EIS: Ireland Power Plant

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Example

The Environmental Impact Statement  present below highlighted the points to be mentioned in an EIS. This EIS was written for a power plant in Ireland.

EIS Report Summary

Endesa Ireland Limited proposed to construct a 450 MW natural gas fired Combined Cycle Gas Turbine

(CCGT) power plant at Tarbert,County Kerry, Ireland and undertook its EIA, and the EIS was given in December 2009 by Mott MacDonald.

The project was divided in 2 phases –

Phase 1 – Commenced commercial operation by end of 2012 and involved the construction of a 305 MW Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) which fired on Natural Gas.

Phase 2 – Comprised completion of the development of the CCGT plant.

Phase 2 -It was anticipated that phase 2 will commence commercial operation in 2016. This involved the conversion of the Open Cycle Gas Turbine to a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT). This will increase the plant output from 305 to 450MW.

European Directives and International Agreements

The following lists the main European Directives, Regulations and Agreements which were applicable to the proposed development

  1. Environmental Impact Assessment Directive
  2. Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive
  3. Large Combustion Plants Directive
  4. Proposed Industrial Emissions Directive
  5. Seveso II Directive
  6. The National Emissions Ceiling (NEC) Directive
  7. The Kyoto Protocol to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Emissions Trading Scheme
  8. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Directive

The impacts of the construction and operational phases of the proposed development were assessed in consultation with statutory bodies in accordance with EIA legislation and guidance. The impacts related to the proposed development are summarized under the following environmental topics.

• Human Beings – Land Use

• Human Beings – Socio-economics

• Traffic

• Human Beings – Noise and Vibration

• Flora and Fauna – Terrestrial & Marine

• Soils, Geology and Groundwater

• Surface Water

• Air Quality and Climate

• Landscape and Visual

• Material Assets – Archaeology, Architectural and Cultural Heritage

• Material Assets – Utilities

Public Hearing

Endesa carried out extensive consultation stakeholders, including members of the public, local residents, businesses, institutions, representative organizations, statutory bodies and other bodies with environmental responsibility and interest. Comments on the proposed development were also invited from the public by means of a public consultation held at Tarbert Comprehensive School on 15th September 2009.

Human Beings – Land Use

Site was located in an area zoned as “Rural General” by Kerry County Development Plan 2009 – 2015. This area constituted the least sensitive landscapes throughout the County, as per them the area was not zoned for any specific land use and the long established industrial use on the island was recognized.

A number of residential properties were located in proximity to the proposed construction phase access road. Impacts on local landowners in the area, such as impacts on cattle movements, may result in some temporary and short term negative impacts on these operations.

Overall, impacts on land use in the surrounding area are considered to be of low to no significance, once mitigation measures are implemented.

Human Beings – Socio-economics

The development increased the population of the area in the short term during the construction phase, due to influx of construction workers. Construction workers played positively impact on businesses in surrounding settlements that provided workers with services including accommodation, food, and entertainment creating employment opportunities in the local service industries. This was a significant positive medium term impact on the local economy.

There was a potential for negative impacts during construction due to visual impacts, increased noise, traffic and dust. However, these would cease following completion of construction. During the construction period measures for reducing traffic, dust, noise and visual impacts were implemented in order to minimize any negative effect..

Overall, impacts on the socio-economic environment of the area were considered to be positive.

Traffic

Two nearby junctions were assessed for traffic. The analysis indicated that the junctions will operate within capacity in 2015 in the Do Nothing Scenario. In 2015 in the Do Something Scenario, Junction 2 experiences congestion issues with the junction operating above theoretical capacity.

Analysis indicated congestion issues at this junction could be effectively eliminated with the installation of traffic signals.

Human Beings – Noise & Vibration

Construction of the facility is considered to be the only period where there could be any potential vibration impacts as Power plants are not considered to be a source of operational vibration

It was considered unlikely that any construction activity could cause a vibration impact at the sensitive receptors.

A noise impact assessment of the construction phase and operational phase of the project was completed. This assessment took into consideration the existing baseline noise environment and assessed the

potential impacts against nationally and internationally accepted criteria and noise limits likely to be enforced by the EPA as part of the operational plant’s revised IPPC license.

Construction was likely to be audible in the vicinity of the development, although due to the temporary and transient nature of the works, this will not result in any significant long term impacts.

Noise levels at the noise sensitive receptors during operation did not exceed the typical EPA noise i.e. 55dB in daytime & 45dB in Night.

 

Flora & Fauna

Terrestrial ecology

Terrestrial ecological surveys were undertaken. Habitats protected under the European Union Habitats Directive were not identified within the site and no rare or protected flora was recorded during the surveys. The site consists predominantly of made ground. Grassy banks and verges are present along roads and pathways within the site and dry calcareous and neutral grassland is present to the west of the site and along the site boundary to the north.

Overall, the site is evaluated as being of local importance (lower value) in terms of terrestrial flora and fauna. Following the correct implementation of mitigation measures, there will be no significant residual impacts on terrestrial flora and fauna.

Marine Ecology

Tarbert power plant is located in close proximity to several designated areas of conservation:

• Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

• River Shannon and River Fergus Estuaries Special Protection Area (SPA)

• Tarbert Bay proposed Natural Heritage Area (pNHA)

These designated areas of conservation are regarded as high value as they have been designated to protect and conserve species and habitats of concern or importance. The power plant is sufficiently far removed from the areas where birds of qualifying interest in the SPA tend to feed and it is not expected increased traffic or visual disturbance during construction will disturb species breeding / wintering within the SPA.

Under the new proposals, the thermal load and extent of the plume created from the discharge at the existing outfall will be reduced. Associated impacts on the existing water quality and marine ecology is not expected to deteriorate or be further disturbed from the effects of the current plume.

Soils, Geology and Groundwater

Soil samples were taken during the intrusive environmental assessment and exceedances of the screening criteria were determined in a number of the samples collected.

Once the baseline assessment was completed, an impact assessment was undertaken based on the identified issues or potential issues. Impacts were divided into two different phases, construction and operational impacts.

The principal potential construction impacts will include removal of soils and sediment, contamination mobilization, contamination of groundwater and settlement. The removal of contaminated soils and sediment is a positive impact as contamination sources are removed and pollutant linkages broken.

Mitigation measures involve the re-use of materials where possible, a Waste Management Plan and appropriate material storage areas. In general the residual impacts are low to insignificant.

The principal potential source of operational impacts could arise from degradation of below ground structures by ground conditions. The residual impacts, once mitigation measures are implemented, are low to insignificant.

 

Surface Water

Analysis forany significant impacts with respect to water consumption, process waste water, cooling water, foul water and surface water discharges and flood risk was undertaken. Water was demineralized to achieve high purity. The feedwater used in the HRSG will be thermally de-aerated to remove oxygen and chemically treated to prevent corrosion of the tubes and components of the water / steam cycle.

The automated system will only discharge if the relevant parameters are within the limits to be specified in the revised IPPC license. If any of the parameters fail to comply with the set limits the system will automatically switch back to recirculation mode and the waste water will be recirculate back through the system. Discharge volumes will be measured via a flow meter installed on the discharge line.

Potential construction phase impacts arising from this development are typical of those associated with any civil engineering activity and mainly relate to contamination of water bodies. The implementation of mitigation measures during the construction phase ensured that the impact of the proposed development on water resources will not be significant.

Air Quality & Climate

During both the construction and operational phases of the development there are no predicted impacts on the macro and micro climate.

Baseline air quality concentrations were derived from the EPA annual report. Concentrations of all

relevant pollutants were well below the respective air quality standards within the study area. The proposed plant will be designed to minimise emissions from the stacks via application of Best Available

Technology (BAT) in order to achieve emission limits established by Irish and EU Legislation.

Detailed dispersion modelling of the operational phase predicts that the significance of effects of the proposed plant on human health and sensitive ecological receptors would be categorized as ‘negligible’ overall.

 Landscape & Visual

 The geographic scope of the landscape and visual impact assessment covered a 20 kilometre radius from the center of the proposals.

Many significant and non-significant visual impacts were identified. Overall, no major visual impact was analyzed except at 2 locations

Material Assets – Archaeology, Architectural and Cultural Heritage

It was found that no items of archaeological, architectural or cultural heritage value were visibly in existence on the subject site. Though no archaeological recorded monuments and no “new” (that is unrecorded) archaeological features were identified as being extant during the walkover inspection, the proposed development site does have the potential to yield archaeological material which may lie subsurface and within the intertidal zone around the island.

In light of these results it was recommended that archaeological monitoring should be conducted by an appropriately experienced archaeologist during the site clearance and excavation works.

 

Utilities

Small numbers of utility services were identified within the study area could potentially be affected by elements associated with the proposed development. All utilities that cross the area were protected, lowered or raised, relocated or diverted during the construction phase as necessary to avoid any disruption. All works will be carried out in ongoing consultation with the relevant statutory undertakers and Local Authority (Kerry County Council) representatives and will comply with their requirements (including health and safety) and all relevant codes of practice.

Where unavoidable and unforeseeable disruptions occur, stakeholders will be notified as soon as possible. With these mitigation measures in place the operation of the proposed development will not impact on utility services.

References

Tabert Power Project official website

 

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