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Environmental impact assessment of a proposed bauxite mining using rapid impact assessment matrix method.

Introduction

The Government of Andhra Pradesh having around 600 million tones of bauxite deposits with major reserves in the tribal areas of eastern ghats has decided to give an impetus to the mineral based industry in order to address the primary objective of up grading the employment and income levels of the surrounding tribals. The GoAP has declared Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation Ltd. (APMDC) located at Hyderabad, as a nodal agency to exploit the mineral reserves. In order to meet the demand of bauxite, APMDC proposes to acquire mining leases for bauxite and supply 1.0 MTPA Alumina and 2.5 Lakh tonne to Aluminium Smelter in Andhra Pradesh to be set up by RAS-AL-KHIMAH (United Arab Emirates). APMDC proposes to exploit the minerals at the four bauxite deposits located at Blocks I, II, III and IV at Jerrila, near Chintapalle, in G.K.Veedhi Mandal of Visakhapatnam district which has a total reserve of 224.60million tones. The bauxite reserves in the mines in the first phase are planned to be exploited for the period of five years. The total lease area for mining is 85ha. The exploitable reserves of bauxite at Jerrila Block I are estimated at around 6.8 million tones. M/s APMDC now proposes to produce around 0.5 million tonne per year with opencast mechanized operations. The ore is suitable for extraction of alumina and manufacture of aluminium metal. The present study area is a reserve forest with Survey of India Toposheet No: 65K/5 with Latitude N17[degrees] 57' 45"- 17[degrees] 58' 00" and Longitude E 82[degrees] 17'15"-82[degrees]18'00" (1) .

To produce 1 tonne of aluminium it requires 1.93 tonnes of alumina. The alumina in turn requires 2.9 tonnes of bauxite ore to be mined. The ratio for aluminium to bauxite ore thus becomes 1tonne of metal needs 5.6 tonnes of ore. The ore not used in the process will go to waste in the so called red mud pond. 1 tonne of alumina results in 1.2 tonnes of red mud residue. 1 tonne of aluminium requires 14,500 kwh of energy. (2)

In general, mining activities are accompanied by a variety of environmental problems. The process of environmental degradation, which starts with the extraction of minerals resulting in land degradation and addition of pollutants in the air and water, continues even as the extracted mineral ores are further processed and developed for their ultimate uses.

The study area is shown in the Figure 1.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Methodology

In the present work a team of experts covering the disciplines of civil Engineering, sociology, economy and environmental management have visited the proposed mine site and conducted various surveys and collected relevant data. The data has been incorporated in the detailed assessment of all possible impacts of the proposed project. In order to structure the impact assessment of the proposed bauxite mining the study focused on four primary fields of concern:

1. Physical/Chemical aspects.

2. Biological/Ecological aspects.

3. Sociological/Cultural aspects.

4. Economic/ Operational aspects.

Physical/Chemical (PC) component includes all physical and chemical aspects of the environment, including non-renewable natural resources (non-biological) and the degradation of the physical environment through pollution.

Biological/Ecological(BE) component includes all biological aspects of the environment, including renewable natural resources, conservation of the biodiversity, interaction between species and pollution of the biosphere.

Sociological/Cultural(SC) component includes all human aspects of the environment, including social subjects that affect the individuals and the communities, with cultural aspects, it is included the inheritance conservation and human development.

Economical/Operational(EO) component includes to identify qualitatively the economical consequences of environmental change, temporary and permanent, as well as the complexities of administration of the projects inside the context of the activity project.

The issues of importance to be assessed were identified within each field of concern. The impacts were described and quantified and qualified according to the quality of the data. The impacts(Positive/Negative) were compared by means of the Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix method(RIAM) which provides in a holistic manner an assessment of environmental impacts. The method creates the possibility of expressing a qualitative analysis in a semi-quantitative manner and provides a transparent record of the analysis. The system is based on scoring impact component issues against pre-defined criteria and transporting scores in to ranges describing the degree of positive or negative impacts. Pastakia(1998) describes the RIAM method in detail.(3)

Impact Assessment

The possible impacts of various project activities and relevant environmental issues are given in the scoping matrix form in the Table.1.

The impact assessment study was directed towards four major areas where a number of components was identified (Table2).

All of these components were studied separately and the information collected was used for the RIAM evaluation. The criteria for giving scores for various components are as follows:

A measure of the importance of the relevant condition (A1) is evaluated according to the space boarders or interest of the man that will be affected. The scale is defined in the following way:

0--Irrelevant/no importance;

1--Important just to the local condition;

2--Important to the areas immediately out of the local condition;

3--Important to the Regional/National interest;

4--Important to the National/ International interest

The magnitude (A2) is defined as the measure of the scale of benefit/damage of an impact or condition. The scale is defined in the following way:

+3--Major positive benefit;

+2--Significant improvement in status quo;

+1--Improvement in status quo;

0--No change/status quo

-1--Negative change to status quo

-2--Significant negative disbenefit or change

-3--Major disbenefit or change

Permanence(B1):

1--No change/ not applicable

2--Temporary

3--Permanent

Reversibility(B2):

1--No change/ not applicable

2--Reversible

3--Irreversible

Cumulative(B3):

1--No change/ not applicable

2--Non-cumulative

3--Cumulative

The final assessment score ES is calculated as follows:

A1 x A2= AT

B1+B2+B3 =BT

ES= AT x BT

ES score classification range bands are give in the Table. 3

Various activities involved in the mining process will have impact on the environment and based on the component identified and its potential impact, scoring has been given to each component as per the procedure. For example in the mineral exploration red mud will be produced which is to be disposed as solid waste. This problem of disposal of solid waste is important to the areas in the vicinity of the site area. Hence the score for condition A1 is given as 2. As the magnitude of the effect is significantly negative, the score given for A2 is -2. The impact is permanent, irreversible and cumulative hence the values given to B1, B2, B3 are 3,3,3 respectively. Similarly for all the components the scores were given.

Results and Discussion

The results of the evaluation (scoring tables) are presented in Table 4-8 for transparency and illustrated in Figure 2. In general the bauxite mining has negative Physical/Chemical effects. Regarding Biological/Ecological component the impacts are all negative. Sociologically there are several negative effects regarding the rehabilitation, resettlement, loss of lives, loss of lively hood, loss of cultural heritage, aesthetics, health, and loss of tourism, parks, and sanctuaries. There are positive effects also in this category like improvement in housing & infrastructure, power supply, education, training, and development of market yards, mobile clinics, etc., Finally, there are several positive impacts on economy. The study identified benefits in relation to the employment, business opportunities, and financial development.

[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]

Conclusion

Environmental impact assessment of the proposed Bauxite mining has been carried out using Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix method. The RIAM presents the overall results of the EIA study in an easy and transparent way. There is a majority of negative impacts due to the proposed project although positive impacts also occur. Most negative impacts relate to Physicochemical, Biological, Ecological and Sociocultural issues but positive effects relate to the Economic aspects. Hence it observed that the project will bring economic development and on the other hand it leads to the environmental degradation. The negative impacts can be minimized by adopting an effective Environmental Management Plan which includes mitigation measures for improving the eco-profile of the site area.

Acknowledgement

The author wish to acknowledge S. Kesav and K. Vamsikrishma Redddy, Final year B.Tech (Civil) students, GMR IT, for their contribution in this paper work especially visiting the site and collecting the data.

References

[1] Geological Survey of India (1979), "The East Coast Bauxite Deposits of India", Bulletin of the Geological Survey of India, No.46.

[2] Draft Environmental Impact Assessment Report of Integrated Aluminium Complex by ANRAK Aluminium Ltd.

[3] Pastakia, C.M.R, 1998, The Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix (RIAM)- A New Tool for Environmental Impact Assessment. In :Kurt Jensen(ed), Environmental Impact Assessment using the Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix(RIAM), Olsen&Olsen, Fredensborg, Denmark.

[4] Canter, Larry W.1996, Environmental Impact Assessment, Second edition. McGraw Hill Publishing Company, Inc, New York.

K. Sundara Kumar

Sr. Asst. Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, GMRIT, Rajam, Andhrapradesh, India E-mail: skkusuma123@gmail.com
Table 1: Impact Identification/Scoping Matrix.

 Environmental Issues

Sl No Project Activity Land Terrain Water
 use

1 Mobilization * - -
2 Clearing * - -
3 Equipment mobilization * - -
4 Setting up of labour camps * - -
5 Material transport * - *
6 Dumping of overburden * * *
7 Earth work operation * * *
8 Traffic/Signals - -
9 Conveyance - -
10 Local area development * - *
11 Project enhancement * - *

 Environmental Issues
Sl No Drainage Air Noise Vibrations Ecology Natural
 quality levels habitats

1 - - - - - -
2 * * * * * -
3 - * * - - -
4 - * * - * -
5 * * * - - -
6 * * * * * *
7 * * * - - *
8 - - - - -
9 - * * * - -
10 * - - - - *
11 * - - - - *

 Environmental Issues
Sl No Cultural Socio Aesthetics Health Infra-
 property economic structure

1 - - - - -
2 - * * * -
3 - - * - -
4 - - * * *
5 - - * - -
6 - - * *
7 - - * - -
8 - - * - -
9 * * *
10 * - * - *
11 * - * - *

Note: * -Positive or Negative impact.

Table 2: The identified components selected for impact assessment by
RIAM.

Physical/Chemical Biological/Ecological

P/C 1 Land use/land scape B/E 1 Deforestation/Devegetation
P/C 2 Land erosion/ land slides B/E 2 Flora & Fauna
P/C 3 Ambient Air quality B/E 3 Natural Habitats
P/C 4 Surface water quality B/E 4 Aquatic fauna
P/C 5 Ground water quality B/E 5 Wild life and Birds
P/C 6 Ambient noise B/E 6 Ecological balance
P/C 7 Surface temperature B/E 7 Acid mine drainage
P/C 8 Soil fertility B/E 8 Solid wastes/disposal
P/C 9 vibrations B/E 9 Sewage disposal/sanitation
P/C 10 Geological changes B/E 10 Natural resources
P/C 11 Radiation

Sociological/Cultural Economical/Operational

S/C 1 Rehabilitation/Resettlement E/O 1 Loss of cultivation
 of tee leaves
S/C 2 Loss of livelihood E/O 2 Loss of Agricultural land
S/C 3 Loss of Lives/Accidents E/O 3 Housing & Infrastructure
S/C 4 Housing/infrastructure E/O 4 Financial
 Development(State/Nation)

S/C 5 Education& Training E/O 5 Commercial Establishments
S/C 6 Healthaspects E/O 6 Productivity of land
S/C 7 Cultural Heritage(Tribal) E/O 7 Green belt development
S/C 8 Tourism,National parks, E/O 8 Employment/Business
Sancturies opportunity
S/C 9 Communication&
Basic aminities

S/C 10 Power &water supply
S/C 11 Comunity
halls/Market centres

S/C 12 Mobile clinics,
Recreation facilities
S/C 13 Asethetics

Table 3: Range bands used for RIAM.

RIAM Range Range
Environmental value(RV) value(RV)
Score(ES) (Alphabetic) (Numeric)

108 to 72 E 5
71 to 36 D 4
35 to 19 C 3
10 to 18 B 2
1 to 9 A 1
0 N 0
-1 to -9 -A -1
-10 to -18 -B -2
-19 to -35 -C -3
-36 to -71 -D -4
-72 to -108 -E -5

RIAM Description of range band
Environmental
Score(ES)

108 to 72 Major positive change/impact
71 to 36 Significant positive change/impact
35 to 19 Moderate positive change/impact
10 to 18 Positive change/impact
1 to 9 Slight Positive change/impact
0 No change/Status quo/ not applicable
-1 to -9 Slight negative change/impact
-10 to -18 Negative change/impact
-19 to -35 Moderate negative change/impact
-36 to -71 Significant negative change/impact
-72 to -108 Major negative change/impact

Table 4: Physical and chemical components (PC).

 Components ES RB A1 A2 B1 B2 B3

PC1 Land use/landscape -36 -D 2 -2 3 3 3
PC2 Land erosion/ -32 -C 2 -2 3 3 2
 land slides
PC3 Ambient Air quality -54 -D 3 -3 2 2 2
PC4 Surface water quality -36 -D 3 -2 2 2 2
PC5 Ground water quality -54 -D 2 -3 3 3 3
PC6 Ambient noise -24 -C 2 -2 2 2 2
PC7 Surface temperature -24 -C 2 -2 2 2 2
PC8 Soil fertility -36 -D 2 -2 3 3 3
PC9 vibrations -6 -A 1 -1 2 2 2
PC10 Geological changes -108 -E 4 -3 3 3 3
PC11 Radiation -32 -C 2 -2 2 3 3

Table 5: Biological and ecological components (BE).

 Components ES RB A1 A2 B1 B2 B3

BE1 Deforestation/ -108 -E 4 -3 3 3 3
 De-vegetation
BE2 Flora /Fauna -81 -E 3 -3 3 3 3
BE3 Natural Habitats -108 -E 4 -3 3 3 3
BE4 Aquatic fauna -24 -C 2 -2 2 2 2
BE5 Wild life and Birds -54 -D 3 -2 3 3 3
BE6 Ecological balance -108 -E 4 -3 3 3 3
BE7 Acid mine drainage -36 -D 2 -2 3 3 3
BE8 Solid wastes/disposal -36 -D 2 -2 3 3 3
BE9 Sewage disposal/ -36 -D 2 -2 3 3 3
 sanitation
BE10 Natural resources -108 -E 4 -3 3 3 3

Table 6: Sociological and cultural components (SC).

 Components ES RB A1 A2 B1 B2 B3

SC1 Rehabilitation/ -18 -B 1 -3 2 2 2
 Resettlement
SC2 Loss of livelihood -54 -D 2 -3 3 3 3
SC3 Loss of Lives/Accidents -27 -C 1 -3 3 3 3
SC4 Housing/infrastructure 18 B 1 2 3 3 3
SC5 Education/Training 18 B 1 2 3 3 3
SC6 Health aspects -54 -D 2 -3 3 3 3
SC7 Cultural Heritage(Tribal) -81 -E 3 -3 3 3 3
SC8 Tourism, National parks, -54 -D 3 -2 3 3 3
 Sanctuaries
SC9 Communication/Basic 14 B 1 2 3 2 2
 amenities
SC10 Power supply 7 A 1 1 3 2 2
SC11 Community halls/ 7 A 1 1 3 2 2
 Market centers
SC12 Mobile clinics, 12 B 1 2 2 2 2
 Recreation facilities
SC13 Aesthetics -36 -D 2 -2 3 3 3

Table 7: Economical and operational components (EO).

 Components ES RB A1 A2 B1 B2 B3

EO1 Loss of Agricultural land -16 -B 1 -2 3 3 2
EO2 Housing /Infrastructure 18 B 1 2 3 3 3
EO3 Financial 108 E 4 3 3 3 3
 Development(State/Nation)
EO4 Commercial Establishments 12 B 1 2 2 2 2
EO5 Productivity of land -9 -A 1 -1 3 3 3
EO6 Green belt development 54 D 3 2 3 3 3
EO7 Employment/Business 81 E 3 3 3 3 3
 opportunity

Table 8: Summary of scores.

Range -108 -71 -35 -18 -9 0 1 10 19 36 72
 -72 -36 -19 -10 -1 0 9 18 35 71 108
Class -E -D -C -B -A N A B C D E
PC 1 5 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
BE 5 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
SC 1 4 1 1 0 0 2 4 0 0 0
EO 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 1 2
Total 7 13 6 2 2 0 2 6 0 1 2
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Author:Kumar, K. Sundara
Publication:International Journal of Applied Environmental Sciences
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Feb 1, 2010
Words:2618
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