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close this bookInitial Environmental Assessment: Transport - Series no 8 (NORAD, 1994)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsPart I: General account
Open this folder and view contentsPart II: Documentation requirements for initial environmental assessment
View the documentWill the project

Will the project

1. Pollute water, air or soil? (Cf. chapter 3.1)


· Will consideration be given to the risk of accidents in transporting, reloading or storage of environmentally dangerous substances or products, in order to reduce the possibilities of serious pollution?

· Will pesticides be used for removal or clearing of vegetation in construction or maintenance of transport arteries?

· Will waste or sewage from temporary worker settlements (the constructional phase) be responsibly managed?

· Will the machinery used during construction or maintainance possibly contaminate the surroundings with oil, grease etc.? If yes: What is being done to reduce the extent of this pollution?

· Will the project area be properly cleaned up after construction or maintenance in order to prevent the presence of garbage, oil residue, defective equipment etc.?

· Will waste (oil, chemicals) from workshops for repairs of means of transport be treated carefully?

· Will the project cause an unintended settlement where discharges and waste are not responsibly treated?

Road transport:

· Will the project cause a considerable increase in the amount of traffic thereby significantly increasing the emission to air of CO, NOx, SOx, VOC, particles, lead, soot, and road dust? Which measures are being implemented to reduce the emissions?

· Will dust from earth and gravel rural roads possibly become a problem for people who live in the vicinity (health problems, traffic security, crop damage)? What measures will be implemented to reduce dust problems?

· Will drinking water sources or vulnerable ecosystems alongside the road be polluted by run-off water from the road (tar substances, PAM)? Will it be relevant with special measures to reduce this type of contamination, also with regard to discharges from traffic accidents?

Sea transport:

· Will construction, improvement of or maintenance of (for instance dredging) harbour facilities cause resuspension of bottom sediment which is contaminated by for instance chemicals, heavy metals, petroleum, hydrocarbons or other waste which may be dissolved or suspended in the water?

· If yes to the question above: To which degree will such pollution affect the aquatic life?

· Is there a risk that dredging or blasting as part of harbour development may alter groundwater currents in the transition between land and sea resulting in either contamination by saltwater or draining of groundwater reservoirs?

· Will dredged masses be deposited responsibly, so that any dangerous substances in the masses do not cause serious pollution?

· Is there a risk of environmentally damaging discharges from vessels in open seas and in harbours? (Discharges are defined as both leakages and accidents in the transport of hazardous cargoes, or dumping of waste, wastewater etc. from vessels.) Will any harbour facilities which are included in the project have routines securing a responsible handling of waste from calling ships, and routines which may limit the extent of pollution from accidents during cargo handling?

· Will there be a need for special collection systems for polluted run-off water from the harbour?

Other transport:

· See chapter 3.1 regarding railways and airports.

· Is there a risk of leakages from oil and gas pipelines due to sabotage, damage through mechanical contact with machinery and tools, climate, earthquakes, or poor maintenance? Will regular monitoring and maintenance be secured?

· Will installation of pipelines underwater and in coastal zones cause resuspension of polluting bottom sediment? (See questions under "Sea transport" above).

· Will large amounts of chemical pesticides be used for the removal of vegetation for the establishment of power transmission lines and their maintenance? Has selective mechanical removal of vegetation been considered as an alternative?

· Will the power transmission line transport power with so high voltages that it may be relevant to consider possible impacts on nature and humans due to electromagnetic fields (EMF)?

2. Cause soil erosion? (Cf. chapter 3.2)


· Is the project area's vulnerability to erosion taken into consideration in the planning of the project?

· Will excavation take place outside rainy seasons?

· Will location for excavation of sand, gravel and stone for construction or improvement of transport facilities also be considered with regard to the risk of erosion?

· Will bridges crossing rivers or other water sources possibly alter currents with consequences for erosion and sedimentation?

Road transport:

· Will adequate consideration be given to the risk for erosion during the construction activity (due to exposure of soil, removal of vegetation etc.)?

· Is there a risk of erosion due to poor location of the road in the terrain?

· Will catch water drains and pipes be focused in the construction, improvement or maintenance to ensure that the road does not cause erosion or that the road is destroyed by water from the watershed? Will such drains and pipes be constructed in accordance with regulations and careful calculations so that they function as intended and do not contribute to erosion?

· Might it be relevant to focus IMT (Intermediate Means of Transport) in relation to the project to reduce the use of paths and tracks which may cause erosion in the watershed?

Sea transport:

· Will moles, breakwaters and other structures cause changes to current, erosion, and sedimentation conditions in the project area or along the coast?

· Will the project create changes to the natural coastline? And will the project through dredging, and blasting etc. create deeper water leading to changes in wave activity and erosion along the coast? (See also under "Sea transport" in question 4.)

Other transport:

· See chapter 3.2 with regard to railways, pipelines and power transmission lines.

3. Create barrier impacts? (Cf. chapter 3.31)

· Will the transport facility cause substantial barrier impacts, i.e. prevent movement and communication for people and animals across the transport artery(ies)?

· Will the transport artery(ies) cause substantial partition and fragmentation of habitats for fauna and flora, (see also under "General" in question 4) and human use of land?

· Will areas especially vulnerable to barrier impacts, like for instance river banks and coast lines, be affected?

· Will measures be implemented to reduce the barrier impacts, for instance bridges, tunnels etc.?

4. Cause impacts to ecosystems, vulnerable flora and fauna species and natural resources? (Cf. chapter 2.1 and 3.4)


· Does the project require so much land that it will cause considerable intrusions in nature, resulting in degradation of fauna, flora and ecosystems, or changes to the composition of species and the number of animal and plant species?

· Do some of the project areas have ecological qualities suggesting protection of those areas?

· Will the project affect or cause degradation of important natural resources (water etc.)?

· Will the project affect or cause degradation of breeding areas for commercially valuable fauna (fish, shellfish, mammals etc.)?

· Will flora and fauna outside the project area itself be affected, for instance by pollution?

· Will the project fragment habitats for vulnerable or conservation-worthy animal or plant species causing the area to become too small or too divided in order to maintain the ecological functions?

· Will the project improve the accessibility to natural areas which have previously been protected from external impacts? If yes: What is the risk of an ensuing uncontrolled exploitation of valuable species of animal and plant species, and will monitoring be implemented if this risk is present?

Road transport:

· How possible is it that a road project, which is relatively small and have few environmental impacts, may be expanded in the near future?

Sea transport:

· Will dredging be implemented in the construction and maintenance of harbours which may spread sediment to such an extent that coral reefs and areas with seaweed may be damaged?

· Will dredging remove valuable bottom life (shell and fish resources), or change the composition of species with regard to life on the bottom?

· Will dredging or excavation in estuaries cause saline water to intrude into the water course causing changes to fauna and flora?

· Will blasting in relation to harbour construction damage life on the bottom, coral reefs and other valuable fauna or flora? If yes: Will measures be implemented to reduce the extent of these damages?

· Will construction or improvement of harbour facilities include establishment of waste disposal facilities for waste from ships preventing dumping of waste in open seas causing damage to flora and fauna?

Other transport:

· Will installation of pipelines underwater result in substantial resuspension of bottom sediment? (See the impacts described for dredging under "Sea transport" above.)

· In case of installation of pipelines on land see under "General" above and chapter 3.4.

· In case of clearing of ROWs for power transmission lines see under "General" above and chapter 3.4.

· Will clearing of ROWs for power transmission lines possibly have positive impacts on flora and fauna through the "edge effect"? Is it possible to predict what will happen?

5. Change or destroy landscapes, cultural relics and scenic values? (Cf. chapter 3.5)

Road transport and other transport:

· To which extent will marked transport lines and other transport facilities disturb or destroy beautiful landscapes?

· Will landscapes or cultural relics of special importance for the local population's sense of belonging to an area be affected?

· Will the need for improvement of design of a transport facilities because of the visual impacts be considered as relevant measures during maintainance or upgrading activities?

· Will location of transport facilities in the landscape, and the subsequent impacts on it, be considered through use of visual perspective drawings etc. during the planning of the project?

· Will the transport facility be located too close to cultural relics or places for rituals and religious practice resulting in disturbances for the activities or increase the risk of vandalism and theft?

· Will mitigative measures like tunnels or burying (pipelines and power transmission lines) be considered?

Sea transport:

· Will cranes, buildings, moles and great quantities of containers at harbours substantially impact the landscape and/or cultural relics?

6. Cause noise, accidents and other health impacts? (Cf. chapter 3.6)

· Will the transport facility be located close to housing, hospitals, schools etc.?

· Will there be a need for measures to reduce noise?

· Will there be a need for traffic safety measures?

· What will be done to reduce the danger for explosions and fires during transport of oil, gas and other dangerous substances and products?

· Will power transmission lines be located close to housing areas etc. increasing the risk of someone being exposed to electric shocks?

· Will the project result in increased pollution of air with probable health impacts on human's mucous membranes and respiratory system?

· Might the transport facility spread diseases to new areas if relatively isolated population groups is coming in contact with other groups, through increased travel etc.?

· Might the project in other ways spread diseases, for instance through the facility creating places with stagnant water (ditches) which result in good breeding conditions for mosquitoes (malaria etc.), or that removal of vegetation during the constructional phase increases the aggressivity of for instance tse-tse flies (sleeping sickness)?

· Will construction or maintenance of transport facilities contain a risk of accidents with subsequent injuries or other impacts on the health of the workers? If yes: Which safety measures will be considered?

· Will activity (cargo handling) at the harbour facilities and other cargo terminals contain a risk of accidents and health injuries? If yes: Which safety measures will be considered? Will safety measures in accordance with national or international regulations be implemented in the handling of hazardous waste and dangerous substances and products?

· Will it be relevant to consider any health impacts from electromagnetic fields (EMF) which result as a consequence of power transmission lines?

7. Cause changes in land use and impacts for traditional ways of life and natural resource management? (Cf. chapter 3.7)

· Might the project through occupation of land or resettlement of people and/or activities requiring land create land use conflicts and changes to natural resource utilisation?

· Will the project cause increased migration to the area which may result in social conflicts and increased pressure on land and natural resources?

· Can one predict which migrations and demographic changes the transport facility might cause? The indirect environmental impacts might be substantial.

· Might the transport facility open for conflicts between various ethnic groups through increased mobility and contact?

· Will the transport facility improve the access to areas which previously have been relatively isolated and thereby threaten the cultures and existence of indigenous groups?

8. Other general conditions.

· Are local, national and international environmental requirements known?