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Title: Rapid environmental assessment and management plan for seawater basin and batching plant STELCO, Malé, Maldives : second addendum to environmental impact assessment for the fourth power project
Authors: Sandcays
Keywords: Seawater basin
Batching plant
Concrete batching
Environmental performance
Existing impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental monitoring
Environmental assessment and management plan
Issue Date: Jan-2010
Citation: Sandcays. (2010). Rapid environmental assessment and management plan for seawater basin and batching plant STELCO, Malé, Maldives : second addendum to environmental impact assessment for the fourth power project. Male': Maldives
Abstract: This is the second addendum to the Environmental Impact Assessment report prepared for the ongoing Fourth Power Development Project proposed for Malé, Maldives. This report covers the ongoing works of seawater intake basin and the batching plant. The initial EIA report had not covered these as these details were not available at the stage and was not within the scope of the EIA at that time. The initial report and addendum that followed had been focussed on the change to heavy fuel and back to diesel respectively. Therefore, atmospheric pollution from fuel and noise emissions was the primary concern addressed in these reports. The actual civil works have been only recently started as it took several years for the project approval and funding. The EIA report was done in 2005/2006, the addendum was done in August 2007. This report has been prepared on the instructions from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the Agency stopped the project components on 14 January 2010 following public complaints. Public complaints arose when the dewatering for the foundation works of the seawater basin had caused visible discolouration of the receiving environment and the sensitive areas in the vicinity namely the swimming track area behind State Electric Company (STELCO) site. Immediate public and media attention complicated matters. Therefore, dewatering was immediately stopped at around 1730hrs on the same day. STELCO met the Director General and senior staff of EPA in STELCO Head Office at 1640 to discuss a way forward (see Appendix for minutes). The EPA decided that an Addendum to the EIA for the Fourth Power Project be submitted in order to seek approvals. This report discusses the outcomes of the several consultations with relevant parties and findings of the rapid environmental assessments and mitigation measures. Scope of the Report The report covers an audit of the works that have been undertaken under the construction of a seawater basin for the power plant and batching plant for the construction of the different facilities proposed under the Fourth Power Project. Dewatering has been identified as the main activity affecting the environment and is the only reason for stopping the project. This is probably the first report of this kind prepared for dewatering and concrete batching, and there is limited data on past construction activities of this sort and mitigation and monitoring would be the main focus of this report. This report, therefore, mainly covers a compliance and performance audit and management plan for further mitigation of potential environmental impacts of the seawater basin and batching plant. Aims and Objectives This report provides an overview of the environmental performance and compliance of two particular components of the proposed Fourth Power Development Project namely seawater basin and batching plant. The objectives of the primary project, i.e. the Fourth Power Project are to cater for the increasing electricity demand in the city of Malé, the capital of the Maldives. Further objectives of the project are discussed in the main EIA report. This report aims at further environmental compliance by STELCO, who were not aware of the requirement that dewatering and sheet piling should be addressed in particular in the EIA report or that specific environmental clearance is required for these activities. As soon as issues arose, STELCO was willing to comply and assure their commitment to environmental protection and public health and safety. While the EPA understands the importance of the project, the Agency was not able to put forth any solution other than to prepare an addendum to the proposed EIA for the Fourth Power Project in order to assure compliance with environmental protection requirements under the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act (Law No. 4/93).
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