Major Environmental Issues facing future generations of Australians
1.Using the article provided in the class what are Major Environmental Issues facing future generations of Australians?
2.Describe the steps one needs to follow to obtain approval for a project that requires EIA and approval in one of your chosen State.
3.How did Practitioners overcome the Pitfalls of EIA?
4.Consider a chosen Development activity from a list posted and Conduct Environmental Impact assessment.
Environmental impact assessment is an essential aspect of today's modern day scenario. It helps in the determination of the good as well the bad impacts that a project might have on the flora and fauna located in the close proximity of the project (Aguilar-Støen and Hirsch 2017).
It talks about the impacts that can be caused on social, economic, cultural and human health, both beneficial and adverse. It is the sole duty of each and every organization working in this modern 21st century to make a complete and thorough analysis of the different effects both good and bad that their project is likely to have. Like many other countries, Australia also has undertaken several measures to protect its present and future generations (Fuller, Buckner and Wilcox 2015). This paper will help in dealing with the different steps that each and every organization needs to follow before understanding and following the environmental policies, and also how these policies are followed in Australia. Apart from this, the aim of this paper will also be to see the major environmental impacts that the Australians are likely to face in the coming years and how they can recognize and mitigate those impact (Vajda et al 2015).
1.Climatic changes are likely to create pressure on the environment and geographic set up of Australia in the recent future. The causes behind this increasing environmental pressure are many and varied (Fuller, Buckner and Wilcox 2015).The large scale population is perhaps the first and foremost reason behind all the impending environmental problems (Fuller, Buckner and Wilcox 2015).
As per the present records, it has been seen that the future generations of Australia are likely to face many challenges, to list few-
Rising temperatures is one of the major problems. It is predicted that in the year 2020, there will be a sharp rise in the average temperature of Australia. It will be 1.5 degree Celsius higher than it was in the year 1900, which means that as there is a large scale deforestation that follows, it is slowly lowering down the level of oxygen and the carbon dioxide content is increasing day by day (Fuller, Buckner and Wilcox 2015).
Emissions reduction fund
It is said that by the year 2070 if we do nothing then the temperature will be 3.5 degree Celsius. As a result of which h, there will be a sharp increase in a number of heat waves and this, in turn, will increase the chances of drought and this time t he droughts will be much more serious and deadly. There will also be increased chances of floods (Vajda et al 2015).
This will in turn also increase the greenhouse gases and will create holes in the ozone layer. The oceans will also get warmer day by day and this warm ocean is very likely to bleach a number of corals each year.
Australia is trying its level best to deal with all these environmental problems by taking different steps with the aid of the Government. Government is giving a considerable amount of funds in order to reduce the emissions of the harmful gases that might cause large scale air pollution (Rumlerová et al 2016).
The Government has allocated a huge amount of money in order to adopt the necessary measures that would be needed for removing the harmful pollutants that are released into the environment and to stop the sources from which they are released (Rumlerová et al 2016).
Government is also promoting the use of alternative and eco-friendly fuels in place of the harmful carbon compounds that emit harmful components into the air (Fuller, Buckner and Wilcox 2015).
Another important policy adopted is supporting the clean and efficient energy. About 12 most emissions intensive power stations have been shut down in the last five years. There are also constant efforts being made in order to find out more and more renewable forms of energy so that the usage of the non renewable source of energy is reduced (Vajda et al 2015).
Energy is indeed a very important issue to tackle because as the population is increasing day by day, the demand for energy consumption is also increasing and in order to cater to the large scale energy needs, a huge pressure is being created over all the energy stations which in near future will have a harmful impact on environment hence efforts are being made to seriously deal with this issue (Aguilar-Støen and Hirsch 2017).
As far as the Environmental Impact Assessment in NSW is concerned, the process is a robust process, which also includes some of the best practices including some particular requirements for public consultation and concurrence by several other relevant agencies (Rumlerová et al 2016).
Environmental Impact Assessment
The first step is screening which is the very start of the project (Vajda et al 2015). Once a project has been undertaken, the developer has to consider and identify what impacts this project is likely to have on the environment, if it is seen that a particular project can have several harmful impacts on the environment, then the developer must know that this project is in the utter need of getting an EIA (Rumlerová et al 2016).The next step is called scoping (Vajda et al 2015). It is understood in this stage that EI is needed and the following stage is the one where, all the issues are addressed and defined which are likely to have an important issue on the environment and this stage is very crucial to find out and deal with the relevant issues.
All the necessary information are available and then begins the work of impact prediction, which involves predicting the issues or the changes that can happen in the environment as a result of the development or the project (Aguilar-Støen and Hirsch 2017).
Identified impacts have to be properly assessed and necessary actions are to be taken.
This process needs adopting the necessary measures that are needed to solve or reduce the impacts on the environment and it is also to be seen here that the EIA process is well demonstrated here (Rumlerová et al 2016).
It is usually a formal document that will contain detailed information of the project regarding the development and all the other information gathered relating to the screening, scoping, baseline study and all the other steps that are involved earlier (Rumlerová et al 2016).These are public documents which are really very helpful to inform all about nature and the possible effects that a particular development in time to take part in the final project design (Vajda et al 2015).
After the EIA is completed it is submitted to the respective competent authority. This is that body which has the authority and the permission to review all this development application. Often these competent authorities are running short of time as a result of which it is tough for them to thoroughly review the statement(Dangi et al 2015).The process of review should enable the decision-maker to decide whether the EIS is adequate whether the information is correct. (Rumlerová et al 2016).
This indeed is an important part of the Environmental Impact Assessment method where the concerned organization has to make a thorough follow up after the implementation of all the rules, regulations and policies of the EIA (Aguilar-Støen and Hirsch 2017). The organization has to make sure that each and every member within the organization is abiding by all the rules and regulations and the policies (Dangi et al 2015). There must a daily or weekly follow up process followed in each and every organization in order to make sure that all the rules have been properly communicated from the top management to all the subordinate employees and that there is a proper communication and a regular evaluation and monitoring of the environmental plan(Vajda et al 2015). It also helps to analyze and keep a check on the duties and responsibilities of all the employees related to the success of the EIA.
Often if the decisions are left for the Government intervention, the entire process of decision making slows down and there are often situations when the Environmental Impact Assessment is not conducted (Fuller, Buckner and Wilcox 2015). The lateness in the development sequence and the decision making process- It the development sequence is delayed and if it is taken after long and drawn major decisions, then it would not only slow the rate at which the Environmental Impact Assessment will be implemented and enforced but also it will cause some major loopholes in the entire process (Vajda et al 2015). Lack of follow up during development- If the follow up in the whole environmental Impact Assessment does not take place (Aguilar-Støen and Hirsch 2017) then the environmental concerns will be forgotten and there will be the arrival of many new concerns that will be uncovered and will not be taken into account. Apart from this, there is also the issue of the post auditing of the plan or the proper monitoring, implementation or efforts of mitigation measures and methods of verifications of predictions may not occur (Dangi et al 2015).
There can also be lack of consideration of alternatives- There are also chances of the beneficial impacts being ignored because EIA must reveal the opportunities and the benefits and not just raise the warnings,this indeed is a major issue that needs to be looked after strictly (Fuller, Buckner and Wilcox 2015). At times, there can be the lack of proper means to control the harmful environmental impacts, and keeping proper alternatives in such cases might turn out to be very beneficial but if those alternative means are lacking then it would become too much difficult to control the harmful impacts on the environment. It also weakens the effectiveness of EIA (Rumlerová et al 2016). There are often biases in the tone and the language of the Environmental Impact Assessment. The measures which are adopted for mitigation are often too expensive to handle and are not easily available and affordable and they do not show the exact steps for the level of their development and are not realistic as to the maintenance requirement or the costs of operation (Laurent, and Espinosa 2015).
Several measures have been adopted by the practitioners to avoid these problems that are involved in the process of implementing this EIA-
The first and foremost thing that I thought to do was the screening of the project, I did a complete analysis of the project that was being undertaken and according to my analysis, some activities of this project were likely to have some harmful impacts as a result of which, there was the need for getting an EIA.The Act 1974 EP (IP), Says that those issues which are assumed to have harmful impacts on the environment in the coming days are to be properly considered, tested, studied, analyzed so that the right and useful actions can be taken to make the decision and decide that whether the development plan can properly be implemented. (Laurent, and Espinosa 2015).
After repeated reviews and debates and discussions between the state and federal government, a new direction is set in order to identify the roles of each body. Most of the Environmental Impact Assessments are still at the local or the state level although those projects that are at the National Environmental Significance or significant impact on Commonwealth land are covered by EPBC(Ojavee et al 2015.)
The process is parallel with the State Government although the part of works which are being done by the state Government could be considered. In order to ensure that the Environmental Impact Assessment is successful, public involvement is also at times very essential and rather a very crucial part in the entire Environmental Impact Assessment process and it is also well embedded in the national and state process (Le Bourhis et al 2013).
According to my analysis, the next important stage was to see the scope that is the harmful impacts that the mining company is likely to have on the environment, it was seen that for setting up a mining industry, there will be the involvement of many activities that might erode the soil of the surrounding areas, apart from this, there can be the incidental release of mercury as well as it is present in the gold ore (Pongprueksa and Chatchupong, 2016). There will also be harmful emissions of pollutants into the air including toxic gases and the smoke that is caused by the burning of fuels etc. Not only will the natural flora and fauna be harmed due to the activities of the mining company but there will also be heavy noise destroying the peace of the surrounding areas. According to my survey, there was a locality in the close proximity of that mining project, and they were all being disturbed due to the heavy noise that was emitted from all the mining activities, hence, apart from the air and water pollution, noise pollution was a major problem (Yang 2017).
I made sure that all the necessary steps are taken, in order to check the pollution. I made it a rule that no activities will be taking place without proper waste disposal method. There must not be the emission of uncontrolled levels of harmful smoke into the environment (Ojavee et al 2015).
Thus, it is concluded from this paper that that having a proper Environmental Impact Assessment is highly essential for the successful undertaking and fulfillment of any project. There are also several steps that each and every organization needs to follow. The EIA must be implemented immediately if it is found that any project is likely to have some harmful impacts on the flora and fauna or on the health of the humans living in the close proximity of the project. Hence, efforts must be made in order to see that no developmental projects that are being undertaken are causing any harm in any way. It must e a mutual responsibility for all to see that the world becomes a happy place to live in.
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