Environmental Risk Assessment is a technique that has been created to help in understanding and addressing some of the key environmental issues. Environmental Risk is a measure of potential environmental risks that combines the probability that an occurrence may result in environmental degradation. Environmental Risk Assessment is an important technique for analyzing the probable environmental repercussions of a particular action or activity and for making educated judgments about the amount of environmental risk.
Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) enables a proactive approach to environmental management rather than a reactive one focused solely on corrective actions. ERA is now widely regarded as a critical tool for firms looking to incorporate environmental concerns into their operations.
Environmental Risk Assessment necessitates a systematic framework to enable frequently complicated analyses to be carried out in a consistent and proportionate manner to the amount of risk.
The framework's primary aspects are described in the following sections of this Guideline. It is critical to remember the following basic principles:
Each of the three tiers of risk assessment illustrated in Figure 2.1 includes five stages:
The components of each of these stages are described below,
A hazard is defined as a property or situation that, under certain conditions, might cause injury. The identification of risks at each step of the risk assessment process is critical in determining the final assessment's scope. It is also critical to identify both major and secondary dangers during the procedure.
The potential repercussions of a certain danger are determined by inherent nature of the hazard. At this point, the whole spectrum of potential outcomes should be assessed, without regard to the likelihood (probability) of these events. This enables for an initial examination of a broad range of potential environmental repercussion, even if some may be regarded as insignificant owing to low probability.
A particular hazard's repercussions may include current or prospective harm to human health, property, or the natural environment. The scale of repercussions may be assessed in a variety of ways, depending on whether they are examined as part of a risk screening process or a full risk assessment. The following concerns must be considered at any level of the process.
The geographical scope of environmental harm will frequently extend beyond the boundaries of the hazard's source. This must also be considered during the risk assessment, or else the entire scope will be too limited.
Environmental damage can range from temporary to permanent. It is therefore important to define the chronological scale of any impacts in order to identify importance.
It is also critical to determine the period of beginning of the repercussions, since certain environmental effects may not appear for years after the damaging occurrence. For example, a hydrocarbon or hazardous chemical spill on the ground may gradually contaminate an underground aquifer. This, however, will not be obvious until the pollutants have percolated.
It is also critical to determine the period of beginning of the repercussions, since certain environmental effects may not appear for years after the damaging occurrence. For example, a hydrocarbon or hazardous chemical spill on the ground may gradually contaminate an underground aquifer. This will not be obvious until the toxins have percolated into the earth, which might take some time. In such circumstances, modelling of pollutant transmission routes is essential to develop a measurable foundation for risk assessment.
The probability of a particular consequence being realised has three components:
After determining the probability and degree of the outcomes that may occur as a result of a certain hazard, the risk must be contextualized using value judgments. This might be accomplished, for example, by referring to environmental quality standards or toxicological thresholds. When there are no quantitative limitations of acceptability, such as the inherent biological importance of a specific area, assessing significance becomes extremely challenging.
After determining the magnitude and relevance of the risk posed by particular hazards, the next step is to develop risk management strategies. The options that will typically have to be considered are:
Table 4 presents a summary of the impacts significance rating.When the effect is classified High (Red), an alternate location or technology should be considered, or preventative and control measures should be integrated into the project design if none are available.
Environmental control and/or management measures would be required in the project design and execution plan for impacts graded Medium (Yellow). The effectiveness of these measures would be evaluated as part of the project Environmental Management Plan's impact monitoring strategies.
For the effects of a Low (Blue) rating, environmental management measures (e.g. internal processes, staff training) and continuous improvement would be the ideal solution.
|Potential Severity||People||Environmental effect||Reputation impact||Never heard of in industry Rarely||Has occurred in industry Unlikely||Has occurred in Industry Possible||Occurs several times a year in Industry Likely||Occurs several times a year at this site Almost Certain|
|0||No damage||No effect||No impact||A0||B0||C0||D0||E0|
|1||Slight damage||Slight effect||Slight impact||A1||Low Risk/ B1||Impact C1||D1||E1|
|2||Minor damage||Minor effect||Minor impact||A2||B2||C2||D2||E2|
|3||Moderate damage||Moderate effect||Moderate impact||A3||Medium /Risk B3||Impact C3||D3||E3|
|4||Major damage||Major effect||Major impact||A4||B4||C4||D4||E4|
|5||Massive damage||Critical effect||Critical effect||A5||B5||C5||High Risk/ D5||Impact E5|