29 May 2012

Health and safety issues in environmental and social IA - Session I Presentation 1

Modification of EIA regulation in Chile related to HIA

EIA regulations came in 1997

240 energy related projects since 1997 have had EIAs

EIA system considered risks to human health from effluents, emissions or waste.

EIA has some elements of EIA, SIA and HIA

EIA effectiveness seen negatively by people especially energy projects, perhaps because:

  • EIA is expected to resolve all issues even those that are dealt with through other processes.
  • Country needs energy
  • Government has openly backed key energy projects
  • Lack of methodologies
  • Not even the Chilean President believed in effectiveness of EIA
 

Only health considered is risks caused by pollutants and the EIA uses the following assessment criteria:

  • Primary quality standards: e.g air quality standards used in air quality modelling and if air quality less than the Standard then it is judged to be no risk or acceptable risk. But uncertainties are not adequately considered.
  • Emission standards: must not be considered the only critia, should take into account local topography, climate, etc. Only project emissions should be considered. But what about already contaminated sites.
  • International Standards where no national standards
2010 EIA legislative change:

  • Not just project pollutants
  • Where no national reference standards then international standards should be used.
  • ....