After reading this article you will learn about conducting EIA and hazardous waste management.
EIA serves as a valuable tool for identification, prediction and evaluation of impacts due to the proposed TSDF at a particular site.
It evaluates the potential impacts, both beneficial and adverse, of the project i.e., TSDF on the environmental system.
There are different methodologies available for the assessment of the impacts under the EIA study.
However, the State Government or a person authorised by it will do the final selection of the site as per the Guidelines to HW (M&H) Rules issued by the MOEF (from time to time).
Evaluation of impacts is one of the important features of EIA. It summarizes and evaluates the impacts generated by taking up the TSDF. In view of the wide range of infrastructural and other associated requirements needed for site selection, construction and operation of TSDF, the impacts generated by it on the local environment become complex in nature.
During the above stages of TSDF, the following phases are identified to take place:
1. Construction phase
2. Operational phase
3. Final phase
The above phases may affect the local environmental attributes such as air, water, soil, land use, human beings and flora & fauna. Aspects such as access roads and services, site preparation, diversion of watercourses, infrastructural development, earth moving activities, traffic movements, leachate and gas control and/or treatment, re-vegetation, greenbelt development, monitoring etc. are addressed under the above activities.
The local changes such as, public health and safety, population changes, changes in landscape, gaseous emissions, emission of water pollutants and local drainage, potential changes in local flora and fauna etc. are also considered.
Ramakrishna and Babu (1999) developed a matrix suitable for TSDF projects based on the above discussed criteria. The size of the matrix is 20 X 17. Each cell in the matrix refers to relation between specific project activity and the corresponding environmental attribute.
The impacts may be graded on a simple scale of 1 to 4 indicating very slightly, slightly, moderate and significant nature respectively. The beneficial and adverse impacts may be denoted by (+) and (—) scales respectively. The format (20 x 17) of the matrix can be modified as per the local needs. Similarly, the grading of the scales can also be altered depending upon the degree of accuracy required.
Implementation of TSDF:
The TSDF should be properly designed based on the HW expected at the site. The typical layout available in literature may be used as a helping tool in this aspect. Periodical monitoring of the site should be carried out during the post-closure period.
The monitoring scheme includes the ambient environmental quality and different activities pertaining to the direct and indirect operation of TSDF such as Amenity items, Site inspections, Habitat, survey, Aftercare measures, and future planning etc.
Hazardous Waste Management:
A solid waste or combination of solid wastes that, because of quantity, concentration or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics, may cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious, irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness or pose a substantial hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed or otherwise managed.
Convention of Hazardous Waste:
Hazardous waste management is a new concept for most of the Asian countries including India who is a party to the Basel Convention on trans-boundary movement of hazardous wastes. The basic objectives of the Basel Convention are control and reduction of trans-boundary movements of hazardous and other wastes subject to the Basel Convention, prevention and minimisation of their generation, environmentally sound management of such wastes and active promotion of the transfer and use of cleaner technologies.
As a Party to the Convention, India is obliged to regulate and minimise the import of Hazardous Waste or other wastes for disposal or sham re-cycling and also to prohibit export of waste to Parties, which have prohibited the import of such wastes.
Further, hazardous waste generated in the country is also required to be managed in an environmentally sound manner. India, as a Party, can prevent the import of hazardous waste or other waste if it has reason to believe that the waste in question will not be managed in an environmentally sound manner.
The lack of technical and financial resources and the regulatory control for the management of hazardous wastes in the past had led to the unscientific disposal of hazardous wastes in India, which posed serious risks to human, animal and plant life.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India notified the Hazardous waste (Management and Handling) Rules in the year 1989 under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. As per rule, there is a need to create a broad for hazardous waste management in each state.
The board made an inventory of hazardous waste generating industries. For instance in West Bengal, there are 609 hazardous waste generating units generating 2,59776.24 MT/A hazardous waste.