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Environmental and sociological factors

Environmental Impact Study (EIS)

This unit addresses aspects of the following syllabus outcomes:

A student:

H1.1 investigates industry through the study of businesses in one focus area

H7.1 explains the impact of the focus area industry on the social and physical environment.

Source: Board of Studies NSW (2008) Stage 6 Industrial technology preliminary and HSC courses. Board of Studies, Sydney.

An environmental impact study (EIS) is the detailed study of the potential effects of a designated development on the local environment. Environmental impact studies should assess the existing site and conditions and evaluate the anticipated impacts on the flora, fauna, economy, historical and social factors of the new development.

All high impact developments require an EIS, for example, agricultural produce industries, electrical generating stations, marinas and other shoreline facilities and wood and saw milling works.

An EIS is important to avoid damage to a local area in terms of its ecology, air and water quality and to ensure long-term sustainable, minimal impact development.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW)
(http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/epaaa1979389/s110.html (external website))

Details the guidelines and directions for carrying out an EIS, and one excerpt states:

"a determining authority must consider the effect of an activity on:

  1. critical habitat, and
  2. in the case of threatened species, populations and ecological communities, and their habitats, whether there is likely to be a significant effect on those species, populations or ecological communities, or those habitats, and
  3. any other protected fauna or protected native plants within the meaning of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (external website)."

In the past, some high profile developments have attracted media attention, for example, the Homebush Bay site for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the Ranger uranium mine at Jabiluka in the Northern Territory. Quite rightly, concerns are raised as to the impact these types of large developments will have, both in the short and long-term.

Activity:

The following questions are based on the case study of the EIS conducted for the Ranger uranium mine at Jabiluka.

Visual issues (Jabiluka)

Visual issues (Jabiluka)

Question 1.

Go to http://www.environment.gov.au/ssd/about/legislation/pubs/ranger-ers.pdf (external website)
List some of the environmental requirements for the Ranger Uranium mine.

Answer

Question 2.

Go to http://www.energyres.com.au/about_era/community/aboriginal_people_and_ranger (external website)
List the main requirements in the agreement between the Federal Govt. and the Northern Land Council.

Answer

Question 3.

Go to http://www.environment.gov.au/our_business/ranger_operation/water_treatment_plant (external website)

Water Management System

Outline the steps in the water purification process at the treatment plant..

Answer

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