Southwest Environmental Limited
Level 26, 1 Bligh Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: 0283137132            Email:    

Environmental Consultancy Services to Industry, Business and Individuals

Environmental Impact Assessment

Quite often not all of the below elements are required for a project. You may need Visual and Noise Impact Assessments for a wind turbine for example, and not much else, these reports can typically be produced in 3 weeks. But for larger projects such as manufacturing centers or large roads, the majority of the below elements will be required and it is not uncommon for the process to take a minimum of 3 months.

Environmental Impact Assessment - Elements

Noise Environmental Impact Assessment   Landscape and Visual Assessment   Transport Environmental Impact Assessment
Air Quality and Climate Environmental Impact Assessment   Soils, Geology and Geomorphology Environmental Impact Assessment   Water Environmental Impact Assessment
Costal Ecology and Geomorphology Environmental Impact Assessment   Odour Impact Assessment   Statement of Environmental Effects

Noise Environmental Impact Assessment  

Noise in typically assed against various national and regional standards and guides. The Road Traffic Noise Guidelines specify the following limits (in accordance with the flowchart in the Guidelines):

An example of State policy might be The South Australia EPA Environmental (Noise) Policy (EEP) 2007. Which gives applicable noise levels by land use category:

Land Use Day Night
Light Industry

These are broadly in line with World Health Organisation levels, for noise at night where 40dB or above is considered to create unfavorable conditions. With sleep disturbance and subsequent cardio pulmonary degradation. SWEL can also provide Acoustic Reports.

Landscape and Visual Assessment   

 We have written a specific page for this type of report. Landscape and Visual Assessment .

Transport Environmental Impact Assessment        

Most states have their own specific requirements for Transport Assessments. For example Western Australia has released guidance to assist land use planners and transport planning professionals to undertake transport impact assessments of land use development proposals.

In Western Australia and other areas alike (New South Wales for Example) proponents of land use developments, and their planning and transport consultants, will be required to comply with the guidelines when determining the type of transport infrastructure required to support their development proposals and the potential transport impacts on the existing/proposed transport infrastructure within the surrounding area.

SWE work towards establishing trip generation rates and then applying these extra trips to the the highway capacity as existing to observe impacts it may be required that mitigate improvement are made to local network.

Ecology Environmental Impact Assessment  

SWE do not undertake Ecological Assessments.

Socio Economic Environmental Impact Assessment  

Social Impact Assessment includes the processes of analysing, monitoring and managing the intended and unintended social consequences, both positive and negative, of planned interventions (policies, programs, plans, projects) and any social change processes invoked by those interventions. Its primary purpose is to bring about a more sustainable and equitable biophysical and human environment.

The objective of SIA is to ensure that development maximises its benefits and minimises its costs, especially those costs borne by people (including those in other places and in the future). Costs and benefits may not be measurable or quantifiable and are often not adequately taken into account by decision-makers, regulatory authorities and developers. By identifying impacts in advance: (1) better decisions can be made about which interventions should proceed and how they should proceed; and (2) mitigation measures can be implemented to minimise the harm and maximise the benefits from a specific planned intervention or related activity.

SWEL practitioners are members of IAIA, and keep abreast of new developments in the field of SIA.

Heritage Environmental Impact Assessment        

  SWE do not undertake Heritage Assessments.

Air Quality and Climate Environmental Impact Assessment  

SWE use approved methods to model the emissions from proposed activities and to assess their impact ion nearby receptors. New South Wales for example has released the "Approved Methods for the Modelling and Assessment of Air Pollutants in New South Wales"

(‘Approved Methods’), lists the statutory methods for modelling and assessing emissions of air pollutants from stationary sources in the state. It is referred to in Part 4: Emission of Air Impurities from Activities and Plant in the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation 2002 (the ‘Regulation’). Industry has an obligation to ensure compliance with the requirements specified in the Regulation.

This document may also be referred to in conditions attached to statutory instruments, such as:

The respiratory and cardiovascular effects of air pollution have long been known. In recent years, air pollution has also been identified as a cause of cancer. Sensitive individuals (for example, children, the elderly and those with existing heart and lung diseases) are particularly susceptible to the effects of air pollution. Both short-term and long-term exposure to air pollution can cause health problems. By world standards, Australia has very clean air

Soils, Geology and Geomorphology Environmental Impact Assessment  

There are a number of commonwealth, state and local policy drivers that lead to the requirement for a Soils, Geology and Geomorphology Environmental Impact Assessment. For example Commonwealth: Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999, and state level (for example Queensland) Nature Conservation Act 1992.  Control measures might include:

Water Environmental Impact Assessment          

Any work taking place near sensitive ground water or surface water has the potential to pollute or degrade water resources. As such mitigative measure should be proposed pending a thorugh review of base line conditions:

Costal Ecology and Geomorphology Environmental Impact Assessment  

Coastlines are very heavily utilized in the Australia. They are a pleasant place to live, work and holiday. You only have to take a look at the satellite image to the right to see that costal regions are disproportionately developed.

There are a number of factors that affect costal regions:

- Rising Sea Levels
- Loss of Semi Natural Habitats (Salt Marsh)

An environmental Impact Assessment of  Geomorphology aims to highlight areas where there could potential be impacts such as:

- Erosion Regimes
- Depositional Environs
- Sand dunes
- Cliffs and Slopes

Costal Ecology can also be affected.

Odour Impact Assessment  

Odour tends not to attract the level of attention given to higher profile environmental problems such as water pollution and contaminated industrial sites. Yet for those communities that experience odour problems, the impacts are significant. Odour can have a marked effect on people’s quality of life. It is a major source of complaints to the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) Environment Line.

Criteria for predicting and assessing odour impacts are specified. The framework establishes three levels s of impact assessment, so the appropriate level of odour investigation can be carried out, depending on whether an odour-emitting activity is new, modified or existing. The framework also provides a process by which industry-specific odour assessment procedures may be developed.

The odour benchmark for an operational facility is whether emission of odour is ‘offensive’ (scheduled activities), or is being prevented or minimised using best management practices and best available technology (scheduled as well as non-scheduled activities). New or modified activities must also incorporate all best practicable means to prevent or minimise odour.

Southwest Environmental Limited prepare our Odour Impact Assessments in line with NSW Technical Framework