Environmental Monitoring Service
Environmental monitoring i.e. the measurement of chemical exposures and effects in the receiving environment is a valuable tool for environmental risk assessment (ERA), environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental performance assessment. While ERA predicts the environmental impact of an effluent, chemical release or product use, the only way of validating that prediction is to study the actual receiving environment. 'The environment itself is the final arbiter'. Monitoring the receiving environment takes into account the interaction of chemical mixtures effluents, environmental amelioration and their long-term effects on exposed organisms.
Staff from Brixham Environmental Laboratory (BEL) first began environmental monitoring in the UK in the 1950’s. In 2006, the BEL field survey team was the subject of a management buy-out and the company Ecospan Environmental Limited (www.ecospan.co.uk) was formed. Today, our scientists work closely with the dedicated team of hydrographers and ecologists at Ecospan, designing and implementing site-specific environmental surveys in both coastal and inland waters in the UK, Europe and the Far East. This multidisciplinary approach is essential to provide a reliable and robust environmental assessment.
Reporting and Representation
To assess the significance of any observed environmental change or impact, a range of statistical programmes are used. PRIMER, ECOSYS, TWINSPAN and RIVPACS packages enable analysis of data using a wide range of current techniques.
As well as collaborating with Ecospan in the field to provide a complete solution, BEL also offers a project management and data interpretation/reporting service. Reports can range from non-technical explanations of the results to detailed scientific documents suitable for presentation to regulatory authorities depending on the customer’s requirements.
Monitoring the aquatic environment may be necessary for a variety of reasons including:
- Refining environmental risk assessments
- Monitoring Environmental Performance e.g. ISO 14001
- Quantification of the effects of operations and incidents
- Control of Major Accident Hazard (COMAH)
- Demonstrating effluent treatment efficacy
- Provision of environmental baseline data
- Long-term monitoring of effluent treatment efficacy
- Developing and validating exposure and effects models
These applications are reflected in numerous environmental regulations in the European Union, North America and Japan including:
- Environmental Impact Assessment regulations (worlwide)
- Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control regulations (EU)
- Control of Major Accident Hazard regulations (EU)
- Environmental Liability Directive regulations(EU)
- Water Framework Directive regulations (EU)
- Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Discharge Consents