High Speed 2
Environmental Impact Assessment Report
Environmental Impact Assessment is very advanced process of forecasting influence on environment of planned operation, in this case- High Speed 2. It is crucial to do EIA before any construction works commence, it will allow designers to change or improve the project in order to minimise negative consequences of it.
This paper include analyse of main environmental issues, such as: impact on agriculture, forestry and soils; air quality; climate, community, cultural heritage, ecology, land quality, visual effects, noise/vibration, waste material resources and water resources/ flood risk.
Environmental impact ...view middle of the document...
Regulatory and policy background
One of the most important stepping stones on the way to HS2 was High Speed Rail Preparation Act (paving Act). It passed both Houses of Parliament last year. It guarantees monies for preparatory work (including environmental assessment) as well as compensations for those negatively affected by the railway. (GOV.UK. 2013)
The High Speed Two hybrid Bill will seek the necessary legal powers to enable the construction and operation of the first phase of HS2 railway between London and the West Midlands. (GOV.UK. 2013)
To assess impact on environment, the designers of HS2 project had to follow the procedure, shown below- Figure 1.
Figure 1. – Environmental Impact Assessment (Review of HS2 London to West Midlands Appraisal of Sustainability, A report to Government by HS2 Ltd, January 2012)
Methodology of assessing environmental impact of a HS2 project is very precisely described in “HS2 London to West Midlands EIA Scope and Methodology Report”. First step of EIA is to establish the broad scope and methodology of environmental studies that need to be carried out for each environmental topic separately. To do so, they need to undertake surveys, review engineering alternatives- based on these they will identify the local extent of potential impacts and predict what actions should be avoided or reduced. In following this procedure it is fundamental to consider policies, guidelines and legislation and best practice relevant to EIA. After assessing all likely environmental impact, the designers must find a way to minimize negative impact of the project- the hierarchy of mitigation is shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2 – Mitigation hierarchy (HS2 London to West Midlands EIA Scope and Methodology Report- A report to HS2 Ltd by Arup/URS)
As we can see, the most preferable is to avoid or minimize negative influence on environment. If these two are impossible to accomplish, the engineers must try to abate some parts of the design e.g. add noise barriers to the project. Repair is usually required during construction works- its impact is often only temporary. Thing that inventors are trying to prevent is to compensate for any losses or damages caused by the project. To decide which of procedures is the most relevant to particular environmental effect- professional judgment must be made.
Afterwards, draft of Environmental Statement can be prepared and publicly consulted. Then final version of ES can be formed.
EIA covers all issues listed below:
Agriculture, Forestry and Soils: such as: farming and other rural enterprises, farm buildings, related land use and woodland planting, ancient woodlands;
The designers assures, that good quality agricultural soil will be stripped prior to construction and stored appropriately for future use.
Owners and operators of affected agricultural holdings will be entitled to receive compensation for any losses that HS2 will...