Furthering Environmental Impact Assessment

Furthering Environmental Impact Assessment

Towards a Seamless Connection between EIA and EMS

Edited by Anastássios Perdicoúlis, Bridget Durning and Lisa Palframan

The environmental impact of development projects is currently studied and mitigated from two distinct perspectives: before and after project implementation, with environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental management systems (EMS) being the main instruments on the respective sides. This double perspective creates a discontinuity in the way environmental impacts are analysed, an issue that has been noted by both academics and practitioners. This book gathers and presents both theoretical and actual examples to link EIA with EMS and explores ways to overcome difficulties and provide innovative solutions.

Chapter 7: EIA–EMS Link from the Oil and Gas Industry

Behzad Raissiyan and Jenny Pope

Subjects: business and management, management and sustainability, environment, environmental management, environmental sociology

Extract

Behzad Raissiyan and Jenny Pope 7.1 Introduction The oil and gas sector has something of an image problem when it comes to environmental and sustainability performance, not helped by high profile disasters and controversies such as Exxon Valdez (Exxon), Brent Spar (Shell), and more recently Deepwater Horizon (BP) that are well established in the global public consciousness. Other incidents with catastrophic environmental and social outcomes receive less attention in the international media: for example there were 17 catastrophic incidents in the Iranian oil, gas and petrochemical industries during 17 months from March 2010 up until July 2011, including large oil spill cases, gas leakages, and major fires, with about 30 fatalities and more than 100 major injuries (Khabaronline, 2011; Ayande Independent Iranians Online Press Media, 2011). Coupled with growing concerns about climate change and the contribution of fossil fuels to carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, it is clear that despite significant efforts within the industry to improve environmental and social management and performance in recent decades,1 the sector as a whole is a long way from being considered sustainable – for example, see Harden and Walker (2001); Ugochukwu and Ertel (2008); Harris and Khare (2002); Moser (2001); May (2003). However, given that fossil fuels are a fundamental component of industrial economies, and that even the most optimistic scenarios of transition to a greener example through the efforts of international industry organisations such as the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA), International Association of Oil and Gas...

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