Baseline Assessments

Posted on 24 Feb 2021

An important aspect of an Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is the collection and analysis of baseline data. Baseline assessments ensure that the current state of the ecosystem are determined prior to the commencement of a project and the subsequent potential effects. A baseline assessment can be utilised to reassure the public and competent authority that all environmental issues have been identified and can be monitored effectively during the project commencement.

A list of potential baseline studies have been highlighted below:

  • Surface water quality baseline assessment which may include stream flow rates, SASS5 assessments and biomonitoring.
  • Groundwater baseline assessments which may include hydro census, aquifer parameter determination, groundwater sampling and aquifer flow determination.
  • Air quality baseline assessments which may include passive sampling, indicative sampling, passive diffuse sampling.
  • Flora and fauna ecosystem assessments which may include resource identification, species at risk identification and habitat characterization.
  • Environmental noise baseline assessments which may include noise monitoring and noise propagation modelling and assessment.

 

Environmental baseline assessments can be utilised as an early warning system of potential impacts and the larger the amount of data that can be analysed and assessed the greater chance of determining trends with the current ecosystem. The more detailed the assessments the more accurate the assessment of the environmental parameters will be. This will ensure that environmental impacts associated with the project can be identified and that mitigation measures and procedures can be implemented.

The benefits of baseline assessments:

  • Reassure the public and competent authority that key environmental issues have been identified and will be monitored and mitigated, during and after the project is approved.
  • Lower probability that the competent authority will require additional baseline studies, which can conceivably require additional time and money and can delay the advancement of the project.
  • The approval and permitting phase of the project tends to advance at a faster and more predictable rate.
  • Aid in financial provision determination for monitoring that will be required throughout the project.

 

For baseline study services, please do not hesitate to contact our highly qualified specialists for a proposal on 012 460 9768 or info@envass.co.za