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Cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment Ankara, Turkey May, 2011 Agi Kiss Regional Safeguards Coordinator Europe and Central Asia Region.

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Presentation on theme: "Cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment Ankara, Turkey May, 2011 Agi Kiss Regional Safeguards Coordinator Europe and Central Asia Region."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment Ankara, Turkey May, 2011 Agi Kiss Regional Safeguards Coordinator Europe and Central Asia Region

2 What is it? Why do it? When to do it? How to do it? How to use it? Conditions calling for CEIA Good practice EIA and beyond Large vs. Small projects

3 “Cooking up” Cumulative Impact Assessment

4 Key Terms Valued Ecosystem Component (VEC): “… elements of the natural and human world that are considered valuable by participants in a public review process.”  Can be valued for economic, social, environmental, aesthetic or ethical reasons  Important in themselves and/or serve as indicators  Represent the focus of any EIA or CEIA  Can be large scale or small scale/specific (lake basin > lake > spawning area)  Identified and prioritized by stakeholders, experts, weighting schemes

5 Environmental system Valued Ecosystem Component Potential impacts on VECsIssues/ Indicators AirAmbient air qualityPollution, e.g concentration of particulates Respiratory impacts, acid rain Surface waterLocal riverReduced volume/ changed flow regime, contamination, changes in course, Seasonal drying, low water quality, flooding GroundwaterLocal aquifersDepletion, contaminationDry or contaminated wells Aquatic resourcesPopulations of fish species in local river/lake Reduced water habitat, pollution, temperature changes Reduced catches, reductions in dependent species VegetationLocal native forestClearing, logging, increased fires, invasive species, effects of air or water pollution Loss of aesthetic/ cultural/ consumption/ tourism value, disruption of hydrological cycles, erosion Terrestrial faunaEndemics, Red List spp, culturally or economically valued spp, ecological communities and processes Loss of habitat/food sources, hunting, invasive species, effects of air or water pollution Loss of aesthetic/ cultural/ consumption/ tourism value, disruption of ecological processes

6 Zone of Impact: Area encompassing all VECS which could be impacted by the project … Based on ecology, topography, etc. – not just a specified distance or area Key Terms cont. Stressors: facilities, developments, actions, trends which all impact (put stress on) the same VEC

7 e.g.: Cold Lake Oil Sands Project: Alberta, Canada Ecosystem Component (VEC) Project ImpactOther “Stressors” (Potential Sources of Cumulative Impact) Local Air Quality – e.g. SO2, particulate levels Stack emissionsOther nearby fuel-burning industries Surface Water (river volume/width/depth, lake level) Large amounts of water needed for steam-based oil extraction process other industrial use, municipal use, irrigation; general drying trend (climate change?) Aquatic resources – productivity of fish spawning habitat Sedimentation of lake from oil extraction process Sedimentation from urban development, agricultural intensification Fauna – local populations of “red list” mammal and bird species Direct habitat conversion for oil extraction and associated infrastructure; disturbance due to noise and noxious odors Direct habitat conversion from agricultural expansion/urban development; increased hunting pressure (from growth in human population, improved road access)

8 Limit of Acceptable Change (LAC), Carrying Capacity, Threshold values  Impacts = changes in VECs (e.g. reduction in local population of a species, reduction in area of a habitat, increase in SO2 concentration in the air, decrease in lake level)  Unrealistic to set a requirement of zero change  Need to determine acceptable level of change (e.g. allowable concentration of Nitrogen in drinking water; minimum habitat area to be maintained; acceptable level of background radiation, minimum volume of water in a stretch of river during summer, etc.)  Level of acceptable change is based on regulations or socially accepted criteria; can be objective or subjective (e.g. concentration of particulate matter in the air which has been shown to increase frequency of respiratory diseases by X percent; lake level at which economically valuable spawning areas are eliminated; amount of infrastructure development which visitors will tolerate in recreational areas)  Aim of impact assessment is to prevent total change in VEC from exceeding the established LAC/ carrying capacity/threshold Key Terms cont.

9 What is Cumulative Impact Assessment? Project A site Project A zone of impact Important Env. Asset Important Cultural Asset Existing Facility B site Facility B zone of impact Zone of impact of planned/reasonably foreseeable development or trend Zone of Impact of directly linked or induced development

10 Project Level vs. Regional Level CEIA River basin with hydropower projects Existing project Planned future project (licensed approved) Proposed project Ocean

11 EIA and “CEIA” Minor risk Few other significant impact sources Easily understood impacts and interactions Major risk Numerous other significant impact sources Complex impacts and interactions Cumulative impacts section of EIA prepared without in-depth CEIA exercise In-depth CEIA exercise needed (should be simultaneous and interactive with rest of EIA) EIA should identify potential cumulative impact issues and associated risks:

12 Why Do CEIA? Because a proposed project is likely to have significant impacts on “regional VECs” which are also impacted by other actions/trends (sources) Because the impacts from different sources (stressors) can interact in additive or synergistic ways, not always easy or straightforward to predict, requiring in-depth analysis Because the most feasible and cost-effective mitigation measures might not lie within the context of the proposed project Because impacts from other stressors can undermine the project’s objectives and/or result in changes of unanticipated severity Because looking at the broader picture might reveal new opportunities for better overall outcomes

13 Tip of Iceberg Problem All Development Activities Source: Lex Brown 2009

14 Tip of Iceberg Problem All Development Activities Projects with Environmental Impact Assessment

15 What information is needed to determine whether EIA for Project A needs to take Facility B into account? Distance between A and B …. circumstances where this information might be enough? Located within same ecological system (river/lake basin, watershed, airshed, wildlife home range) ….. what information is needed to know this? what sources can provide it? Overlapping zones of impact – impact on the same VECs …. what information is needed to know this? what sources can provide it? When to do CEIA? Starting point: Project A has potential off-site impacts (e.g. air or water emissions, erosion/sedimentation, noise, etc.) which cannot be eliminated through realistic mitigation measures

16 How to do CEIA: Assessment Framework Scoping: Identify issues/assets of concern, at a regional scale – spatial plans, experts, consultation Select appropriate VECs and identify LAC/objectives thresholds – experts, consultation Identify spatial and temporal boundaries for the study based on VECs Identify other stressors (existing and future) that may affect the same VECs Identify potential impacts of project and other stressors – focus of the study Analysis: Collect baseline data relevant to VECs and potential impacts -- literature, consultation, data collection Assess likely effects of the project on VECs Assess likely effects of other actions/trends on VEC Evaluate potential cumulative (additive, synergistic) effects for total impact – scenarios, modeling Potential mitigation measures: Identify potential mitigation measures – for proposed project and for other actions/trends Evaluate feasibility and costs, develop realistic mitigation plan -- including costs and institutional responsibilities

17 Evaluation of residual impacts: Compare to LAC/objectives/thresholds Follow-up (multi-stakeholder) Monitoring of VECs and mitigation measures (project, other actions/trends) Adaptive management – process to make changes based on monitoring CEIA Framework cont.

18 Example: multiple use river system (based on case study from Alberta, Canada) Other existing facilities/impact sources (stressors) on-demand commercial irrigation scheme extracting water during summer growing season hydropower operation diverting water into conveyance tunnels over distance of 2 km VECs: aquatic resources (indicator species of riparian vegetation, invertebrates and fish) stretch of whitewater rapids popular for rafting (between weir and powerplant) Limits of acceptable change: Downstream flow must be sufficient to: maintain viable aquatic ecosystem at all points as measured by LACs established for the indicator species) maintain minimum 10 km stretch of Class 3 River for rafting year round Computer model used to determine amount of water which can be diverted to the reservoir based on continuously monitored flow at off-take point Expert knowledge and existing data were used to determine minimum flow required to stay within Limits of Acceptable Change Balance between off-take for irrigation and for municipal supply might change over time, based on policy decisions, but total off-take must stay within the designated range Proposal: divert part of peak flow volume from river to a storage reservoir for municipal water supply

19 CEIA for Large vs. Small Projects ON THE ONE HAND: Cumulative impacts from numerous small investments can be more than impacts of a few large ones … Large projects more likely to have full EIA, oversight, monitoring THE OTHER HAND: Costs and timeframe of EA must be proportionate to level of risk of the project. Full CEIA assessment framework is not always appropriate Expected off-site impacts? No cumulative impacts expected NO YES EIA required (full or limited) Other stressors few/easily identified; Interactions among impacts are simple to understand/evaluate Project ‘s contribution to total impacts is minor Discuss cumulative impacts in EIA Other stressors numerous/not easily identified Interactions among impacts are complex Project’s contribution to total impacts is significant Carry out in-depth CEIA

20 Discussion of Cumulative Impacts within EIA VECs may be general and LACs may be presented in qualitative terms Usually rely on existing data Usually use relatively simple analytical tools (e.g. impact matrix) In-depth Cumulative Impact Assessm ent VECs should be specific and LACs mostly expressed in quantitative terms Often requires collection of additional baseline and impact-related data Use more sophisticated and quantitative analytical tools (mathematical or computer modeling of alternative scenarios, dose/response curves, GIS/land use mapping, etc.)

21 2-matrix tool for simple CIA (example of small HEPP) Matrix 1: potential biophysical and socio-economic impacts of project components Impacts Water speed upstream Water speed downstream Water volume downstream Forest coverSlope stabilityEtc. Project Component/action Construction of regulator XX Diversion of water flow X Construction of access roads XX Construction of tunnels X Construction of power house X Etc. Matrix 2: potential effects of other activities in the area ImpactsWater speedWater volumeForest coverSlope stabilityEtc. Other activities other HEPP XXXX Agriculture X Forestry XX Mining XX Etc. Overlapping marks indicate potential cumulative impacts to be considered

22 How to Use CEIA Like all EIA, an input to decision-making Fullest possible information for decision-makers and stakeholders … clarify options and trade-offs Influence siting, design and operation of projects Identify development trends which may require strategic planning Identify most effective and efficient mitigation measures (may be outside of the proposed project)

23 How we should approach CEIA: THANK YOU


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