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CVL912

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND IMPACT


ASSESSMENT
Lecture 10:
ALTERNATIVES TO THE PROJECT AND
ALTERNATIVE MEANS
Alternatives
• “Heart” of EA
• Quality of decision depends on the quality of the
alternatives from which to choose.
• Each alternative should be functionally different.
• Alternatives can be different ways to achieve the
project goals as well as the proposed alternative
with different location, scale, design, and
operation.
National Defence’s Low Level Flight Training

• 18,000 flights per year


• 82,000 km2
• Over Innu hunting lands
• Claimed no other
alternatives
• Only EA done in 2 years
Potential Alternatives to Flight Zones

• Distribute additional flights among other


Canadian bases
• Allocate flights to another large base (Cold
Lake, Alberta)
• Redistribute demand among existing
NATO flight zones.
How many alternatives?
• Appropriate and reasonable sets of
alternatives.
• A reasonable variation in environmental
outcomes should be captured by
alternatives.
• Alternatives should be functional and
workable (viable).
Integrated Solid Waste Management

• The selection and application of suitable


techniques, technologies, and
management programs to achieve
specific waste management objectives
and goals.
Preferred Hierarchy of ISWM
Source
Reduction

Landfilling
Recycling

Transformation
Source Reduction
• Does not incur costs.
• Selective buying patterns of consumers.
• Industries change design, manufacture,
and packaging.
• Economic incentive
Reuse
For consumer For businesses
• Take a reusable cloth bag • Create a "reuse center" in
to the grocery store your building
• Take your own mug to • Buy rechargeable toner
the coffee shop cartridges
• Donate old clothes and • Donate unwanted
miscellaneous items to a equipment, furniture, and
shelter or charity supplies to nonprofit
• Have a garage sale organizations or schools.
• Support construction from
reused building materials
Recycling
• Source separation helps; public education is
necessary.
• Centralized separation at municipal depots.
• Material recovery
• Delivery is the last step.
Waste Transformation
• Physical densification (e.g., bales)
• Chemical alteration (e.g., incineration)
• Biological changes (e.g., composting)
Landfilling
• Most common waste management
technique.
• Delay the waste problem to the future.
• Difficult to find suitable locations.
Alternatives to Highway Projects
• Fixed rail transit
• Capacity restructuring of existing regional
road networks
• Designation of bus lanes and/or HOV
lanes
“Do-nothing” Alternative
• Status quo, baseline or current conditions
• Only practical alternative (automatic)
• If a project does no better than do-nothing,
select do-nothing
Impact levels

Do nothing Environ. Highest Greater than


(base case) Benign acceptable acceptable
Always Alternatives environ impact environ impact
Preferred by Lowest impacts Often one of the unacceptablalter
Opponents while doing proponent natives
everywhere something alternatives
Analysis of Alternatives
• Should be analyzed objectively.
• Should be analyzed rigorously.
Private Project Alternatives
• Is it reasonable to expect comprehensive
alternatives from private project?
Recommendations on Alternatives
• Need alternatives to be included earlier in EA (TOR).
• Only environmental factors should be explicit criteria fro
screening a number of alternatives.
• Alternatives have to reflect societal goals.
• Avoid biasing alternatives.
• All reasonable (meet project goals) and feasible
(technically and physically possible) alternatives should
be rigorously explored and objectively evaluated.
• Give reasons for eliminating alternatives.
• Feasible, practical, cost-effective alternatives should be
included
• “Do-nothing” alternative should be included.
• Once accept project purpose, each feasible alternative
must be able to meet the purpose of project.
Problems of Many EAs
• Use a narrow set of alternatives
• Fail to show key trade-offs and incorporate
public values
• Most energy spent on analysis of a given set
and alternative methods of designs.
• Only “no build” alternative is considered.
Alternative Methods
• Technology alternatives
- hazardous waste management methods
- transmission towers
- waste sorting
- subway vs LRT
• Alternative designs
- multiple small waste sites vs regional waste site
- wide vs narrow station spacing for LRT
- tipping faces and liners of landfill
• Alternative locations
- landfill locations
- alternative paths for transmission towers