Environmental impact assessment of the highways and roads construction
Construction of highways refers to the types of activities that constitute an increased ecological hazard to the environment and, accordingly, can have a significant impact on the environment. Therefore, activities related to the construction or reconstructions of highways require an ecological research of the impact on the human health and environment. Article 3 of the Law of Ukraine “On Environmental Impact Assessment” specifies the types of activities that are subject to obligatory EIA (environmental impact assessment), namely construction, expansion or reconstruction:
– highways of general use state and local importance with four or more lanes (also in the case of extension or reconstruction of up to four lanes), provided they extend from 10 km or more;
– first-class highways.
The aforementioned activities belong to the first category of activities and objects that may have a significant impact on the environment through which the documents in the EIA process will be sent to the central authority – the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine.
Before to the adoption of the Law of Ukraine “On EIA”, the environmental impact assessment in the construction or reconstruction of highways was carried out as part of the projection as chapter of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The relevant requirements are given in SBC (state building codes) A.2.2-1-95 “Composition and content of materials for environmental impact assessment (EIA) in the design and construction of enterprises, buildings and structures. Basic design provisions.”
The highway is regarded as an object that carries out transport function and affects the environment during construction and traffic. In the construction of traffic, the soil is damaged to lay the road itself and to accommodate temporary or permanent structures and construction equipment. If agrochemical researches indicate the presence of a fertile soil layer on a land plot where a road construction is planned, it should be removed and transferred to a specially designated storage place. Disturbed land from construction works is significantly affected by pollination, soil or groundwater disruption. After the constructional works would be completed the road will be in service for vehicles that are the sources of atmospheric air pollution.
In the case of construction of an overpass through a water object, the impact extends to the reservoir and hydrobionts, due to which additional investigations on the impact on the ichthyofauna water object.
An assessment of the impact of construction or reconstruction of highways on the environment begins with:
MCL carries out an assessment of the environmental impact “on a turn-key basis”: from the development of a notification on planned activities that is subject to an environmental impact assessment, before obtaining a conclusion on the environmental impact assessment. More about the peculiarities of conducting an environmental impact assessment for the types of activities subject to the EIA, you can find in the news section.