EIA Follow-up

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The following include terminologies relating to EIA follow-up.

Contents

Post decision analysis

Post decision analysis is a generic term for a wide-range for activities that can occur after a decision is made. It refers to environmental studies (ie. data collection and evaluation) undertaken during and following the implementation phases of an activity.

Environmental monitoring

Environmental monitoring refers to the systematic collection of environmental data through a series of repetitive measurements. A number of different monitoring activities are identified below:-

  • Baseline monitoring refers to the measurement of environmental parameters during a pre-project period for the purpose of determining the nature and ranges of natural variation and to establish, where appropriate, the nature of change;
  • Effects monitoring involves the measurement of environmental parameters during project construction and implementation so as to detect changes in these parameters which can be attributed to the project; and
  • Compliance monitoring unlike the previous monitoring activities, takes the form of periodic sampling and/or continuous measurement of environmental parameters, levels of waste discharge or process emissions to ensure that regulatory requirements are observed and standards met. (Surveillance and inspection may also form a part of this activity but need not necessarily involve measurement of a repetitive activity).

Environmental audit

Audit is the term, taken from financial accounting, to infer the notion of verification of practice and certification of data. In terms of environmental management, the objectives of audit include:-

  • the organisation and interpretation of the environmental monitoring data to establish a record of change associated with the implementation of a project or the operation of an organisation;
  • the process of verification that all or selected parameters measured by an environmental monitoring programme are in compliance with regulatory requirements, internal policies and standards, and established environmental quality performance limits;
  • the comparison of project impact predictions with actual impacts for the purpose of assessing the accuracy of predictions;
  • the assessment of the effectiveness of the environmental management systems, practices and procedures; and
  • the determination of the degree and scope of any necessary remedial or control measures in case of non-compliance or in the event that the organisation's environmental objectives are not achieved.

Two audit documents normally required are a compliance audit, prepared during the implementation and operation of a project; and a post-project audit, prepared after implementation and commissioning of a project.

Post project analysis

This is a general term used to refer to research and supporting activities which take place after a project has been built.

References

Au E and Sanvicens G (1997) EIA Follow up and Monitoring. In Report of the EIA Process Strengthening Workshop (pp. 91-107). Environment Protection Agency, Canberra.