An environmental risk assessment is the process of reviewing and analyzing a property’s likely impact on the natural environment. It is a basic protection mechanism that is meant to keep the environment safe from adverse effects, such as air, water, soil, plants, animals, structural damage, etc.
What is Environmental Risk Assessment?
The assessment process begins with an in-depth assessment of the property. This helps determine how likely the area is to experience adverse effects. This is typically determined through the use of environmental risk assessments, geotechnical assessments, and site investigations.
Categories of Environmental Risk Assessment
- Each category is responsible for examining how much of a risk for to for for an area may be exposed to, as well as evaluating how and where that risk will happen.
- Every category of assessments must be carried out by a professional to avoid error or incorrect information being used in the final report.
- This is important because all impacts are dependent on environmental factors. The accuracy of information depends on the expertise of each member of the team.
While many property owners are familiar with the assessment, they are unsure of what it entails, and how it should be carried out.
Generally, an assessment is performed to determine if there are any environmental risks to a property.
As with any environmental assessment, property owners should know what to expect from a preliminary investigation. These investigations are required to establish the location of the property, as well as its probable behavior.
This requires determining what actions the property might cause. There are two main types of actions to be considered: responses and mitigation.
Responses are already prepared and documented in the assessment, while mitigation is still being planned.
A response is considered during the initial investigation. Responses are an explanation for how a property can cause a problem.
They include but are not limited to, soil testing, seepage, site investigations, soil stability and tectonics, development and degradation, soil movement, gas emissions, etc.
Mitigation refers to a plan to prevent a response from occurring. In other words, it helps determine how a property’s activities will affect the natural environment.
- Response plans may include one or more of the following:
- finding alternatives to the area for every activity;
- creating a good workable alternative plan; holding workshops to teach people about the changes,
and how they affect the environment; use of specialized equipment and techniques to clean up the area; handling of debris and waste effectively; etc.
During the preliminary investigation, property owners can expect a number of different things. They will be asked about the way they manage the site, the past situation of any activity that has occurred on the property, and if any restrictions have been placed on the use of the property.
Property owners can expect to be asked about their history, maintenance procedures, type of services, and if there are problems with any of these.
People involved in the property’s operation will also be interviewed.
All of this information can be used in the environmental risk assessment to determine the property’s suitability.