Issues to be addressed

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An EIA will consider a range of issues, including: Noise, dust and light pollution: Neighbours of ports are likely to be affected by various forms of pollution, so it is essential that mitigation measures are developed. For example, the visual aspects of the new operations should be assessed and suitable solutions such as appropriate lighting schemes developed.

Traffic congestion: Inevitably when more cargo is transferred from ship to shore, additional road and rail traffic will be created.

The mitigation of the traffic impact of a port development will often involve construction of new roads and junctions to take traffic away from residential areas.

Ship emissions: Increasing the number of ship arrivals will also increase emissions from ships in the area. This impact can be assessed and the effect of various IMO measures for pollution mitigation should reduce emissions, even when traffic is increasing.

Recommendations resulting from the EIA process may affect development by requiring changes that influence the design, economic viability or timing of implementation in order for the development to gain approval. An effective EIA will also establish implementation and followup mechanisms (eg environmental management plans) to ensure long-term environmental protection and to allow port development to proceed in a sustainable manner.

Sian John is development director at Royal Haskonings Environment Division (s. john@royalhaskoning. com)

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