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Title: Environmental impact assessment for the proposed brine discharge line Hulhumalé Industrial Zone Kaafu Atoll, Maldives
Authors: Sandcays
Keywords: Legislative and regulatory consideration
Project description
Existing environment
stakeholder consultations
Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental monitoring
Issue Date: Oct-2015
Citation: Sandcays. (2015). Environmental impact assessment for the proposed brine discharge line Hulhumalé Industrial Zone Kaafu Atoll, Maldives. Male': Maldives
Abstract: This report discusses the findings of an environmental impact study for the construction and operation of the proposed brine discharge line in Industrial Zone of Hulhumalé to allow ENSIS Factory to discharge the brine from their registered desalination plant as well as to provide the same for other industries who may require the service in future. The project involves construction of a pump well with a small dewatering pump that will pump the water from the location of the pump to the discharge location. The brine discharge line from the factory to the pump well would be a gravity line running along the side of the existing roads. The Proponent of this project is Housing Development Corporation (HDC), which has the primary function of providing housing and development infrastructure for Hulhumalé. The objective of the brine discharge line is to facilitate the ENSIS factory’s brine discharge while providing the same opportunity for other factories that may require the service once their desalination plants have been registered. Initially, the charges for the construction and operation of the brine discharge line will be borne by ENSIS Group, which would be compensated for as other factories connect their brine discharge line. An appropriate mechanism would be established. The depth of the pump well will be about 1.5m. Given the high elevation of the reclaimed land of Hulhumalé, only a small degree of dewatering may be required during the construction of the pump well. If required, dewatering will be carried out after necessary approvals under the Dewatering Regulation of the Maldives. The discharge line will run between the ENSIS factory and the quawall at the harbour area, where the brine will be discharged. Section of road will be excavated while a small section of asphalt road would be cut across to make way for the pipes, which will be made good once the pipes are laid. The discharge area is a dredged basin which is open to the Hulhumalé lagoon and at least 500m from the inner reefline on the western side of Hulhumalé. Due to shortage of fresh water supply during early development stage of the Industrial Zone in Hulhumalé, some developers had to install their own desalination plants to cater to their production demand. Similarly, a temporary discharge pipe had to be laid for waste and RO reject water disposal due to absence of sewer network in the area. On top of that, MWSC, the sole water and sewerage service provider for Hulhumalé has indicated to HDC that MWSC may start sewage treatment in 2015 and RO reject water may affect the treatment process. Most of the industries including the ENSIS fish factory needs large volumes of water and for that reason the factory has installed and recently registered their desalination plant with the Environmental Protection Agency. However, the application for the brine discharge line in the industrial zone has been held for over a year pending the resolution of the matter with MWSC. It is crucial that ENSIS factory is allowed to proceed to operate their registered RO plant. Therefore, HDC wishes to provide a separate brine discharge line for ENSIS and other similar industries demanding for the service. The proposed brine discharge line will ease the current difficulties faced by ENSIS and other factories in the industrial area. These industries are responsible for several job opportunities and contribute well to the state revenue and national GDP. ENSIS factory not only contributes to the fishery exports but also to sustainable fisheries and minimizes dependence on imports in a country where almost everything is imported. The impact area is the area to be excavated for the pipeline and the discharge location. The proposed project will have some minor negative impacts on the discharge location. However, the discharge location is the deepened/dredged lagoon, where there is no coral cover of any sort and the nearest housereef is about 500m from the discharge location. Therefore, the impact is of no significance. The impacts within the island will mainly consist of possible small scale and temporal changes to topography from laying out the pipe network and temporary negative effects on groundwater quality (if any). Since there were no significant environmental impacts identified for the proposed project, mitigation measure were general construction phase guidelines such as dust control measures and waste management plans. A monitoring programme has been suggested for at least two years. The monitoring would mainly focus on the water quality at the brine discharge location.
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