Particular qualities of a system approach for preliminary assessment of ecological consequences of industrial activities within the marine shelf Печать E-mail

Mechanics and Applied Mathematics Reserach Institute RSU 2 Murmansk Marine Biological Institute RAS/Azov Branch
Southern Scientific Center RAS

Technical-economical grounding of the designs according to the definition is based on the technical (technologies, equipment, location) and economical (expenditures, profits-period of recoupment aspects of the investment process considering technogenous and economic risks whereas during the environmental impact assessment (EIA) priority is obtained by natural-scientific (ecological) and social components (Statement..., 2000).

EIA procedure for the oil- gas excavation designs is based on the preliminary detailed investigations and data collection on the existing conditions in the working places, estimation of the technical solutions of the designs from the point of view of the environmental impact, selection and grounding of the possible alternative variants of the projects realization-estimation of the nature protection measures included into the design so that to minimize the negative environmental impact etc. Current scientific-methodical approaches to the marine oil- gas- excavation EIA are presented in some works (Scientific-methodical..., 1997).

Several major elements (stages) of EIA for the oil-gas excavation are to be selected.

Analysis of the environmental background state presupposes collection and generalizing of the existing data on all sources of information. Environmental components which might be subjected to the potential negative impacts considering specific peculiarities of the design are analyzed in details. Zone of both: direct and indirect impact is discussed as well.

Direct estimation of a possible impact during the realization of the design in the normal (accidentless) working regime is earned out for all background components. These are geological, landscape-geomorphologic and hydrometeorological conditions; water and atmosphere air quality; marine bioresources, birds, mammals; social-economic background etc. Additionally estimation of ecological risk of the outlined activity and consequences of possible accidents is carried out.

According to the EIA nature protection plans are developed including plans for management of wastes and elimination of the accidental oil spills; program of ecological monitoring; program of the perspective investigations etc. Besides, EIA procedure includes preparation of the additional materials containing the list of ecological requirements and terms including proposals on the establishment of nouns of the total allowable discharges and total allowable discards, calculation of damage to bioresources etc. Application of the methods described above allows to estimate the allowable impact level and to develop the necessary limitations.

Generalization and systematization of the environmental impact results gives the possibility to present the impact level as a matrix for the comparison the scale and typical impacts on different environmental components. On the basis of the intermediate matrices (by the stages of construction and objects) a final matrix on the impact by the whole cycle of works is constructed.

For the calculation of the pollutants transportation diffuse-advection models are applied most frequently. When pollutants affect the aquatic environment, processes of mixing of both: hard and soluble phases of wastes and discharges and sedimentation of the hard phase of pollutants are modeled.

When oil spills are simulated the methods of hydrometeorological scenarios construction, trajectories calculation, forms and physical-chemical oil spot evolution are applied. Current versions of these models allow to take into consideration the processes of spreading, evaporation, dispersing- emulsification, biodegradation, interaction of oil with the coastal line and ices (Anikeev et al., 1995; Matishov et al.. 1999).

As the basis of the toxicological impact estimation on biological resources the results of toxicological testing of drilling solutions and other especially dangerous substances on the marine organisms belonging to different links of trophic chain is taken. The major idea is to construct a concentrations scale of the discharged into sea at which different biological consequences might appear even with the reveal of typical manifestation zones - from the acute affection of organisms till practical lack of any stress and breakage. When this experimentally grounded scale of biological responses is compared to the really fixed or modeled picture for the concrete conditions there appears a possibility to estimate the character and intensity of the forecast biological effects and the degree of their weakening with the moving away from the source of discharge.

Thus, EIA is relatively laborious and expensive procedure demanding sufficient time for the collection and analysis of different information. It is essential that EIA presupposes availability of concrete engineering solutions including alternative, otherwise the subject of investigations itself is absent. That is why at the first stage of carrying out such scaled investigations EIA is to be preceded by less detailed but maximally wide analysis of the supposed design, hi (Statement..., 2000) the notion «a preliminary estimation» is mentioned several times, though it neither decoded, nor selected as a separate independent stage. In spite of this, in the scientific - industrial literature this stage sometimes of EIA procedure is looked upon and is called as Pre-EIA.

To our opinion, the Pre-EIA stage is of independent significance and of vital importance by the whole set of reasons. Like EIA Pre-EIA is earned out on the basis of the system methodology, though in comparison to EIA other accidents are put here. Thus, on the Pre-EIA stage the statements and formulations of problems here are of independent value and significance but not only answers to the raised questions.

The following might be referred as to the tasks and peculiarities of Pre-EIA:

- Reveal of the compete problems spectrum accompanying the design under discussion including those existed before the start of the design, appearing additionally, remaining when it is finished (Comparative Risk.... 2000).

- Analysis of the ecological and engineering information available so that to reveal the disadvantages, contradictions, and directions for the subsequent investigations to obtain EIA.

- As Pre-EIA is based not on the specially carried out engineering and ecological works but on the existing material available of the preceding scientific, industrial and other studies which is only to the insignificant degree characterizes the situation in the area interesting for the developers of the design, in the ecological chapter of Pre-EIA the major stress is put to the investigations of the background regime.

- The problem of exploration of separate sea areas is to be discussed in the context of the more general problem of the ecological state and anthropogenic loading on the whole ecosystem. Thus, the prehistory and the surrounding consideration is also important.

- As a concrete design for which separate variants of engineering and organization solutions might be compared and discussed is not yet developed, analogous designs with the introduction of correspondent collections to scale, time etc. should be used as the base for the comparison.

- Peculiarity of the Pre-EIA stage is the absence of the ecological expertise as not much concrete engineering solutions but plans and intentions are discussed. Due to this reason it is important to attract as many as possible independent specialists and to use expert procedures (Hildrew, 2002; Saati, 1993).

- At last one of the most important peculiarities of Pre-EIA stage is the necessity of the adequate consideration of subjective, social factor (public opinion) and managing it. To the importance of transparency and a wide attraction of public to the discussion of the designs is pointed out in (Statement.... 2000). As the foreign and domestic experience shows any initiative connected with the construction of large economic objects and moreover with the exploration of natural resources especially originated from the private companies is confronted with a serious counteraction from the side of public organizations standing with the slogan of nature protection and the population of the adjacent areas. Beyond the dependence how this counteraction is grounded and what are the real motives of the political, ecological and other organizations and political persons, a social factor is to be discussed in the set of others (engineering, economical ecological).

At the same time it is evident that the objective (ecological) damage must not depend on the ways of its estimations and on the subjective social preferences. Thus, with the increase of the time and scale of impact all three curves merge in one point corresponding to the real effect of anthropogenic effect.

At the Pre-EIA stage at the estimation of possible consequences it should be proceeded from the «presumption of guilt » of the economic subject. In this case it means that the burden of proof that the damage to the environment is either not made or compensated fully lies on the companies going to explore shelf. Thus, one of the chapters of Pre-EIA is to be reasoned polemics with the opponents of the design under discussion or its separate elements. The necessity of such polemics originates from the «precautionary approach» principal.

Account of the reliable scientific data at the nature resources exploitation is the international-legal obligation. But in these data there might be contained mistakes. Their reasons are natural variability of biota, limitation of our understanding of ecosystems functioning regularities, impossibility of the detailed cover of the temporal-spatial dynamics etc. Besides, there frequently occur such situations when the scientific data (for instance on the quantitative characteristics of the populations in the area of the field exploration) are completely absent. Incompleteness and mistakes in the initial information lead to the incorrect estimation of the distant ecological consequences which is fraught with significant ecological loss. Thus, a precautionary approach is similar to the used since the old times in the engineering the rule of the multiple margin of safety and the financial outlay for the companies connected with the implementation of this rale into life will be finally recouped.

Anikiev V. V., MansurovM. K, Fleishman Б. S. Ecological risk analysis of marine oil gas fields exploration // Dokl. RAS. 1995. V. 340, N 4. P. 566-568. (in Russian)

Comparative Risk Assessment in the Caspian Sea Region. Vol. 1. Comparative Risk Assessment Methodology and Case Studies for Oil and Gas Development in the Caspian Sea Region. Prepared for the United States Agency for International Development Europe and Eurasia Bureau, Office of environment, Energy and Transition Environment and Natural Resources Division by Abt Associates Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. 2000.
Hildrew J. С., Materials of the practical seminar on the ecological assessment of the preparedness to the oil spills. Analysis of concrete examples and situations. World Bank. 2002.
Matishov G.G., Zi/ev A. K, Shparkovshy I. A, Estimation of the possibility of contamination of the sea and the coastal zone of the Pechora Sea in the Prirazlonmoe field // Dokl. RAS. 1999. V. 367, N 55. P. 702-704. (in Russian)
Patin S. A. Ecological problems of marine shelf oil-gas shelf resources exploration. M.: VNIRO. 1997. (in Russian)
Regulations of the assessment of the impact of the supposed economic or other activity on the environment in the Russian Federation. Order of State Committee for Ecology Russian Federation dated May 16. 2000. N 372. (in Russian)
Saati T. Method of the hierarchies. M.: Radio and connections. 1993. 314 pp. (in

Scientific methodical approaches to the assessment of oil-gas exploitation impact on the Arctic seas ecosystems (on the example of the Stockman deposit). Apatity: KSC RAS. 1997. 393 pp. (in Russian)



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