import similarity is comparing the phases of RA with those of the EIA procedure. Therefore, hazard designation in RA is tantamount to testing and scoping in EIA, hazard appraisal is tantamount to impact anticipation in EIA, hazard rating is tantamount to impact anticipation in EIA ( finding the significance of the impact ) while extenuation in EIA can be equated to put on the line direction ( specifically risk decrease and control ) . ( Eduljee 1999 ) .

Section 2


Two EIA instance surveies will be compared from two different industrial sectors and they are the Berkeley atomic power station where a new edifice for radioactive waste is to be constructed and the A350 Westbury beltway. The purpose of this study is to analyze how environmental/health hazard has been used in each of these EIA ‘s and the advantage or potency for bettering the usage of environmental /health hazard appraisal in these EIA ‘s.


The building strategy will consist about 5.8 kilometers of new individual passenger car manner around the eastern and northern sides of Westbury and it aims to supply traffic alleviation for Westbury, leting route infinite in the town to be reallocated to other manners, better journey clip dependability of the A350 path and better entree to employment countries, peculiarly the West Wilts Trading Estate, and between the West Wiltshire towns.

The building stage will last between 18 months to 2 old ages and would affect site readying, earthworks chief route building and building of concluding surfaces.

Impacts identified ensuing from building is as follows

  • Coevals of noise and dust with earthworks and vehicular motion
  • Pollution hazard associated with working in close propinquity to surface and groundwater resources.
  • Possible perturbation of ecological and heritage resources
  • Coevals and disposal of waste
  • Change of land usage form

Post building impacts were identified as route traffic and emanations from traffic. ( Wiltshire county council, 2007 )


Magnox electrical Limited has proposed to build an intermediate degree radioactive waste ( ILW ) storage edifice on Berkeley atomic licensed site. This edifice will hive away packaged ILW wastes that have arisen over clip and will hive away these wastes until an offsite disposal installation is available.

The ILW waste will house packaged radioactive waste in one above land location, instead than hive awaying waste below land as it presently occurs at the Berkeley atomic power station.

The undertaking will be carried out in three phases,

  1. Construction of the edifice
  2. Operation/filling of the edifice with bundles of ILW.
  3. Long term storage of ILW during attention and care period until a disposal path becomes available.

The proficient appraisal countries covered by the environmental impact statement are as follows-

  • Air quality and dust
  • Archaeology and cultural heritage
  • Ecology
  • Geology, hydrology and dirts
  • Noise and quiver
  • Surface Waterss
  • Traffic and conveyance. ( Gloucestershire state 2007 )

Section 3



The methodological analysis of analysis of impact should be taken into consideration when comparing the two EIS used for this survey bearing in head that the instance surveies are from different industrial sectors. Berkeley atomic power works is a high hazard and high profile undertaking and it deals with radioactive waste ( although the radioactive waste is solid and there is no emanation to air ) . Westbury beltway on the other manus is low hazard low profile undertaking with important impact on air quality ( rise in dust particulate affair and oxides of N ) during the building stage and emanations from vehicles after building.

Method of analysis of impacts- Case A

The undermentioned methods were used in the analysis of local effects

  • Qualitative and quantitative appraisal used to analyse air quality.
  • Dispersion theoretical account choice ( air quality scheme )
  • Meteorology
  • Sensitive receptors
  • Short term average concentrations

Method of analysis for case-B

  • Simple qualitative to complex quantitative method was used to analyse air quality
  • The usage of scientific standards
  • Comparison of predicted alterations with established national and international air quality criterions, aims and thresholds.
  • Interpretation of planning and other environmental policies for illustration, the appraisal of whether the predicted alteration will conflict the aims of an air quality direction country.
  • Review of comparable proposals on environment.
  • The NSCA flow chart -Event tree analysis
  • Generic appraisal methodological analysis.

Though the methodological analysis used for hazard appraisal is similar, the event tree analysis which was used in instance survey B was absent in instance survey A.

Section 4


EIA have emphasized possible impact on natural ecosystems and, to some extent, human communities but have paid no attending to wellness consequence of other hazards ( Beanlands 1984a, Clark 1984a and Giroult 1984a ) . More exactly, even for impacts whose ultimate significance might affect wellness, such as air pollution, EIA surveies typically predict merely the environmental destiny of contaminations, instead than the consequence on wellness itself and RA have emphasized human wellness effects, particularly possible mortality due to malignant neoplastic disease or technological calamities. ( Andrews 1995 )

The phases of RA were incorporated into both instance surveies, but RA was non carried out extensively particularly in the Berkeley atomic power station instance. It is recommended that a separate subdivision concerned with wellness hazard appraisal be prepared within the EIS for high hazard and high profile undertakings but it was absent in this instance.

There was failure to carry on chance appraisal ( uncertainness analysis ) in instance of the unanticipated accidents like detonations or unplanned discharge of radioactive solid waste into the environment. Risk =probability ( likeliness or opportunity that injury will happen ) A- effect ( nature of the injury that can happen ) .

There was besides no extenuation plans in instance of an accident, if there was, so it was non included in the EIS. Risk communicating was besides absent in both instance surveies.

Besides the dose response or exposure appraisal which measures the strength, frequence and continuance of human exposure to an agent was present for instance A, ( Extrapolation dose response methodological analysis ) but the effects of the dosage for air quality pollutants in instance B was non analyzed decently. Hazard index computation for non carcinogens was absent.

HAZOP analysis carried out in instance A but absent in instance B.

Source-pathway-receptor identified in instance A, but merely beginning and receptor identified in instance B.

Risk-benefit analysis besides absent.

Including the omitted RA analyses supra would hold improved the usage of RA in these EIA ‘s

Section 5


Many actions need both EIA and RA appraisal. In these cases, a more utile analysis would be obtained from uniting the two. ( Andrews 1995 )

The purpose of this study has been to measure how environmental/health RA were used in different phases of the two reviewed EIS ‘s, and indicate out how possible ways that RA might hold played a greater function. Systematic application of RA in conformity to outdo pattern was non observed. For a better Incorporation of RA into EIA, there should be accent on exigency response steps in the event of accidents and associated environmental disturbances. Canter ( 1993 ) .


Wiltshire County Council, ( 2007 ) A350 Westbury beltway Environmental Impact Statement 2007. Trowbridge, Wiltshire County Council.

Gloucestershire County council ( 2007 ) Berkeley ILW Store. Environmental Impact Statement Issue 1 Gloucester. Gloucestershire County Council.

Andrews, R.N.C ( 1995 ) Environmental Impact Assessment and Risk Assessment: Learning from each other, In P Wathern ( Ed ) Environmental impact Assessment: Theory and Practice ( Routledge/London )

Rupert brookes, A. ( 2001 ) Environmental Risk Assessment and Risk direction, in P. Morris and R Therivel ( Eds ) Methods of Environmental Impact Assessment, 2nd Edition ( Spon Press/London )

Eduljee, G ( 1999 ) , Risk Assessment in Petts, J. ( Ed ) , Handbook of Environmental Impact Assessment, Volume 1, Process, Methods and Potential, Blackwell Science, London

Demidova, O and A Cherp ( 2005 ) , “Risk appraisal for improved intervention of wellness considerations in EIA” Environmental Impact Assessment Review 2 ( 4 ) , page 411-429.

Canter, L. W ( 1993 ) “Pragmatic Suggestions of Integrating Risk Assessment Principles in EIA studies” . Environmental Professional, 15 ( 1 ) , Page 125-138.

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