An evaluation of air quality impact prediction performance undertaken as part of environmental impact assessment (EIA) in India

Journal article


Mohd Radzuan, H. and Martin, J. (2024). An evaluation of air quality impact prediction performance undertaken as part of environmental impact assessment (EIA) in India. Heliyon. 10 (11), p. e31263. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e31263
AuthorsMohd Radzuan, H. and Martin, J.
Abstract

Effective implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is recognised as a global issue, in particular the impact prediction stage, which is the ‘core’ of EIA. Consisting of four stages: impact identification, impact assessment, significance evaluation, and mitigation measures on the possible environmental repercussions of project developmental activities, the efficacy of impact prediction can define the quality of the EIA process, which will better align environmental decision-making to sustainable development. The weakness of impact prediction in EIA demands more study to enhance practice. Although this is widely explored in the context of developed countries such as the UK, it is particularly concerning in India. A specialised review package built from several sources is utilised to assess the efficacy of air quality impact prediction, based on Lee & Colley (1991). 20 EIA reports of Category A (mega-scale projects causing significant environmental impacts) are reviewed. This study's evaluation indicates that significance evaluation and mitigation actions are the weakest phases and a major concern while assessing air quality studies conducted as a part of EIA. Recommendations to improve the process include prioritising the cumulative impact assessment within the regulatory framework, enhancing capacity building, embedding public participation and instilling accountability among stakeholders, which can be adopted globally. Additional recommendations specifically for India are revising the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), restructuring the EIA review mechanism by EAC and improving mitigation measures by adopting GIS and remote sensing technologies.

KeywordsEnvironmental impact assessment; Impact prediction; Air quality; India; Impact assessment; Megaprojects
Year2024
JournalHeliyon
Journal citation10 (11), p. e31263
PublisherElsevier
ISSN2405-8440
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e31263
Web address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405844024072943?via%3Dihub
Publication dates
Online17 May 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted14 May 2024
Deposited12 Jun 2024
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
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