Unit I (Monitoring)

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Environmental Monitoring Saranya.R M.Tech BT Anna university coimbatore

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describes the processes and activities that need to take place to characterize and monitor the quality of the environment. used in the preparation of environmental impact assessments, as well as in many circumstances in which human activities carry a risk of harmful effects on the natural environment. to establish the current status of an environment or to establish trends in environmental parameter. -

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Environmental monitoring is a tool for detecting improvements or degradation in the health of ecosystems Monitoring is conducted to assess the status of the environment and to protect against potential damage by human activities such as industrial waste disposal or logging

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Environmental Monitoring Defined EIA monitoring is the planned, systematic collection of environmental data to meet specific objectives and environmental needs

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Benefits of Monitoring Monitoring combined with enforcement ensures proper functioning of environmental protection measures (EPMs) prescribed for development projects or activities Monitoring allows the early identification of potentially significant effects (i.e., early trends which could become serious) Through assuring compliance in a cost-effective manner, monitoring contributes to optimize economic-cum-environmental development benefits

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Costs of Not Monitoring Economic Consequences - correcting problems after environmental degradation has occurred is ultimately more costly than monitoring and pre-emptive measures Social Consequences - public health issues can develop Political Consequences - government agencies and officials may be the target of public opposition and anger

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Monitoring Program Objectives Document baseline conditions Review the accuracy of impact predictions Review activities and/or mitigation measures Monitor compliance with agreed conditions Identify trends in impacts Assess the effectiveness of environmental protection measures and management regulations

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Purpose of Baseline Monitoring To gather information about a receiving environment which is potentially at risk from a proposed development project or activity To identify valued ecosystem components (VEC) in the receiving environment and assess potential threats to these components Information gathered on existing conditions provides a baseline for subsequently assessing post-development changes

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Purpose of Compliance and Environmental Effects Monitoring Recognize environmental changes (i.e., from baseline conditions) and analyze causes Measure adverse impacts and compare with predicted impacts Evaluate and improve mitigation measures Detect short-term and long-term trends to assess the protectiveness of existing standards Improve practices and procedures for environmental management and assessment

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Phase I Background Phase II Design/Planning Phase III Implementation Phase IV Analysis/Report Phase V Follow-up Define requirements and goals Develop monitoring Strategy Conduct pilot Studies Analyze & interpret data Disseminate information Review existing Information Develop QA/QC procedures Goals addressed? Refine Design meet objectives? Develop sampling design Data quality acceptable? Objectives achieved? Apply QA/QC procedures Conduct monitoring program Present results & conclusions Refine or end monitoring program End Make Decisions

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Phase I – Defining Monitoring Objectives and Goals Managers Objectives Expectations How information will be used to make decisions Scientists Are objectives and expectations achievable? What is realistic?

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Transition to Phase II Need to evaluate question: Do technical objectives address requirements and goals of managers? If no , then you need to revisit Phase I If yes , then proceed to Phase II

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Phase II – Rationale Lack of proper planning can result in: Omission of important environmental variables Data do not address objectives Data of low statistical value Failure to detect existing contamination/environmental effects Data incapable of answering research question

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Monitoring Strategy First steps are the identification and preliminary characterization of stressors, the ecosystem potentially at risk, and possible ecological effects Stressors are contaminants of concern such as chemicals or physical changes that may impact on ecosystems Resources at risk are VECs(valued ecosystems components) found in close and prolonged proximity to stressors which could be adversely affected through exposure

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Monitoring Strategy (Cont’d) A conceptual model is then developed to provide a qualitative description of how the various ecological components co-occur and contact the stressors; the model helps define possible exposure-effect scenarios The type of responses expected from exposure to the stressor(s) will guide sampling design and selection of measurement variables Predicted responses must be clearly stated as testable questions to be answered by the monitoring program

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Setting Appropriate Boundaries Boundaries determine the type of questions which can be answered by a monitoring program: Administrative (e.g., political, social, economic) Temporal and spatial Ecological (i.e., derived from physical, chemical and biological processes) Technical (e.g., limitations of methods or sampling and analytical equipment)

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It is prohibitively expensive, if not impossible, to monitor every contaminant and ecosystem component; criteria for prioritizing measurement variables include: Relevance Consideration of indirect effects and factors affecting bioavailability and/or response Sensitivity and response time Variability (i.e., signal-to-noise ratio) Practical issues (e.g., cost, ease of measurement) Measurement Variables

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Chemical Variables contaminants Modifiers(salinity, pH etc) nutrients Physical Variables can be stressors (e.g., suspended sediments or deposited solids) can be modifiers (e.g., temperature, sediment grain size) Biological Variables measure effects at many levels (i.e., community, population, organism, tissue, cellular) important socially

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Phase I Background Phase II Design/Planning Phase III Implementation Phase IV Analysis/Report Phase V Follow-up Define requirements and goals Develop monitoring Strategy Conduct pilot Studies Analyze & interpret data Disseminate information Review existing Information Develop QA/QC procedures Goals addressed? Refine Design meet objectives? Develop sampling design Data quality acceptable? Objectives achieved? Apply QA/QC procedures Conduct monitoring program Present results & conclusions Refine or end monitoring program End Make Decisions

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Types of Sampling Haphazard = place stations anywhere Judgement = place in specific locations Probability = place randomly for statistical reasons Systematic = place evenly over area of concern

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Monitoring Study Design Types Spatial or Control-Impact (CI) Potential impact area compared to one or more reference (control) areas Temporal or Before-After (BA) Potential impact area compared before and after event of interest (e.g., effluent discharge) Spatial-temporal or Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) Combines BA and CI designs; most powerful

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QA/QC Quality Assurance (QA) technical and management practices to ensure good data Quality Control (QC) aspect of QA that refers to specific measurements used to assess data quality (e.g., lab replicates, blanks) Emphasis on QA/QC in both field sample collection and laboratory analysis is critical ; error introduced through poor technique can undermine entire monitoring program and led to incorrect results and conclusions

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Data Quality Objectives Describe the pre-determined QA and QC standards for the program for each variable: Sample collection methods (e.g, field QA) Proper documentation of sampling activities Field QC samples (e.g., blanks, filter swipes) Decontamination procedures Sample volume, container type, preservation, holding time Analytical method, detection limit, accuracy, precision

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Technical Workplan Document summarizing: Objectives of monitoring program Map showing study design Matrix indicating the samples for each site/time Sampling and analysis protocol description QA/QC methods and Data Quality Objectives Contingency Plans Health and Safety Plan for personnel Estimate of cost (equipment, analysis, personnel)

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Phase I Background Phase II Design/Planning Phase III Implementation Phase IV Analysis/Report Phase V Follow-up Define requirements and goals Develop monitoring Strategy Conduct pilot Studies Analyze & interpret data Disseminate information Review existing Information Develop QA/QC procedures Goals addressed? Refine Design meet objectives? Develop sampling design Data quality acceptable? Objectives achieved? Apply QA/QC procedures Conduct monitoring program Present results & conclusions Refine or end monitoring program End Make Decisions

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Phase III – Implementation Conduct pilot study to evaluate: Efficiency and bias of sampling equipment Number of samples required to obtain precision Presence of large-scale spatial patterns Choice of reference area Use information to revise sampling design and continue implementation of monitoring program

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Phase IV – Data Analysis Considerations Screen data for errors or outliers Reduce or summarize data as needed Transform data as needed Evaluate testable hypotheses using statistical tests selected in Phase II Screen results/residuals; check robustness; power analysis

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Phase V – Follow-Up Communicate monitoring program results to managers and decision makers; figures and tables are best way to summarize results for non-technical audiences Implement corrective management actions where required (e.g., require industry to adopt additional mitigative measures) Identify data gaps and unresolved issues for further investigation

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Important points to remember are: Well-designed monitoring programs can provide important feedback on the actual environment impacts of development projects or activities Baseline monitoring is essential to provide a understanding of existing environmental conditions and VECs at risk Follow-up monitoring programs assess the effectiveness of management responses to development (e.g., EIA requirements for large projects) and the overall protectiveness of environmental protection regulations

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