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Title: Environmental audit: for the existing powerhouse and desalination plant at Palm Beach Resort & Spa (Madhiriguraidhoo, Lhaviyani Atoll)
Authors: CDE Consultant
Keywords: Policy framework
Legal framework
Existing environment
Physical environment
Marine environment
Terrestrial environment
Environmental impacts
Environmental mitigation measures
Environmental monitoring
Issue Date: Apr-2010
Citation: CDE Consultant. (2010). Environmental audit: for the existing powerhouse and desalination plant at Palm Beach Resort & Spa (Madhiriguraidhoo, Lhaviyani Atoll). Male': Maldives.
Abstract: The purpose of this Environmental Audit report is to fulfill the requirements of Maldives Energy Authority and Maldives Water and Sanitation Authority guidelines to get necessary environmental clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out the registration of both facilities. The project involves the existing powerhouse and the desalination plant in Palm Beach Resort and Spa. The power generation system involves a powerhouse building that houses five diesel fired generator sets with total capacity of 2,900kVA and a fuel storage facility with total capacity of 169,911 litres. Desalination system involves three plants with a total capacity of 300 tonnes per day and two water storage tanks with a capacity of 220,000 litres. These facilities have been in operation since 1999. The main environmental impacts associated with this project include, increased noise levels and other emissions, potential risk for ground water and soil contamination due to fuel spills and leaks, damages to vegetation due to heat and smoke generated from the power house, potential impact on the marine environment due to brine discharge from the desalination process. Visual observation identifies no notable damage to existing vegetation around the powerhouse building and no indication of any fuel spills around the powerhouse area. Noise measurements taken during the field visit conforms to international standards while marine water quality tests identify no significant contamination. Groundwater quality tests conducted shows that the groundwater at the location is not suitable for drinking due to its physical appearance and turbidity levels for which the method of sampling may have contributed to. Mitigation measures that are in place to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the operation of the two facilities include installation of sound attenuators to reduce the noise levels from the generator sets, a chimney at the powerhouse to reduce the emission by accumulating particulate matters in the smoke within the chimney. In order to protect the environment from potential fuel spills, fuel storage facilities are bunded to contain any spills and proper pipelines are established for safe fuel transfers. A monitoring plan is proposed to observe any changes taking place due to the operation of powerhouse and desalination plant. In the event that monitoring indicates that any environmental quality is deteriorating to unacceptable levels, the proponent will correct operation procedures that are contributing to the problem and/or undertake necessary engineering installations.
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