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Critically discuss how THREE selected environmental tools or methods could be applied to minimise the environmental impacts of - Essay Example

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ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES: ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT TOOLS Name Instructor Date Table of Contents Table of Contents 1 Introduction 2 Environmental Impact Management 3 Application of EIA in the project 4 GIS as tool of environmental management 5 Application of GIS in the 40 turbine onshore wind farm project 8 Life Cycle Assessment as tool of environmental management 8 Application of LCA in the 40 turbine onshore project 10 Conclusion 10 References 12 Appendices 15 Stages in EIA 15 Introduction Wind energy has become more popular in Europe in the pursuit for renewable energy…
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Critically discuss how THREE selected environmental tools or methods could be applied to minimise the environmental impacts of
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Download file to see previous pages Wind farms with many of such structures occupy a lot of space on the landscape. Onshore wind farms are always about three kilometres away from the shoreline. The turbines in these farms are located in hilly areas since wind blows heavily on hilly areas. Wind turbines cause landscape and visual effects depending on their number at a particular area, their height, size and colour. The effects may also depend on their site tracks, buildings, their grid connection, and “transmission lines” (Murgante et al., 2011). According to Ottmar et al (2011), wind turbines have a number of impacts on the environment. These include visual impacts, noise impacts, effects on land use, and effects on the birds that live around the wind farms. In addition, there are electronic interferences and constraints on the natural reserve areas. During the construction of a wind turbine, there are some pollutants that released into the atmosphere. The wind turbines are seen to be very noisy and they are also unsightly, thereby interfering with the natural beauty of “the landscape.” Sustainable Development Commission (2009) disagrees that wind farms are noisy and explains that the levels of noise from wind farm is equal to the background in rural places at night. Despite their negative impacts on the environment, onshore wind farms play a crucial part in achieving renewable energy targets. However, the many advantages that come with the farms can only be realised if proper planning is done. The contemporary wind farms are mostly large and not only help in environmental conservation, but also bring a lot of benefits to the communities that live around the farms. Among the advantages of using onshore wind farms is that wind is available free of charge and appropriate technology is available to harvest energy from wind as noted by Sustainable Development Commission (2009). Moreover, although the initial costs of installing wind turbines are high, maintenance cost are relatively low after installation. It can also be used to generate power in rural areas where there is no power connection. Given the varying impacts to the humans, landscape aesthetics and the surrounding environment that implementation of such project poses; it is critical that environmental managers employ tools to manage this impacts. Thompson (2002) lists various tools and methods that can be used for environmental management and environmental performance improvement. To manage the impacts of the 40 turbine onshore wind farm project; EIA, LCA and GIS as the most appropriate environmental management tools. EIA has been selected because it helps to predict the impacts of a project and propose mitigation measures while GIS allows environmental managers make decision based on spatial relationship of features. LCA allows decision makers to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the life cycle of the project thereby facilitating decision making. Environmental Impact Management EIA is a tool used in decision-making whose main purpose is to not only identify and evaluate the likely environmental impacts of a given project (Glasson et al., 2005). EIA is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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