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Environmental Impact Study
~Dr Dilip Ganguly

The Various Aspects of an Environmental Impact Study

Environmental impact surveys or studies have to be undertaken in order to find out what are the possible impacts that might occur at a given site. Only once we have found out what the possible impacts are, can we work out measures whereby those impacts may not adversely affect the site.


  • 1. An environmental impact study to evaluate the significance of impact can be facilitated by considering the following:

    A] Environmental concerns:
  • scale of the impact
  • severity of the impact
  • probability of occurrence
  • duration of the impact

[B] Business concerns:

  • potential regulatory and legal exposure
  • difficulty of changing the impact
  • cost of changing the impact
  • effect of change on other activities and processes
  • concerns of interested parties
  • effect on the public image of the organization
An environmental impact study can be used to attach significance to the impacts

2. An environmental impact study can point out its significant issues:-

Issues that:

  • Result from a direct release of prescribed noxious or persistent substances.

  • Result from poor management of resources, raw materials or wastes.

  • Cause capital or revenue expenditure which could be avoided

  • Currently cause the enterprise to be out of compliance.

  • May result in civil litigation and criminal procedures

  • Are perceived to be significant by the public or customers

  • Restrict future strategic development of the company

  • Affect validity of Insurance

3. Why should an environmental impact study be undertaken to evaluate the significance of environmental impact?







4. An environmental impact study can be used to attach significance to the impacts:-

Factors that may be considered in doing this include the following:

  • It is an internal company activity

  • It is not a comparison against the size of another organization's similar aspects or impact

  • It is based or internally defined and documented criteria

  • It is based on a consistent application of those criteria.

5. An environmental impact study also involves the evaluation of significance of impact:-

Significance impact evaluation of environmental aspect in quantitatively evaluated by FMEA: -   (Quantitative Method)

FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis)

  • Most robust and reproducible

  • Based on ERPN (Environment Risk Priority Number)
    EPRN = Severity  x  Occurrence  x  Failure to Detect

Depending upon such factors it is classified as significant and non-significant.

[The picture used in this article has been taken from the photo library of stock.xchng.]

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