Environmental Impact Assessment II

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 39749

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CEris—Civil Engineering Research and Innovation for Sustainability, Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Georesources, Lisbon University, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: building energy; sustainable built environment; sustainable construction; life cycle assessment; energy life cycle; rehabilitation and sustainability
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is one of the key processes in the preventive environmental approach, mandatory to a full set of countries and projects (e.g., agriculture, industry, commercial, services, infrastructures, urban projects, energy, tourism, and others). Environmental Impact allows developers and decision-makers to identify the impact, define measures, and select alternatives to a full set of projects in order to have better integration in the environment and a support-integrated search of sustainable development. This Special Issue invites research papers from a wide range of environmental impact issues to present articles emphasizing: (1) new approaches and cases of applications of environmental impact analysis; (2) project impact alternative selection; (3) define environmental baseline (GIS and others) and environmental evolution without project; (4) impact identification, prevision, and assessment; (5) integration of biodiversity, global warming, risk analysis, and other environmental factors; (6) feasibility analysis of environmental measures; (7) environmental public consultation and governance; (8) efficiency of environmental impact assessment processes; and (9) link between strategical environmental assessment, environmental impact assessment, and sustainability. This environmental impact Special Issue will provide an integrated view of the best cases and trends in solving the challenges associated with the integration of environmental impact methodologies and processes in the decision, in order to review sustainability at different levels.

Dr. Manuel Duarte Pinheiro
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • environmental impact assessment (EIA)
  • environment impact study (EIS)
  • environmental baseline
  • impact methodology
  • feasibility analysis of environmental impact measures
  • environmental public consultation and governance, strategical environmental assessment (SEA)
  • sustainability

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 3409 KiB  
Article
Using Aquatic Mesocosms to Assess the Effects of Soil and Vegetation for Informing Environmental Research
by Jim Davies, Ryan Melnichuk, Craig Aumann, Zhongzhi Chen and Brian Eaton
Environments 2023, 10(7), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments10070129 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1581
Abstract
An aquatic mesocosm facility consisting of thirty 15,000 L tanks was constructed in Vegreville, Alberta to support environmental research. In 2017, an experiment was conducted as an inaugural run for the facility; this study continued through the winter of 2017/18 (over-wintering is a [...] Read more.
An aquatic mesocosm facility consisting of thirty 15,000 L tanks was constructed in Vegreville, Alberta to support environmental research. In 2017, an experiment was conducted as an inaugural run for the facility; this study continued through the winter of 2017/18 (over-wintering is a unique capability of the facility) and concluded in the fall of 2018. Here, we report key methods used to evaluate the effects of two independent variables: (1) a soil layer covering the floor of the mesocosms, and (2) vegetation installed in the mesocosms. Although a range of response variables were measured during this study, we limit our analysis here to the physicochemical (e.g., pH, turbidity, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen) and biological/ecological response variables (e.g., macrophytes, phytoplankton/metaphyton, and macroinvertebrates) that differed due to these two variables. The presence of a soil layer covering the floor of the mesocosm was associated with increased turbidity on some days and depths in 2017. Specific conductivity was higher in the presence of soil and its associated adventitious vegetation. During this initial study, we gained a better understanding of the characteristics and mechanics of the mesocosms, which informs design and implementation of future experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment II)
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16 pages, 2942 KiB  
Article
An Assessment of Environmental Impact on Offshore Decommissioning of Oil and Gas Pipelines
by Shahriar Shams, D. M. Reddy Prasad, Monzur Alam Imteaz, Md. Munir Hayet Khan, Amimul Ahsan and Md. Rezaul Karim
Environments 2023, 10(6), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments10060104 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4245
Abstract
There has been a steady growth in the length of pipelines over the past 45 years, with over 6000 operating platforms extracting oil. Several facilities would reach their operational life, which can no longer be economically viable for their production and will eventually [...] Read more.
There has been a steady growth in the length of pipelines over the past 45 years, with over 6000 operating platforms extracting oil. Several facilities would reach their operational life, which can no longer be economically viable for their production and will eventually undergo the decommissioning procedure. Almost 3000 petroleum industries will likely be decommissioned worldwide in the next 17 years. By 2030, the total cost of decommissioning globally amounted to about USD 104.5 billion. The choice to decommission the offshore oil and gas sector is considered complicated and crucial as it must evaluate numerous variables such as cost, health and safety, and environmental consequences. This review paper aims to assess the decommissioning activity, specifically on pipelines in the oil and gas industry. The purpose of this study is to understand and evaluate significant environmental impacts associated with decommissioning of oil pipelines and to propose mitigation measures to address the challenges of decommissioning. Waste disposal, a threat to biodiversity and air pollution, is a major environmental concern in decommissioning oil and gas pipelines. Among the decommissioning measures, leave in-situ has the lowest environmental impact while repurposing and recycling, with the application of environmental impact qualitatively and quantitatively by integrating 3D information models, mathematical models embedded in hydrodynamic models look promising for decommissioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment II)
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21 pages, 2832 KiB  
Article
Model Application for Estimation of Agri-Environmental Indicators of Kiwi Production: A Case Study in Northern Greece
by Maria Kokkora, Panagiota Koukouli, Dimitrios Karpouzos and Pantazis Georgiou
Environments 2023, 10(4), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments10040069 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2254
Abstract
Due to the sensitivity of kiwifruit to soil water and nutrient availability, kiwi production is often associated with over-watering and over-fertilization, especially with nitrogen (N), resulting in increased environmental risks. Crop models are powerful tools for simulating crop production and environmental impact of [...] Read more.
Due to the sensitivity of kiwifruit to soil water and nutrient availability, kiwi production is often associated with over-watering and over-fertilization, especially with nitrogen (N), resulting in increased environmental risks. Crop models are powerful tools for simulating crop production and environmental impact of given management practices. In this study, the CropSyst model was applied to estimate soil N budget and environmental effects of kiwi production, with particular regard to N losses, in two grower-managed kiwi orchards in northern Greece, involving two seasons and different management practices. Management options included N fertilization and irrigation. Model estimates were compared with yield and soil mineral N content (0–90 cm depths) measured three times within the growing season. Agri-environmental indicators were calculated based on the N budget simulation results to assess the environmental consequences (focusing on N losses and water use efficiency) of the different management practices in kiwi production. According to model simulation results, kiwifruit yield and N uptake were similar in both orchards. N losses to the environment, however, were estimated on average to be 10.3% higher in the orchard with the higher inputs of irrigation water and N fertilizer. The orchard with the lower inputs showed better water and N use efficiency. N leaching losses were estimated to be higher than 70% of total available soil N in both study sites, indicating potential impact on groundwater quality. These findings demonstrate the necessity for improved irrigation and N fertilization management in kiwi production in the area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment II)
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20 pages, 1730 KiB  
Article
Environmental and Health Risk Assessment of Soil Adjacent to a Self-Burning Waste Pile from an Abandoned Coal Mine in Northern Portugal
by Patrícia Santos, Joana Ribeiro, Jorge Espinha Marques and Deolinda Flores
Environments 2023, 10(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments10030053 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2553
Abstract
Abandoned mines and disposal of mining residues can be responsible for the release of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) into the environment causing soil and water contamination, with potential ecological damage and human health hazards. The quantification of the apportionment of PTEs in soils [...] Read more.
Abandoned mines and disposal of mining residues can be responsible for the release of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) into the environment causing soil and water contamination, with potential ecological damage and human health hazards. The quantification of the apportionment of PTEs in soils and the study of the associated ecological and human health risks are essential. This study aims to assess the environmental and human health risk of the soils surrounding an abandoned coal mine in São Pedro da Cova, whose waste pile has been affected by self-combustion for over 17 years. The soil environmental characterization of the study area regarding PTEs was accessed by different pollution indices, considering the elementary crustal abundance and the determined regional soil geochemical background. The soil contamination degree was evaluated using indices such as the contamination factor (Cf) and geoaccumulation index (Igeo), inferred for all soil samples, and the potential ecological risk index (PERI) was also accessed. The human health risk was evaluated for adults and children, considering the non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks. The pollution indices calculated for the PTEs using distinct reference values showed significant differences, resulting in lower pollution indices when using the regional reference values. The regional background proved to be a much more reliable geochemical baseline for environmental assessment. Regarding Igeo, the soils were found to be unpolluted to moderately polluted for most of the studied PTEs. The determined PERI for the soils surrounding the abandoned mine classifies them as low ecological risk. The evaluation of the non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks, resulting from exposure to the studied soils, suggests that there is no potential human health risk for children or adults regarding the considered PTEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment II)
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19 pages, 3659 KiB  
Article
The Contribution of the Hulene-B Waste Dump (Maputo, Mozambique) to the Contamination of Rhizosphere Soils, Edible Plants, Stream Waters, and Groundwaters
by Bernardino Bernardo, Carla Candeias and Fernando Rocha
Environments 2023, 10(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments10030045 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2986
Abstract
The contamination of ecosystems in areas around waste dumps is a major threat to the health of surrounding populations. The aim of this study is to understand the contribution of the Hulene-B waste dump (Maputo, Mozambique) to the contamination of edible plants, rhizosphere [...] Read more.
The contamination of ecosystems in areas around waste dumps is a major threat to the health of surrounding populations. The aim of this study is to understand the contribution of the Hulene-B waste dump (Maputo, Mozambique) to the contamination of edible plants, rhizosphere soils, stream waters, and groundwater, and to assess human health risk. Soil and plant samples were analyzed by XRD and XRF for mineralogical and chemical composition characterization, respectively. Mineral phases identified in rhizosphere soil samples were ranked, calcite (CaCO3) > quartz (SiO2) > phyllosilicates (micas and kaolinite) > anhydrite (CaSO4) > K feldspar (KAlSi3O8) > opal (SiO2·nH2O) > gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O), suggesting potential toxic elements low mobility. Soil environmental indices showed pollution by Pb > Cu > Zn > Zr. The chemical composition of edible plants revealed contamination by Ni, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ti, and Zr. Groundwaters and stream waters showed a potential health risk by Hg and, in one irrigation water sample, by Pb content. The health hazard index of rhizosphere soils was higher by ingestion, with children being the ones more exposed. Results suggested a combined health risk by exposure to edible plants, rhizosphere soils, stream waters, and groundwaters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment II)
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19 pages, 4208 KiB  
Article
Public Risk Perception of the Petrochemical Industry, Measured Using a Public Participation Geographic Information System: A Case Study of Camp de Tarragona (Spain)
by Edgar Bustamante Picón, Joan Alberich González, Yolanda Pérez-Albert and Mahdi Gheitasi
Environments 2023, 10(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments10030036 - 24 Feb 2023
Viewed by 3020
Abstract
Following the implementation of the petrochemical industry, the population of Camp de Tarragona began living with a chemical risk, and after two consecutive years of chemical-related accidents with fatalities (in 2019 in the firm Carburos Metálicos, and in 2020 in the firm IQOXE), [...] Read more.
Following the implementation of the petrochemical industry, the population of Camp de Tarragona began living with a chemical risk, and after two consecutive years of chemical-related accidents with fatalities (in 2019 in the firm Carburos Metálicos, and in 2020 in the firm IQOXE), it is necessary to know the population’s perception of this activity. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the population’s risk perception regarding the petrochemical industry, by applying a Public Participation Geographic Information System (PPGIS). To this end, the risk perception data obtained from the PPGIS were correlated with the sociodemographic data from the surveys; an analysis was made of the perceived risks associated with this activity and what its possible effect would be on a territorial level, always from the point of view of the surveyed public. The results showed that the population clearly identifies on the map what the main sources of chemical risk are and which places would be affected by a possible explosion. In addition, it was verified that certain sociodemographic characteristics, such as gender or age, affect people’s perception of the risk, and that the weather conditions and anomalous situations within the industry also influence people’s perception, indicating high values of danger. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment II)
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14 pages, 1720 KiB  
Article
Foraging Honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica) as Biocenosis Monitors of Pollution in Areas Affected by Cement Industry Emissions
by Bartolomeo Sebastiani, Sara Mariucci and Nicola Palmieri
Environments 2023, 10(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments10020034 - 19 Feb 2023
Viewed by 2636
Abstract
Two areas affected by cement plant emissions, in an industrial district of Central Italy, were investigated by foraging honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica) on the return to their hives, as an in situ biomonitor. The contamination was compared with that of a [...] Read more.
Two areas affected by cement plant emissions, in an industrial district of Central Italy, were investigated by foraging honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica) on the return to their hives, as an in situ biomonitor. The contamination was compared with that of a background reference area on the Central Apennine Mountains, quite far from the contamination sources. At all the sites, the bee colonies were stationary. One hundred seventy-seven compounds belonging to the class of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) were positively identified by gas chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques. For the first time, the presence of several unusual compounds on bee samples is highlighted. These include polycyclic aromatic sulfur heterocycles (PASHs), 1.55–35.63 ng/g d.w., compounds that, like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 67.50–129.95 ng d.w., are classified as carcinogenic and/or mutagenic. In an attempt to identify the contribution of different and specific sources of these pollutants to the total pollution profile, the composition of aliphatic linear hydrocarbons was also examined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment II)
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14 pages, 658 KiB  
Article
Greenspaces and Human Well-Being: Perspectives from a Rapidly Urbanising Low-Income Country
by Maximilian Nawrath, Helen Elsey, Moti Lal Rijal and Martin Dallimer
Environments 2022, 9(12), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments9120148 - 23 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3472
Abstract
Compelling evidence demonstrates links between greenspaces and human well-being. However, the existing evidence has a strong bias towards high-income countries. Rapidly urbanising cities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) remain largely unexplored. The rising prevalence of mental disorders in LMICs highlights the need [...] Read more.
Compelling evidence demonstrates links between greenspaces and human well-being. However, the existing evidence has a strong bias towards high-income countries. Rapidly urbanising cities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) remain largely unexplored. The rising prevalence of mental disorders in LMICs highlights the need to better understand the role greenspaces can play in mitigating mental ill-health. We carried out a cross-sectional household survey to investigate links between measures of greenspace exposure and human well-being, and tested pathways that could underpin any such interactions in Kathmandu, a rapidly urbanising low-income city in Nepal. While we found no consistent relationship between measures of greenspace exposure and human well-being outcomes, we provide evidence that greenspaces in a rapidly urbanising low-income setting could be important for encouraging physical activity and fostering social cohesion. Further, we revealed that a medium perceived variety of biodiversity attributes of greenspaces was associated with the highest levels of physical activity and social cohesion. Our findings support the view that greenspaces in LMICs may be less likely to provide well-being benefits. Moreover, medium levels of biodiversity may best promote well-being in LMICs. More research is needed to understand how greenspaces can support human well-being in LMICs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment II)
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13 pages, 632 KiB  
Article
Comparing Tourist and Tour Operator Perceptions of Tourists’ Impacts on the Environment in Tanzania
by Anna M. Solberg and Sarah L. Smiley
Environments 2022, 9(10), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments9100132 - 20 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3648
Abstract
Tourism accounts for a substantial and increasing portion of the Sub-Saharan African economy. In Tanzania, the number of international tourist arrivals nearly doubled from 2010 to 2018, and many of them participated in nature-based tourism. In addition to the jobs and revenue created [...] Read more.
Tourism accounts for a substantial and increasing portion of the Sub-Saharan African economy. In Tanzania, the number of international tourist arrivals nearly doubled from 2010 to 2018, and many of them participated in nature-based tourism. In addition to the jobs and revenue created by tourism, it has both positive and negative impacts on a place’s environment. For example, it can fund conservation efforts, but it can also lead to deforestation from infrastructure development. This paper focuses on the environmental perceptions of tourists who traveled to Tanzania and tour operators working in the country. Environmental perception assesses an individual’s ability to recognize how they truly view and react to their environment. This study builds on the existing literature on tourist perceptions to compare three aspects of perceptions. First, it compares tourist perceptions of their personal environmental impact to the impacts of other tourists. Second, it compares tourist perceptions of their personal impacts to the perceptions of tour operators. Third, it compares how tourists perceive their behaviors at home to their behaviors while traveling. Using results from online surveys of 47 tourists and 16 tour operators, this study found that tourists attribute negative environmental impacts to others and positive impacts to themselves. It found similar gaps between tourist and tour operator perceptions, with tourists both over and underestimating their impacts compared to operator perceptions. It found that tourists are more proactive at minimizing their environmental impacts at home than away. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment II)
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Review

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22 pages, 3538 KiB  
Review
Electrochemical Biosensor for Evaluation of Environmental Pollutants Toxicity
by Md. Saiful Islam, Kazuto Sazawa, Kazuharu Sugawara and Hideki Kuramitz
Environments 2023, 10(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments10040063 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2950
Abstract
Electrochemical biosensors that combine high selectivity of biochemical affinity with precise electrochemical detection are one of the most necessary and powerful tools for assessing environmental pollution. This review addresses electrochemical biosensors that assess environmental pollutant toxicity. Electrochemical biosensors using enzyme activity inhibition, DNA, [...] Read more.
Electrochemical biosensors that combine high selectivity of biochemical affinity with precise electrochemical detection are one of the most necessary and powerful tools for assessing environmental pollution. This review addresses electrochemical biosensors that assess environmental pollutant toxicity. Electrochemical biosensors using enzyme activity inhibition, DNA, whole cells, and cytochrome P450 will be introduced, their advantages and applications will be discussed, and trends and challenges for designing reliable sensors for practical use will be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment II)
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30 pages, 5678 KiB  
Review
A Scientometric Review of Environmental Valuation Research with an Altmetric Pathway for the Future
by Michael Ayodele Olukolajo, Abiodun Kolawole Oyetunji and Chiemela Victor Amaechi
Environments 2023, 10(4), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments10040058 - 27 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2999
Abstract
Environmental valuation (EV) research has advanced significantly as a method of assigning value to environmental goods, many of which lack readily discernible market values. The term “environmental valuation” describes a number of methods for putting monetary values on environmental effects, particularly non-market effects. [...] Read more.
Environmental valuation (EV) research has advanced significantly as a method of assigning value to environmental goods, many of which lack readily discernible market values. The term “environmental valuation” describes a number of methods for putting monetary values on environmental effects, particularly non-market effects. Over the years, there has been a continuous increase in the number of publications on the topic. According to searches via the Scopus and Web of Science (WoS) databases, the phrase “environmental valuation” first occurred in 1987. The current research examines patterns in publishing rates over the previous three decades to analyse environmental valuation activity. To identify the future pathway, a research pattern was identified using Scopus, WoS, and the Altmetric Explorer. The data were postprocessed using VOSviewer to identify the mapping networks; then, Voyant Tools were used to explore the keywords. A summary of the demand for environmental valuation is also provided based on the literature review. However, the findings of this historical analysis indicate that despite the academic efforts on this subject, environmental valuation is not used in research as much as one may anticipate. In addition, the study gives a general outline of the future directions that environmental valuation research is anticipated to follow in light of the current academic research initiatives as well as academic market and policy market research efforts. The study shows that the United Kingdom (UK) showed the highest publications by location in this field. Additionally, the study shows that the choice experiment approach is preferred over the contingent valuation method, and this work illustrates this preference. It also demonstrates that only a small number of papers have had a significant influence on the researchers in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment II)
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21 pages, 895 KiB  
Review
Electrical and Electronic Waste Management Problems in Africa: Deficits and Solution Approach
by Gilbert Moyen Massa and Vasiliki-Maria Archodoulaki
Environments 2023, 10(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments10030044 - 05 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 6399
Abstract
The lack of proper waste management in developing countries results in environmental pollution and human illness. This review presents the available data on the electronic and electrical waste generated and/or transported in Africa. Particular attention is given to waste treatment and the recycling [...] Read more.
The lack of proper waste management in developing countries results in environmental pollution and human illness. This review presents the available data on the electronic and electrical waste generated and/or transported in Africa. Particular attention is given to waste treatment and the recycling sector, as well as methods for recovering metals from e-waste. The roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and institutions involved in Africa are discussed. Design for Environment guidelines and Sustainable Product Design Concepts are illustrated to find proper strategies for managing e-waste in general, and for Africa in particular. Raising awareness among national and international institutions is necessary to improve e-scraps management in Africa. Measures should be taken to facilitate the transition of e-waste management from the informal to the formal sector, which will create decent jobs and corresponding incomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment II)
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