Strategy

To support the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) legal framework, TII has put in place a four-phase Strategy to facilitate further the integration of environmental issues into transport infrastructure planning, construction and operation.

Implementation

The four-phase Strategy incorporates all legislative requirements and, where feasible, national and international policy. Implementation of the Strategy requires the development of best practice technical guidance documents that are supported by research and adoption of best international practice to ensure that a harmonised approach is embraced for the assessment and mitigation of environmental issues in the development of the national road network. The core elements of the Strategy are dynamic and will run simultaneously with relevant stakeholder consultations forming part of the development of the strategy initiatives.

Objectives

While the objective of the Strategy is to ensure that best practice is adopted for the integration of environmental issues into transport infrastructure development, the mitigation measures employed to ameliorate significant environmental impacts on individual transport projects should be technically and economically feasible and deliverable so as to achieve the Strategy’s key objectives.

Phase 1 Environmental Assessment Guidelines

Environmental Assessment Guidelines to underpin the effectiveness of the National Roads Project Management Guidelines in integrating environmental issues into road scheme planning and development. A series of best practice assessment guidance documents covering a range of environmental issues will be developed in order to underpin the effectiveness of the National Roads Project Management Guidelines in national road scheme planning and development. Examples of such documents include those dealing with Ecology, Noise and Vibration, Air Quality, Archaeology and Architecture.

Phase 2 Development of best practice guidelines to minimise construction impacts

These guidelines will provide a best practice approach to addressing environmental impacts that are identified and assessed during the EIA process. Best practice approaches for the treatment of Badgers, Bats, Trees and Watercourse Crossings on national road schemes are typical examples of important issues currently addressed by the Authority.

Phase 3 Development and implementation of an Environmental Operating Plan

The Environmental Operating Plan (EOP) will be designed to ensure the implementation of the mitigating measures identified in the approved Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and compliance with other environmental obligations specified in the EIS for the construction phase of national road schemes. The Plan will also address impacts that potentially may arise during the construction phase and mitigation will be devised to address issues such as construction noise, water runoff, dust and waste arisings.

Phase 4 Post-EIA Evaluation Studies

The Authority proposes to undertake post-EIA evaluation studies to assess actual impacts of national road schemes on different ecosystems and to validate and revise prediction methodologies used in the EIS to further reduce such impacts. The research will also assess the effectiveness of mitigation measures adopted to minimise significant environmental impacts identified due to national road scheme development. The initial phase will entail compiling and assessing EIS data predicted for various environmental issues and studies focusing on recently completed national road schemes to establish the relationship between the predicted and actual data. Initial studies will address the noise and ecological components of the EIA process.