Environmental Assessment (environmental + assessment)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Swedish Guidelines for Strategic Environmental Assessment for EU Structural Funds

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND GOVERNANCE, Issue 1 2002
Berit Balfors
This paper examines the Swedish Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) guidelines as developed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency for applications made to the EU Structural Funds for financial assistance for regional development plans and programmes. These guidelines aim to increase the integration of environmental concerns in the programming process by promoting the application of environmental-objective-led SEA. The issues of screening for sustainability and environmental integration through objective-led SEA are addressed. The guidelines are considered as a positive development, which has potential for furthering the application of SEA in regional planning in Sweden. Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment [source]


Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management's Commitment to Scientific Discourse

INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT, Issue 3 2006
Dr. Lawrence Barnthouse
[source]


Integrated Environmental Assessment: Part III: Exposure Assessment

JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2007
Thomas E. McKone
First page of article [source]


Network for Environmental Assessment and Remediation (NEAR): Collaborative research between Switzerland, Poland and Romania

LAKES & RESERVOIRS: RESEARCH AND MANAGEMENT, Issue 2 2000
R. L. Thomas
[source]


Theory and Practice of Strategic Environmental Assessment.

NATURAL RESOURCES FORUM, Issue 1 2008
Towards a more systematic approach - By Thomas B. Fischer
No abstract is available for this article. [source]


Four Perspectives on Public Participation Process in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making: Combined Results from 10 Case Studies

POLICY STUDIES JOURNAL, Issue 4 2006
Thomas Webler
Knowing how people think about public participation processes and knowing what people want from these processes is essential to crafting a legitimate and effective process and delivering a program that is widely viewed as meaningful and successful. This article reports on research to investigate the nature of diversity among participants' perceptions of what is the most appropriate public participation process for environmental assessment and decision making in 10 different cases. Results show that there are clearly distinct perspectives on what an appropriate public participation process should be. We identified four perspectives: Science-Centered Stakeholder Consultation, Egalitarian Deliberation, Efficient Cooperation, and Informed Collaboration. The literature on public participation tends to presume that there are clear and universal criteria on how to "do" public participation correctly or that context is the critical factor. This study has revealed that even within a specific assessment or decision-making effort, there may be different perspectives about what is viewed as appropriate, which poses a challenge for both theorists and practitioners. Among the active participants in these 10 case studies, we found limited agreement and strong differences of opinions for what is a good process. Points of consensus across these cases are that good processes reach out to all stakeholders, share information openly and readily, engage people in meaningful interaction, and attempt to satisfy multiple interest positions. Differences appeared about how strongly to emphasize science and information, how much leadership and direction the process needs, what is the proper behavior of participants, how to tackle issues of power and trust, and what are the outcome-related goals of the process. These results challenge researchers and practitioners to consider the diversity of participant needs in addition to the broad context when conceptualizing or carrying out participatory processes. [source]


Information needs to support environmental impact assessment of the effects of European marine offshore wind farms on birds

IBIS, Issue 2006
A.D. FOX
European legislation requires Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) of national offshore wind farm (OWF) programmes and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for individual projects likely to affect birds. SEAs require extensive mapping of waterbird densities to define breeding and feeding areas of importance and sensitivity. Use of extensive large scale weather, military, and air traffic control surveillance radar is recommended, to define areas, routes and behaviour of migrating birds, and to determine avian migration corridors in three dimensions. EIAs for individual OWFs should define the key avian species present; as well as assess the hazards presented to birds in terms of avoidance behaviour, habitat change and collision risk. Such measures, however, are less helpful in assessing cumulative impacts. Using aerial survey, physical habitat loss, modification, or gain and effective habitat loss through avoidance behaviour can be measured using bird densities as a proxy measure of habitat availability. The energetic consequences of avoidance responses and habitat change should be modelled to estimate fitness costs and predict impacts at the population level. Our present ability to model collision risk remains poor due to lack of data on species-specific avoidance responses. There is therefore an urgent need to gather data on avoidance responses; energetic consequences of habitat modification and avoidance flights and demographic sensitivity of key species, most affected by OWFs. This analysis stresses the importance of common data collection protocols, sharing of information and experience, and accessibility of results at the international level to better improve our predictive abilities. [source]


Environmental assessment: The regulation of decision making, by Jane Holder

INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT, Issue 3 2008
Glenn Suter SETAC Reviews Editor
No abstract is available for this article. [source]


Connecting EIA to environmental management systems: lessons from industrial estate developments in England

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, Issue 2 2007
Paul Slinn
Abstract This paper concerns the relationship between environmental assessment and environmental management systems in the context of recent industrial estate developments. Drawing on environmental statements and interviews with developers, an examination was carried out of the level of good practice in estate design and operation, and the way in which this was influenced by environmental impact assessment and environmental management systems. The study concludes that the environmental impact assessment system worked well within the context of land use planning, but that it failed to facilitate the planning of effective environmental management in practice, with the consequence that the projects examined failed to meet many of the good practice criteria against which they were tested. Finally, several recommendations are made to strengthen continuity between the two. Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]


Ground beetle species (Coleoptera, Carabidae) associations with land cover variables in northern England and southern Scotland

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 4 2004
M. D. Eyre
Distribution data concerning 172 ground beetle species derived from 1145 pitfall trap sites in northern England and southern Scotland were used to assess the relationship between species distribution and 12 satellite-derived land cover variables at the regional scale. A number of species were strongly associated with one cover type and negatively with others. The major variation was for preferences for covers in upland or lowland parts of the region. Other distinct preferences for some species were covers such as those at the coast whilst a number of common species showed no strong preference for any cover variable. The synthesis of ground beetle species distribution and satellite-derived cover data is discussed in relation to environmental assessment and change. [source]


Anthropogenic disturbance affects the structure of bacterial communities

ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, Issue 3 2010
Duane Ager
Summary Patterns of taxa abundance distributions are the result of the combined effects of historical and biological processes and as such are central to ecology. It is accepted that a taxa abundance distribution for a given community of animals or plants following a perturbation will typically change in structure from one of high evenness to increasing dominance. Subsequently, such changes in evenness have been used as indicators of biological integrity and environmental assessment. Here, using replicated experimental treehole microcosms perturbed with different concentrations of the pollutant pentachlorophenol, we investigated whether changes in bacterial community structure would reflect the effects of anthropogenic stress in a similar manner to larger organisms. Community structure was visualized using rank,abundance plots fitted with linear regression models. The slopes of the regression models were used as a descriptive statistic of changes in evenness over time. Our findings showed that bacterial community structure reflected the impact and the recovery from an anthropogenic disturbance. In addition, the intensity of impact and the rate of recovery to pre-perturbation structure were dose-dependent. These properties of bacterial community structures may potentially provide a metric for environmental assessment and regulation. [source]


Merits of a more integrated approach to environmental assessments

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND GOVERNANCE, Issue 1 2010
Elke Weingarten
Abstract Under the maxim of ,better regulation', the European Commission is aiming to simplify and improve the European regulatory framework in order to reduce bureaucracy and to foster economic growth. Against this background, the integration of requirements presents one option for responding to the challenge of carrying out various environmental assessments stipulated by a number of European environmental directives. Although integrative, cross-sectional approaches have been established by some European directives, such as the Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment, the member states currently make little use of these options when implementing the directives into national law. Based on a review of European directives as well as related German regulations, this article outlines an approach for an integrative environmental assessment that aims to enhance the integrative effects and reduce duplication resulting from different environmental assessments. The investigation shows that the different assessment procedures as outlined by European and German legislation can be successfully integrated without necessarily lowering the standards set by these regulations. Given that the relevant directives are binding for all member states, the proposed assessment structure can easily be applied to other member states and, where necessary, modified to suit national requirements. Copyright 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]


Implementing the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) Directive in the South West of England

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND GOVERNANCE, Issue 3 2004
Clare Brooke
The South West of England is famous as being an area rich in environmental features and heritage. The tools available to local authorities and other organizations to protect this valued environment are being expanded to include strategic environmental assessment (SEA). SEA is being introduced under a European Community directive, which will be incorporated into UK law in 2004. The directive will require national, regional and local authorities to carry out environmental assessment on certain plans and programmes that they promote. To ensure that the effectiveness of SEA in the South West is maximized, the South West Regional Assembly is working with local authorities and regional partners to consider the implications of the directive, and help the region prepare for its implementation. The aim of the project is to more clearly define the potential for SEA within the South West, examine the barriers that organizations may face when implementing the directive and establish good practice within the region. Work has been carried out to examine specific requirements of the SEA Directive, including the baseline data requirements for undertaking SEAs, and methodological differences between SEA and sustainability appraisals. Existing practice was examined to consider how current planning processes can be adapted to fulfil the requirements of the directive. Case studies were also undertaken to examine the issues around implementing the directive for non-land-use plans, including transport, economic development, waste management, renewable energy and flood management. Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]


,Objective-led' SEA in a Scottish local authority

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND GOVERNANCE, Issue 3 2004
Graham Esson
Scottish planners have expanded environmental effect assessment of development plans into the policy appraisal of their sustainability impacts. The application of this methodology is demonstrated in our review of the appraisal of the Perth and Kinross structure plan, which demonstrates the strengths and limitations of this objective-led approach to strategic environmental assessment when compared with a baseline-led one. Scottish Executive interim planning guidance for the European Union directive on strategic environmental assessment integrates the two approaches. This requires the local baseline to be clearly established and plan-induced movements in it to be predicted, monitored and evaluated. It also requires the use of techniques capable of assessing all forms of impact, and better engagement with the public and environmental authorities. Implementation of the directive will tax the capacity of Scottish planning authorities to meet these requirements whilst retaining their preference for an objective-led policy-based approach to assessment. Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]


Waste management modeling with PC-based model , EASEWASTE

ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRESS & SUSTAINABLE ENERGY, Issue 1 2008
Gurbakhash S. Bhander
Abstract As life-cycle-thinking becomes more integrated into waste management, quantitative tools are needed for assessing waste management systems and technologies. This article presents a decision support model to deal with integrated solid waste management planning problems at a regional or national level. The model is called EASEWASTE (environmental assessment of solid waste systems and technologies). The model consists of a number of modules (submodels), each describing a process in a real waste management system, and these modules may combine to represent a complete waste management system in a scenario. EASEWASTE generates data on emissions (inventory), which are translated and aggregated into different environmental impact categories, e.g. the global warming, acidification, and toxicity. To facilitate a "first level" screening evaluation, default values for process parameters have been provided, wherever possible. The EASEWASTE model for life-cycle-assessment of waste management is described and applied to a case study for illustrative purposes. The case study involving hypothetical but realistic data demonstrates the functionality, usability, and flexibilities of the model. The design and implementation of the software successfully address the substantial challenges in integrating process modeling, life-cycle inventory (LCI), and impact assessment (LCIA) modeling, and optimization into an interactive decision support platform. 2008 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 2008 [source]


An economic and environmental assessment of biomass utilization in lignite-fired power plants of Greece

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESEARCH, Issue 10 2006
P. Grammelis
Abstract The environmental and socio-economic impacts of biomass utilization by co-firing with brown coal in an existing thermoelectric unit in Greece or through its pure combustion in a new plant were studied and evaluated in this work. The 125 MWe lignite-fired power plant in Ptolemais Power Station (Western Macedonia) was used as reference system. The environmental benefits of the alternative biomass exploitation options were quantified based on the life cycle assessment methodology, as established by SETAC, while the BIOSEM technique was used to carry out socio-economic calculations. The obtained results showed clear environmental benefits of both biomass utilization alternatives in comparison with the reference system. In addition, co-firing biomass with lignite in an existing unit outperforms the combustion of biomass exclusively in a new plant, since it exhibits a better environmental performance and it is a low risk investment with immediate benefits. A biomass combustion unit requires a considerably higher capital investment and its benefits are more evident in the long run. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Alternatives for Reducing the Environmental Impact of the Main Residue From a Desalination Plant

JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2010
Montse Meneses
Summary One of the most important problems today is the scarcity of fresh water safe enough for human, industrial, and agricultural use. Desalination is an alternative source of fresh water supply in areas with severe problems of water availability. Desalination plants generate a huge amount of brine as the main residual from the plant (about 55% of collected seawater). Because of that, it is important to determine the best environmental option for the brine disposal. This article makes a global environmental analysis, under Spanish conditions, of a desalination plant and an environmental assessment of different final brine disposals, representing a range of the most common alternatives: direct disposal, wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) outflow dilution, and dilution with seawater. The environmental profile of the plant operation and a comparison of the brine final disposal alternatives were established by means of the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. From an analysis of the whole plant we observed that the highest environmental impact was caused by energy consumption, especially at the reverse osmosis stage, while the most relevant waste was brine. From an analysis of brine final disposal we have elaborated a comparison of the advantages and detriments of the three alternatives. As all of them might be suitable in different specific situations, the results might be useful in decisions about final brine disposal. [source]


Green Energy or Organic Food?: A Life-Cycle Assessment Comparing Two Uses of Set-Aside Land

JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2001
Richard van den Broek
Summary Bioenergy has a large worldwide potential in future climate change abatement, although its application may become limited by demands for land for other functions. The aim of this study was to make an environmental assessment of the use of energy crops in the Netherlands in a context that incorporates scarcity of land. A base case system was defined, consisting of conventional winter wheat production, set-aside land (1 hectare, together), and the production of coal-based electricity. Using life-cycle assessment, we compared this system with (1) a green energy system in which willow is cultivated on the set-aside land to replace the coal-based electricity and (2) an organic agriculture system in which the full hectare produces wheat under the Dutch EKO organic agriculture standard. In this way, the functional unit and the amount of land used is the same in each system. The final system comparison was based on normalized scores per environmental theme. The green energy system scored the best with respect to acidification, climate change, and energy carrier depletion. The organic food system scored best on terrestrial eco-toxicity and slightly better on the mutually related themes of seawater and seawater sediment eco-toxicity. The base case system performed slightly better with regard to eutrophication. Preferences, from an environmental point of view, for one of the systems should be determined by environmental policy priorities and the severity of local environmental problems. The case studied here shows that when climate change, energy carrier depletion, and acidification are the main drivers behind environmental policy, one should focus not on the extensification of agriculture, but rather dedicate more land to energy crops. Extensification of agriculture would be the preferred system when toxicity from pesticides is considered the main problem. [source]


Reflections on ethics and MCA in environmental decisions

JOURNAL OF MULTI CRITERIA DECISION ANALYSIS, Issue 2 2001
Felix Rauschmayer
Abstract The aim of decision analysis is normative. Consequently, at least in public spheres, one has to reflect on its normative foundation. Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) uses aggregated evaluations on several criteria to recommend a decision. The claim for the adequacy of the recommended solution is usually based on the assumption that the interests of the decision-maker(s) are adequately assessed by the MC model (see, for example, Munda G. 1996. Cost,benefit analysis in integrated environmental assessment: some methodological issues. Ecological Economics19: 157,168). I argue that as a prerequisite to a normative foundation, the criteria have to reflect not only the interests but possibly all values stemming from normative arguments of the decision-maker(s). These arguments might differ substantially from each other. This is especially true for environmental decisions. The integration of values will result in changes of the MCA understanding, criteria building, and aggregation method, and will not be possible without analytical capacities of the decision analyst in ethics. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Tebuconazole dissipation and metabolism in Tifton loamy sand during laboratory incubation,

PEST MANAGEMENT SCIENCE (FORMERLY: PESTICIDE SCIENCE), Issue 7 2004
Timothy C Strickland
Abstract The fungicide tebuconazole is widely used to control soil-borne and foliar diseases in peanuts and other crops. No published data are currently available on the extent and rate at which this compound degrades in soil. Unpublished data summarized in registration documents suggest that the compound is persistent, with 300,600 days half-life. We conducted a 63-day laboratory incubation to evaluate tebuconazole's dissipation kinetics and impact on soil microbial activity in Tifton loamy sand. Tifton soils support extensive peanut production in the Atlantic Coastal Plain region of Georgia and Alabama. Products containing tebuconazole are applied to an estimated 50% of the peanut acreage in the region. At the end of the incubation, 43 (42)% of the parent compound was recovered in soil extracts. The first-order kinetic model, which gave a good fit to the dissipation data (r2 = 0.857), yielded a soil half-life (t1/2) of 49 days. This is 6,12 times more rapid than t1/2 values described in unpublished tebuconazole registration documents. Four degradates were identified. Tentative structural assignments indicated that degradates were derived from hydroxylation of the parent compound and/or chlorophenyl ring cleavage. Cleavage products showed a steady increase during the incubation, and on a molar basis were equal to 63% of the time zero tebuconazole concentration. No significant effect on soil microbial biomass was observed, indicating that when the compound is applied at normal agronomic rate it does not impact soil metabolic activity. Use of the soil-half life data derived in this study should improve the accuracy of tebuconazole fate assessments for Coastal Plain peanut production. The study also indicated that environmental assessment of selected degradates may be needed to fully evaluate risks of tebuconazole use. Published in 2004 for SCI by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Four Perspectives on Public Participation Process in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making: Combined Results from 10 Case Studies

POLICY STUDIES JOURNAL, Issue 4 2006
Thomas Webler
Knowing how people think about public participation processes and knowing what people want from these processes is essential to crafting a legitimate and effective process and delivering a program that is widely viewed as meaningful and successful. This article reports on research to investigate the nature of diversity among participants' perceptions of what is the most appropriate public participation process for environmental assessment and decision making in 10 different cases. Results show that there are clearly distinct perspectives on what an appropriate public participation process should be. We identified four perspectives: Science-Centered Stakeholder Consultation, Egalitarian Deliberation, Efficient Cooperation, and Informed Collaboration. The literature on public participation tends to presume that there are clear and universal criteria on how to "do" public participation correctly or that context is the critical factor. This study has revealed that even within a specific assessment or decision-making effort, there may be different perspectives about what is viewed as appropriate, which poses a challenge for both theorists and practitioners. Among the active participants in these 10 case studies, we found limited agreement and strong differences of opinions for what is a good process. Points of consensus across these cases are that good processes reach out to all stakeholders, share information openly and readily, engage people in meaningful interaction, and attempt to satisfy multiple interest positions. Differences appeared about how strongly to emphasize science and information, how much leadership and direction the process needs, what is the proper behavior of participants, how to tackle issues of power and trust, and what are the outcome-related goals of the process. These results challenge researchers and practitioners to consider the diversity of participant needs in addition to the broad context when conceptualizing or carrying out participatory processes. [source]


Towards an integrated environmental assessment for wetland and catchment management

THE GEOGRAPHICAL JOURNAL, Issue 2 2003
R Kerry Turner
This paper develops a decision support system for evaluation of wetland ecosystem management strategy and examines its, so far partial, application in a case study of an important complex coastal wetland known as the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, in the east of England, UK. Most managed ecosystems are complex and often poorly understood hierarchically organized systems. Capturing the range of relevant impacts on natural and human systems under different management options will be a formidable challenge. Biodiversity has a hierarchical structure which ranges from the ecosystem and landscape level, through the community level and down to the population and genetic level. There is a need to develop methodologies for the practicable detection of ecosystem change, as well as the evaluation of different ecological functions. What is also required is a set of indicators (environmental, social and economic) which facilitate the detection of change in ecosystems suffering stress and shock and highlight possible drivers of the change process. A hierarchical classification of ecological indicators of sustainability would need to take into account existing interactions between different organization levels, from species to ecosystems. Effects of environmental stress are expressed in different ways at different levels of biological organization and effects at one level can be expected to impact other levels, often in unpredictable ways. The management strategy, evaluation methodologies and indicators adopted should also assess on sustainability grounds whether any given management option is supporting, or reducing, the diversity of functions which are providing stakeholders with the welfare benefits they require. [source]


The release of genetically modified crops into the environment

THE PLANT JOURNAL, Issue 1 2003
Part II.
Summary Despite numerous future promises, there is a multitude of concerns about the impact of GM crops on the environment. Key issues in the environmental assessment of GM crops are putative invasiveness, vertical or horizontal gene flow, other ecological impacts, effects on biodiversity and the impact of presence of GM material in other products. These are all highly interdisciplinary and complex issues. A crucial component for a proper assessment is defining the appropriate baseline for comparison and decision. For GM crops, the best and most appropriately defined reference point is the impact of plants developed by traditional breeding. The latter is an integral and accepted part of agriculture. In many instances, the putative impacts identified for GM crops are very similar to the impacts of new cultivars derived from traditional breeding. When assessing GM crops relative to existing cultivars, the increased knowledge base underpinning the development of GM crops will provide greater confidence in the assurances plant science can give on the risks of releasing such crops. [source]


Decadal changes (1996,2006) in coastal ecosystems of the Chagos archipelago determined from rapid assessment

AQUATIC CONSERVATION: MARINE AND FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS, Issue 6 2009
Andrew R.G. Price
Abstract 1.The atolls and islands comprising Chagos are a biodiversity hotspot of global conservation significance in a remote part of the central Indian Ocean. 2.This study examines the condition of the archipelago's coastal ecosystems by rapid environmental assessment at 21 sites/islands, which were also investigated a decade earlier using the same methodology. Major changes in ecosystem structure and environmental disturbance were determined. 3.Coral fish abundance was significantly lower in 2006 than 1996. Decrease in the physical structural complexity of the reefs, as a result of coral bleaching and mortality induced by the 1998 warming event, may have been a contributing factor. 4.Evidence of collecting/fishing was significantly greater in 2006 than 1996. This is attributed mainly to an illegal fishery for holothurians (sea cucumbers), which has expanded over recent years and now exerts substantial pressure on the resource. The significant decline observed in beach wood, a readily accessible fuel for fishing camps, is consistent with this. 5.Solid waste on islands was high (median 2 to 20 items m,1 beach) in both 1996 and 2006. Potentially harmful biological impacts, determined from other studies, include entanglement, toxic effects and provision of transport for invasives or other ,hitchhiker' species. 6.Significantly higher bird abundances were recorded in protected areas than ,unprotected' areas, attributed mainly to absence of predation by rats. 7.Rapid assessment augments more comprehensive ecosystem investigations. It provides a valuable snapshot of environmental conditions based upon a broad suite of features (ecosystems and disturbances) determined, concurrently, within the same site inspection quadrats and using the same scale of assessment. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Effects of tidal flat reclamation on sediment quality and hypoxia in Isahaya Bay

AQUATIC CONSERVATION: MARINE AND FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS, Issue 6 2006
Yoshikuni Hodoki
Abstract 1.Ariake Bay, which is located in western Japan, has a large tidal range (>6 m) and a vast tidal flat (200 km2). In the early 1990s, the government-managed Isahaya Reclamation Project began in the western part of Ariake Bay. A 16-km2 area of tidal flat in the inner part of Isahaya Bay was destroyed through reclamation and separated from the sea by a dyke, which created land and a freshwater reservoir. 2.Since the initiation of the project, fishery yields around Isahaya Bay have dramatically decreased. The objective of this study was to clarify the relationship between the work associated with the Isahaya Reclamation Project and the recent environmental deterioration in Ariake Bay, with references to present sediment thickness and organic matter content, and hypoxic water distributions in Isahaya Bay. 3.The organic matter load from the reservoir has increased since the initiation of the reclamation project and has been associated with a thick layer of fine sediment at the bottom of Isahaya Bay. The thickness of fine sediment and the total organic carbon content were higher in Isahaya Bay than in the freshwater reservoir. 4.Based on measurements in August 2001, hypoxic water spread widely in and around Isahaya Bay; the lowest dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration (0.53 mg L,1) was observed just outside the dyke. An analysis based on a two-layered box model using data obtained in August 2001 showed that the DO consumption rate in the bottom layer was high (0.61 mg O2 L,1 day,1), and that 22,41% of the total organic carbon load needed to induce the hypoxic water was derived from the reclamation area. 5.Our findings strongly suggest that enclosed seas may suffer from eutrophic and hypoxic conditions because of their low seawater-exchange rate. A comprehensive conservation programme and environmental assessment including physical and material transport processes in the system is needed to manage the environment of the enclosed sea. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Merits of a more integrated approach to environmental assessments

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND GOVERNANCE, Issue 1 2010
Elke Weingarten
Abstract Under the maxim of ,better regulation', the European Commission is aiming to simplify and improve the European regulatory framework in order to reduce bureaucracy and to foster economic growth. Against this background, the integration of requirements presents one option for responding to the challenge of carrying out various environmental assessments stipulated by a number of European environmental directives. Although integrative, cross-sectional approaches have been established by some European directives, such as the Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment, the member states currently make little use of these options when implementing the directives into national law. Based on a review of European directives as well as related German regulations, this article outlines an approach for an integrative environmental assessment that aims to enhance the integrative effects and reduce duplication resulting from different environmental assessments. The investigation shows that the different assessment procedures as outlined by European and German legislation can be successfully integrated without necessarily lowering the standards set by these regulations. Given that the relevant directives are binding for all member states, the proposed assessment structure can easily be applied to other member states and, where necessary, modified to suit national requirements. Copyright 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]


A strategy to reduce the numbers of fish used in acute ecotoxicity testing of pharmaceuticals

ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY & CHEMISTRY, Issue 12 2003
Thomas H. Hutchinson
Abstract The pharmaceutical industry gives high priority to animal welfare in the process of drug discovery and safety assessment. In the context of environmental assessments of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), existing U.S. Food and Drug Administration and draft European regulations may require testing of APIs for acute ecotoxicity to algae, daphnids, and fish (base-set ecotoxicity data used to derive the predicted no-effect concentration [PNECwater] from the most sensitive of three species). Subject to regulatory approval, it is proposed that testing can be moved from fish median lethal concentration (LC50) testing (typically using ,42 fish/API) to acute threshold tests using fewer fish (typically 10 fish/API). To support this strategy, we have collated base-set ecotoxicity data from regulatory studies of 91 APIs (names coded for commercial reasons). For 73 of the 91 APIs, the algal median effect concentration (EC50) and daphnid EC50 values were lower than or equal to the fish LC50 data. Thus, for approximately 80% of these APIs, algal and daphnid acute EC50 data could have been used in the absence offish LC50 data to derive PNECwater values. For the other 18 APIs, use of an acute threshold test with a step-down factor of 3.2 is predicted to give comparable PNECwater outcomes. Based on this preliminary scenario of 91 APIs, this approach is predicted to reduce the total number offish used from 3,822 to 1,025 (,73%). The present study, although preliminary, suggests that the current regulatory requirement for fish LC50 data regarding APIs should be succeeded by fish acute threshold (step-down) test data, thereby achieving significant animal welfare benefits with no loss of data for PNECwater estimates. [source]


Concurrent assessment of fish and habitat in warmwater streams in Wyoming

FISHERIES MANAGEMENT & ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2006
M. C. QUIST
Abstract, Fisheries research and management in North America have focused largely on sport fishes, but native non-game fishes have attracted increased attention due to their declines. The Warmwater Stream Assessment (WSA) was developed to evaluate simultaneously both fish and habitat in Wyoming streams by a process that includes three major components: (1) stream-reach selection and accumulation of existing information, (2) fish and habitat sampling and (3) summarisation and evaluation of fish and habitat information. Fish are sampled by electric fishing or seining and habitat is measured at reach and channel-unit (i.e. pool, run, riffle, side channel, or backwater) scales. Fish and habitat data are subsequently summarised using a data-matrix approach. Hierarchical decision trees are used to assess critical habitat requirements for each fish species expected or found in the reach. Combined measurements of available habitat and the ecology of individual species contribute to the evaluation of the observed fish assemblage. The WSA incorporates knowledge of the fish assemblage and habitat features to enable inferences of factors likely influencing both the fish assemblage and their habitat. The WSA was developed for warmwater streams in Wyoming, but its philosophy, process and conceptual basis may be applied to environmental assessments in other geographical areas. [source]


Source,sink dynamics sustain central stonerollers (Campostoma anomalum) in a heavily urbanized catchment

FRESHWATER BIOLOGY, Issue 10 2008
ERIC R. WAITS
Summary 1. The influence of spatial structure on population dynamics within river,stream networks is poorly understood. Utilizing spatially explicit analyses of temporal genetic variance, we tested whether persistence of central stonerollers (Campostoma anomalum) reflects differences in habitat quality and location within a highly modified urban catchment in southwestern Ohio, U.S.A. 2. Estimates of genetic diversity did not vary with habitat quality. Nevertheless, evidence of weak but temporally stable genetic structure, location-dependent effective population sizes and rates of immigration among sites, together suggest that persistence of central stonerollers within the catchment may be attributable to source,sink dynamics driven by habitat heterogeneity. 3. Under this scenario, migrant-pool colonization from areas of relatively high habitat quality in the upper catchment sustains the presence of central stonerollers at degraded sites in the main stem and dampens population subdivision within the catchment. However, because intact habitat is restricted to the upper portion of the catchment, it is not possible to preclude net downstream dispersal as a mechanism contributing to source,sink dynamics. The slight genetic structure that persists appears to reflect weak isolation by distance diminished by high rates of immigration. 4. This study suggests that without a systems perspective of the conditions that sustain populations in degraded waterways, environmental assessments may underestimate levels of impairment. Conservation and management of stream fishes could be improved by maintaining habitat in areas that are net exporters of migrants or by remediation of impaired habitat. [source]


Enhancing technology development through integrated environmental analysis: Toward sustainable nonlethal military systems

INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT, Issue 2 2010
Oral S. Saulters
Abstract New technologies are not only critical in supporting traditional industrial and military success but also play a pivotal role in advancing sustainability and sustainable development. With the current global economic challenges, resulting in tighter budgets and increased uncertainty, synergistic paradigms and tools that streamline the design and dissemination of key technologies are more important than ever. Accordingly, a proactive and holistic approach can facilitate efficient research, design, testing, evaluation, and fielding for novel and off-the-shelf products, thereby assisting developers, end users, and other diverse stakeholders in better understanding tradeoffs in the defense industry and beyond. By prioritizing mechanisms such as strategic life-cycle environmental assessments (LCEA); programmatic environment, safety, and occupational health evaluations (PESHE); health hazard assessments (HHA); and other innovative platforms and studies early within systems engineering, various nonlethal military technologies have been successfully developed and deployed. These efforts provide a framework for addressing complex environment, safety, and occupational health risks that affect personnel, infrastructure, property, socioeconomic, and natural/cultural resources. Moreover, integrated, comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and iterative analyses involving flexible groups of specialists/subject matter experts can be applied at various spatiotemporal scales in support of collaborations. This paper highlights the Urban Operations Laboratory process utilized for inclusive and transformative environmental analysis, which can translate into advantages and progress toward sustainable systems. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2010;6:281,286. 2009 SETAC [source]