Environmental Impact Assessment Process
An Environmental Statement will be submitted with the application for a development consent order. To determine what is covered by the statement, a scoping report has been prepared, which is available through [our] website. This note sets out the issues which are expected to be considered as part of the environmental impact assessment which will be carried out to allow us to prepare the environmental statement. A Preliminary Environmental Information Report will be available for Phase 2 consultation.
1.1 The Environmental Impact Assessment Process
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be undertaken to understand the likely significant environmental effects that the construction and operation of the replacement Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) may have. It will also inform the design of the project. The findings of the EIA will be recorded in an Environmental Statement which is submitted as part of the application. A summary of the EIA process is illustrated on the diagram below.
During Phase One consultation the EIA process is still in the early stages: So far environmental baseline conditions have been established and a scoping report has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate that sets out the scope for the EIA and extent of the environmental information that is needed to inform the application. As part of Phase Two of consultation (May-June 2015), a report will be produced that sets out the preliminary environment information, including preliminary assessments where available.
Air Quality and Odour
The EIA will include an assessment of potential air quality changes from construction of a replacement Energy Recovery Facility (ERF)and demolition and decommissioning of the existing Energy from Waste (EFW) facility. The assessment will cover odour, dust, emissions and human health and consider effects on residential properties and other sensitive locations in the area. The assessment will consider changes in air quality as a result of emissions from the ERF as well as emissions from vehicles using the site during construction and operation. Computer based dispersion modelling will be used to predict the effects.
The air quality assessment will also take into consideration construction and demolition dust impacts. Measures to manage dust will be set out in the CoCP (see CoCP section). An assessment of potential odour impacts of the operation of the ERF will also be undertaken in accordance with Environment Agency guidelines.
Air quality considerations are a key part of the design process. Mitigation for potential air quality impacts will be built into the design, for example a flue gas treatment system. The project team are working with the Environment Agency and the Health Protection Agency to produce the assessment. The air quality assessment will identify if any further mitigation is required.
Noise and Vibration
The EIA will include an assessment of the expected road traffic noise during construction and operation. The assessment will build on noise surveys that have been undertaken to understand areas that would potentially be affected and existing noise conditions. Residential areas sensitive to noise and vibration are located more than 600m from the site, which will inform the consideration of noise from site activities during construction and operation.
Noise from site activities would be mitigated during construction through the CoCP. Noise will also be managed during operation using machinery with low noise emissions, suitable building sound insulation and appropriate noise level targets.
Extensive ecological surveys have been undertaken at the site to understand the presence of birds, bats, other protected species and habitats. These have identified limited existing habitats of value to date. The landscape design proposals will take into account the existing habitats and the protection, mitigation and enhancement of ecological interests will be incorporated into the site-wide design solution.
As the site is close to habitats that are protected by European designations (for example the Lea Valley Ramsar sites), the need for a Habitat Regulations Assessment will be discussed with Natural England. The CoCP will set out how ecology would be protected during construction (see CoCP section).
The protection of surface water and groundwater quality and flows will be considered in the EIA. A Flood Risk Assessment will also be submitted with the application which will consider sources of flood risk to people, property and infrastructure and a sustainable drainage strategy. The assessment will build upon surveys that have been undertaken to understand existing surface water, drainage, aquifers and flood risk in the area. The assessment will be produced in consultation with the Environment Agency and mitigation will be proposed in line with good practice, including management during construction through the CoCP.
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