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close this bookInitial Environmental Assessment: Mining and Extraction of Sand and Gravel - Series no 10 (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. Cause pollution of water, air or soil?

· Has any assessment and/or mapping been done with regard to the current pollution situation, user interests and possible conflicts of interests in the affected recipients (air and water)?

· Will there be discharges of solid or dissolved substances to waste water, causing pollution of groundwater, surface water or coastal waters?

· Will the project increase the risk of erosion resulting in water sources becoming turbid or muddy and cause the accumulation of silt on the bottoms of these water sources?

Have plans been established to reduce the discharges to water and are these measures considered sufficient?

· Have the impacts on the recipient usage as water source for drinking water purposes or as water source for agriculture and aquaculture been considered?

· Will the activity, including transport, cause discharge of dust to air which may cause damage or discomfort for the settlement areas in the vicinity?

· Is there a risk that the activity can cause discharge of gases that are damaging to health and environment?

· Have measures for reduction of discharges to air been planned, and will these measures be sufficient?

· Will discharge outlets for wastewater and any chimneys for gases be located and dimensioned so that the concentrations of discharge substances become as small as possible?

· Will the project be subject to local environmental regulations, and will these be sufficient to avoid local damages and discomforts?

· Has a plan of operation been established which will consider the risk for both short- and long-term pollution?

2. Cause waste problems?

· Will waste be created during the operation which is hazardous to people or: environment, e.g. gangue containing sulphide, tailings containing sulphide, radioactive waste etc.?

· Will the various types of waste be deposited in such a manner that they cannot contaminate soil and water resources? · Will the activity have its own tailings ponds?

· Have the long-term environmental impacts of the deposition of tailings and
gangue been considered sufficiently and with a satisfactory result?.

· Is the national definition of hazardous waste in accordance with the strictwst international regulations? (Cf. also booklet 11 "Waste management")

· Will the management of hazardous waste be in accordance with the strictest national and international regulations and guidelines? (Cf. also booklet 11 "Waste management")

3. Affect areas with conservation-worthy fauna or flora or other especially vulnerable ecosystems?

Will the activity, including any open pit mining, and the affiliated roads and other facilities create barriers for animals, or in any other manner expropriate important habitats for fauna and flora?

· Will there be a sufficient distance to vulnerable natural areas?

· Will the activity displace fauna or flora species that are economically important, vulnerable or conservation-worthy?

Will the discharges of wastewater or the deposition of tailings from the activity threaten the aquatic resources?

· Will the project through physical location, pollution impacts or impacts on the composition of species and production contribute to destroy or change vulnerable or conservation-worthy ecosystems?

· Will transport of dangerous substances go through areas with vulnerable or conservation-worthy ecosystems, flora or fauna?

4. Affect areas with conservation-worthy objects or landscapes?

· Will any open pit mining, tailings ponds, waste rock dumps and mining facilities otherwise change the visual expression of the landscape in a manner which greatly impacts the scenic value of the landscape for the local population and makes it less attractive for recreation and tourism?

· Will houses, other buildings, or landscapes that are of importance to the local population be affected by the project?

· Will areas or objects with a historic, cultural or religious value for the population be affected?

· Have plans been made prior to the initiation of the project for the adaptation of the project to the landscape. And have plans been made for rehabilitation measures upon the closing of the project?

5. Constitute a health risk for the workers and the local population?

· Will any national regulations regarding working environments be complied with?

· Is there a risk that the working environment could cause harm or work-related illnesses for the workers?

· Will houses or other sensitive areas be affected by noise? The noise conditions at night should be considered specifically.

· Will the activity processes utilise environmentally harmful chemicals or substances?

· Will the products contain substances that may be damaging to health or environment (amorphous quartz, asbestos, radioactive substances)?

6. Contain a risk of accidents with serious consequences for the population and nature?

· Will there be a risk for large explosions (dust explosions) or fires as a result of the activity?

· Are any tailings ponds dimensioned to withstand incidents like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes etc. which may occur in the area?

· Is the operation of the open pit mining or underground mining adapted to the geological conditions in the area, in order to prevent cave-ins or landslides?

· Are safety zones located surrounding open pit mining facilities?

· Will the factory utilise substances which are inflammable, toxic or environmentally damaging?

· Will there be a controlled use of such dangerous substances?

· Will the factory have a system for marking, risk information, handling and stockpiling of dangerous substances?

· Is there a danger for accidental discharges of dangerous substances to air, water or soil?

· Will the industry have emergency routines in case of accidents?

· Will there be a quality control of waste and discharges with regard to the content of pollutant substances? (Cf. also booklet 11 "Waste management").

· Will transport of dangerous substances pass through settlement areas, agricultural areas, or water supply areas?

7. Change the population's way of life?

· Will the local population, or those who are to work in the activity, have long traditions within industry or mining, or does mining represent something radically new?

· Will the project create a new division of labour between men and women?

· Is there a risk that women and children will be exploited as cheap labour?

· Will the establishment of mining lead to new population concentrations, and thereby increased strain on the soil, fuel and water resources?

8. Cause conflicts with regard to land tenure
and land use?
· Will the project affect areas which are used for transport and movement?

· Will the project affect areas which are used for agriculture, forestry or fishing?

· Could the project cause a lowering of the groundwater table in the area. If yes, which interests would suffer as a result?

· Will the project's consumption of water in the processes be in accordance with the existing use of water in the affected area?

· Will the activity cause extensive migration to the area, slum settlements and potential conflicts between migrant groups and the groups already living in the area?

· Will changes to the power structures, way of living and natural resource management cause conditions which indirectly increase the exploitation of the total natural resource base in the area?

9. Prevent or cause considerable changes to the local population's use of other natural resources and areas than those directly affected by the project?

· Will the project force other activity to relocate to new areas, and thereby place excessive strain on the natural resources and areas in the new areas?

· Will the project activities indirectly lead to a substantially increased or uncontrolled exploitation of other resources previously either insignificantly utilised or not utilised at all?

· Will the project entail the initiation of other activity, such as raw material extraction, workshop, industry, transport etc.?

· Will the new activities mentioned above cause impacts on the environment? Refer if necessary to the "Checklists for initial assessments" or the initial assessment booklets for the respective project categories.

10. Other general conditions.

· Will the project utilise technology with little environmental impact?

· Will the products be environmental critical both in use and as waste?

· Will the mining activity establish a system for environmental administration which secures that the management takes environmental responsibility and is in a position to handle environmental issues in a satisfactory manner?

· Are local, national and international environmental requirements known?