Date: - 12/03/2010

Health, Safety & Environment Management

Assignment on

Environmental Impact Assessment for Highway Projects

Submitted To :Prof. A.K.Garg

Submitted By:Mr. Ashish Salvi Miss. Rashmi Priya Miss. Samta Mishra Mr. Saurabh Kumar (P51018) (P51051) (P51054) (P51059)

Environmental Impact Assessment for Highway Projects

Introduction
Like people, most organizations are heavily dependant on roads to distribute their goods & to carry their executives & sales people. Yet, though once seen as the engine of progress, roads are facing increasing criticism around the world. A highway is a main road for travel by the public between important destinations, such as cities, large towns, and states. Highway designs vary widely and can range from a two-lane road without margins to a multi-lane, grade-separated expressway, freeway, or motorway. Impact due to construction of highways include the noise and dust from construction, the use of non-renewable aggregates, the loss of natural habitats and green space and increase in traffic (with all its impacts). The best practice is to undertake an environmental impact assessment (EIA) before the road is designed. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is defined as “the process of examining the environmental effects of the development – from consideration of the environmental aspects at design stage, through to the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement, evaluation of the EIS by a competent authority and the subsequent decision as to whether the development should be permitted to proceed, also encompassing public response to that decision”. The EIA methodology promotes a practical and dynamic process of environmental protection that allows significant adverse impacts to be avoided or mitigated throughout the entire planning and design process. Road planning and design is an iterative process where planning and design evolve in response to environmental and other considerations. This ensures that environmental considerations become an integral part of the overall route corridor selection and road scheme planning and design process.

Anticipated Impacts Due To Highway Construction Project
Encroachment on precious ecology : The proposed routing of the highway encroaches upon precious ecological resources, including forests and swamps. This also disturbs the natural habitats of a lot of creatures and animals leaving on the encroach land. The ecological disturbance is likely to occur.

The construction activities will drive some wildlife away from their habitats, particularly migratory birds. The construction period will last for quite a long time (3–4 years) and many migratory birds within about 500 m of the proposed expressway will leave their currently roosting and feeding places and move away. During road construction, the vegetation on the acquired land will be destroyed, and the local ecosystem is changed. In addition, the destruction and fragmentation effect of the road construction may diminish the habitats for some of the animal species, so that there may not be enough roosting places any more for them to survive. During operation, the traffic noise, traffic lights at night and vehicle emissions may cause some adverse impacts on the wildlife around the road.

Adverse impact on historical/cultural monuments : The nearby structures to highway projects are adversely affected due to the pollution and environmental disturbances created by the project. During the construction phase, huge amount of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and CO (Carbon Monoxide) gases are released into the atmosphere. The gas poses a threat to ancient monuments as they are made up of lime which reacts with these gases in presence of water/moisture. The most prominent example of this is Taj-Mahal.

Impairment of fisheries/ aquatic ecology and other beneficial water uses : The water bodies like lake, pond or river which are close to the highway site get affected by the construction activity. The workers and staff living near to the site uses the water from these water bodies and in turn pollute them causing harm to aquatic ecology. The rain water may wash away the chemicals and other hazardous product to the water body affecting the oxygen content of it. This will lead to impairment of fisheries.

Water quality : The Project will involve the construction of small and large bridges, which will be built with hollow piers and deep foundations with bored piles. The pile drilling operation will generate a great amount of spoil of water.

Major sources of potential water pollution were identified as (i) Increased soil erosion during construction, which may cause water pollution with sedimentation (ii) Wastewater pollution caused by large construction sites, in particular bridge construction (iii) Potential pollution associated with the construction of bridge foundations with bored piles (iv) Pollution caused by surface runoff and service area wastewater.

Water quality impacts due to construction sites : Wastewater and hazardous materials (fuel, oil, acids, caustics, etc.) may drain into streams and drainage areas, causing pollution to surface water or groundwater. This is particularly true for large construction sites, construction campsites, and staging areas where workers, construction equipment, and building materials are most concentrated. a) Expressway Runoff : Rainwater washes out atmospheric pollutants, picks up roadway deposits, and runs off into rivers. The impact of the initial runoff pollutants on the water quality b) Wastewater Effluent from the Service Area : There will be fuelling and service stations as well as offices, hotels, and restaurants for the passengers in the service area. Sanitary wastewater effluent from these facilities as well as wastewater generated by car washing, maintenance, and repair operations will be generated.

Erosion and Siltation : The wearing away, detachment and transportation of soil from one place to another place and its deposition by moving water, blowing wind or other causes is called soil erosion. Large numbers of trees and plantation has to be removed for construction of highway. This leads to loosing of the soil, soil disturbance, and exposure of bare soil surface. This causes problem of soil erosion and siltation during rain or heavy wind. The most severe problems will be associated with embankment

construction in the plain area, road sections with heavy cuts and fills, borrow and spoil sites, as well as bridge and culvert construction sites, particularly on rainy days.

Environmental aesthetics : Roads project involves cutting of trees, soil filling and cutting operation. This disturbs the natural aesthetic of the environment (scenic value). Some expressway components like large bridges and interchanges will create visual impacts and detract from the natural beauty of the area. The lack of resurfacing/ replanting of exposed areas are also the leading factor to aesthetic reduction.

Noise and Vibration : During the construction stage massive equipments like excavators, power shovels, dumpers, compacters, loader etc are used. This causes considerable vibrations in nearby areas. They also produce high noise levels. This all disturbs the natural surroundings and creates unfavourable conditions for the living creatures. The vibrations may affect the structures nearby.

Air pollution hazards : The project results in discharge of air pollutants from machines and motor vehicles, especially carbon monoxide, which under adverse conditions could cause severe air pollution hazards to nearby area and communities. a. Air Quality Impacts during Operation : If project area is a non-attainment area for TSP and CO, with their background concentrations well exceeding the applicable air quality standards. The vehicle emissions and fugitive dust emissions from the expressway will add to the problem. b. Air Quality Impacts during Construction : Construction activities particularly earthworks; increased traffic and the use of cement, asphalt, and other building materials will produce excessive airborne dust and toxic asphalt fumes, causing a major impact on air quality within the project area. It was observed that the TSP concentration at a distance 50 m to the leeward of a concrete mixing plant can be 1.368 mg/Nm3, & 0.619 mg/Nm3 at 100 m.

Highway run-off pollution : Surface runoff from highways may contain sufficient petroleum drippage plus spilled material (including toxic and hazardous materials) which can adversely affect aquatic ecology and environmental aesthetics.

Affect on Natural resources : The Project will disrupt some existing irrigation systems, particularly in the plain areas where the road will be constructed on filled-up embankment. This fragmentation will also affect the existing flood-relief channels and natural drainage of the area.

Land Acquisition :  The loss in agricultural products due to farm land decrease  Another extra land is needed during the construction period for temporary use (construction camp sites, staging areas, access roads, borrow and spoil sites, etc.)  Some buildings will be demolished and wire poles will be removed, and one small enterprise may be moved.

Preparation Of Environmental Examination Report
Following checklist is used to analyze severity of project on different environmental parameters like ecological disturbance, aquatic ecology etc. The effect on environment is rated according to severity of impact i.e. small, moderate, major. Based on the prepared checklist, Environment examination report is prepared to analyze the impact on environment.

Checklist for Environmental Parameters for Highway Projects Actions affecting Recommended Significant effect No environmental Damage to feasible significant resources and Environment Protection Small Moderate effect values Measures Careful planning Encroachment on Loss to precious to minimize and precious ecology ecology offset losses Encroachment on Careful planning Loss of these historical/cultural/ to minimize and values monument/areas offset losses Impairment of Impairment of fisheries/aquatic Careful planning downstream ecology and of to minimize and beneficial water other beneficial offset losses uses uses Excessive soil Careful erosion and Erosion and resurfacing or impairment of Siltation replanting of downstream exposed area water quality Careful planning Environmental Loss of scenic to minimize and aesthetics values offset losses Nuisances to Careful planning Noise and travellers and to minimize and vibrations neighbours offset losses Nuisances to Air pollution Control of motor travellers and hazards vehicle emission workers Careful planning Highway runoff Loss of ecology to minimize and pollution offset losses Serious Careful planning Highway spills of health/safety and O&M and hazardous hazards to competent material travellers and emergency neighbours cleanup

Major

Conclusion/Remedies
The environmental impact caused due to road project can be reduced by adopting following measures: I. II. III. IV. V. Removing only the necessary vegetation; applying for permits to cut down trees. Revegetation of green areas. Make up embankments. Disposal of surplus earth. Disposal of waste (Plan for processing solid and liquid waste) Performing of the cultural heritage protection plan. Covering or dampening uncovered soils. Green areas, ornate. Maintenance. Soil protection. Water protection. Wastewater effluents from the service area will be treated by a chemical and biological treatment system in accordance with applicable standards before discharge into the nearby irrigation system. To minimize the visual impacts, the following measures will be taken: a. Minimize cut and fill slopes where possible and, in particular, avoid steep cut slopes; b. Implement site-specific landscaping and re-vegetation on both sides of the road, all cut slopes, and disturbed land, making the expressway a beautiful green corridor; and c. Design bridges, interchanges, and do their infrastructure in such a way as to achieve consistency with the surrounding natural landscape, local buildings, and facilities in terms of form, colour, and texture. VII. To minimize the nighttime noise impacts, noise suppressors will be used on construction equipment where feasible. High noise machinery will not be allowed to operate in the proximity of a school when classes are in session, and also from 22:00 to 6:00 hrs when there are residential areas nearby establish greenbelt between the road and the villages and school to reduce noise level and air pollution during operation To minimize the dust impact, construction fields and major access roads and haul roads will be watered on a set schedule, particularly in the dry season. Construction materials storage and concrete mixing plants will be sited more than 100 m away, and asphalt mixing plants 300 m away in a downwind direction from residences and schools. All the mixing equipment will be closed systems with dust extractors.

VI.

VIII. IX.

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