Environmental Impact Assessment For Natural Gas Pipeline Project SUMMARY
Prepared for Jordan Egyptian Fajr for Gas Transmission and Supply Co. Prepared by Royal Scientific Society Environmental Research Center
P.O. Box 1438, Al Jubeiha 11941 Jordan. Phone +962 6 5344701 Fax +962 6 5340373 email@example.com www.rss.gov.jo
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This document provides a summary of the findings of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) study for the project of the Jordanian Egyptian Fajr for Gas Transmission and Supply Company (JEFGC). The project aims at establishing Natural Gas Pipeline Project (phase II) to supply Samra, Hussien and Rehab Thermal Power Stations with the natural gas. The project is considered a major development project for the socio-economical benefits of Jordan. The EIA was focused on the main issues that would interact with the important environmental elements (valued environmental components) listed below. These issues and elements were a result of both the consultation process with the stakeholders including the public and the study team input. • • • • • • • Water Resources. Public Health (air pollution and noise). Biodiversity. Socio-Economic Conditions. Archeology. Marine Environment. Occupational Health and Safety.
The EIA study was undertaken according to national and international requirements, the report of the study comprises: Main Report: which included detailed description of the project, the legal framework with regard to environmental issues that the project shall comply with, results of the consultation with the public and regulatory authorities (issues scoping phase), and detailed assessment of interactions with the valued environmental components. Environmental Management and Monitoring Plans: It provides an outline of the proposed mitigation measures and a monitoring program that JEFGC should implement through the construction and operational phases. Component Studies: The detailed studies accompanied the assessment were also presented in separate attachments: Part (1): Air Quality Component Study. Part (2): Water Resources Component Study. Part (3): Biodiversity Component Study. Part (4): Archeology Component Study. Part (5): Quantitative Risk Assessment for the Gas Pipeline and The Branches. Part (6): Emergency Plans. Issues and Concerns as Presented by Participants in Scoping Sessions: All issues and concerns received from the participants during the consultation (scoping phase) were attached to the report. The scoping phase included five scoping sessions (Aqaba, Ma’an, Mafraq, Tafila and Karak, and Zarqa and Amman).
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The Environmental Research Centre (ERC) of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) has been providing specialized technical studies and services for the past 14 years in a number of environmental areas. ERC has a specialized staff in EIA, it has conducted comprehensive EIA studies for major development projects. The following is a list of the study team: Core team: Rafat Assi (Project Manager) Mohammad Mosa
In addition to: Najeeb Al-Atiyat Jihad Alsawair Rawia Abdalla Jehan Haddad Khaled Nassar Dr. Mohammad Waheeb Supervisor: Dr. Bassam Hayek (Director of ERC)
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Table of Contents
Preface Study Team Summary 1. Water Resources 1.1 1.2 1.3 2. 2.1 2.2 2.3 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Surface Water Resources Groundwater Contamination Project Geology Air Quality Noise Pollution Quantified Risk Assessment for the Gas Pipeline and its Branches
2 3 5 7 7 7 8 8 8 9 10 10 12 14 15 15 15 16 16
Biodiversity Socio-Economic Conditions Archeology Marine Environment Occupational Health and Safety Gas Pipeline Route Selection
Reviewing Session Conclusion
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According to the agreement signed between the governments of Jordan and Egypt, the Egyptian natural gas will be supplied via a 36 inch pipeline to Samra, Rehab and Hussein power plants. The project will be implemented by the Jordanian Egyptian Fajr for Gas Transmission and Supply Company (JEFGC). The pipeline will extend for 393 km from Aqaba south to Rehab north, about 25 km from the Jordanian / Syrian border, see Figure (1). The project will comprise mainly a compression station and a car supply station in Aqaba, a 36 inch pipeline from Aqaba to Rehab and smaller pipe sections feeding the power stations (Rehab, Samra) and the planned Car Gas Station. The first phase of the project was completed in 2003, where Aqaba Thermal Power Plant is currently supplied with the required amount of natural gas. The Environmental Research Center (ERC) of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) conducted the environmental impact assessment (EIA) study for the first phase of the project. JEFGC has approached ERC of RSS to conduct the EIA study for the second phase of the project that includes the construction and operation of the gas pipeline through Jordan. To identify and analyze the potential impacts of the proposed project, a comprehensive environmental impact assessment was prepared by the Royal Scientific Society. The scoping phase included consultations with representatives of the public (from local communities), environmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and regulatory authorities in five major scoping sessions held in the governorates, through which the gas pipeline will pass (Aqaba, Ma’an, Mafraq, Tafila, Karak, Zarqa and Amman). The following valued environmental components were identified: • Water Resources. • Public Health. • Socio-Economic Conditions. • Biodiversity. • Archeology. • Marine Environment. • Occupational Health and Safety To determine baseline data and to facilitate impact assessment, a number of studies were carried out including: • Air Quality. • Noise. • Water Resources. • Biodiversity. • Archeology. • Socio-Economic Conditions. • Marine Environment. • Quantitative Risk Assessment for the Gas Pipeline and the Branches. • Occupational Health and Safety. The results of the assessments are summarized in the following sections.
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Figure (1): Map of the Pipeline Route.
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The major issues related to water resources were the impact of surface water runoff, impacts on groundwater quality, in addition to the geological impacts on the line. 1.1 Surface Water Resources: The study concluded that fifteen major catchments areas may interact with the project. These areas were analyzed by modeling the water runoff. The study recommended taking more protection for the pipeline at the sections of the pipe crossing the catchments areas (constructing gabions). Additionally, to deal with the surface runoff in Aqaba site in a way that avoids sea pollution, the drains of surface water in the compression station shall be collected into underground open drain collection sump provided with a separator for any oily waste and solid material; the clear water shall be emptied and hauled to Aqaba treatment plant or reused if it complies with the relevant standard in cooperation with ASEZA. If oily waste is collected, it shall be sent to Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company. Monitoring requirements for these issues were also given. 1.2 Groundwater Contamination: The study concluded that the project site in Aqaba is composed of deposits where pollutants may reach ground water in a very short time (in less than about 30 minutes). Concerning the pipeline route, the aquifers under the route are mostly considered deep except for some areas (Aqaba, Jurf Darawish, Southern Huseineya and Wadi Dhuleil). The formation and geology of these areas may allow for fast transport of pollutants to reach ground water. Therefore, to avoid risks of groundwater pollution, during the construction phase the domestic wastewater shall be collected in a sealed containers located in the employees campuses sites. The wastewater shall then be hauled to the nearest treatment plant. During the operation phase, the treated wastewater from the domestic wastewater treatment plant in the compression station shall be collected in sealed storage sump. This sump shall be emptied by a tanker to Aqaba treatment plant in cooperation with ASEZA. The treated domestic wastewater may be used for irrigation if it complies with the standards for Reuse of Reclaimed Wastewater. Monitoring shall be undertaken to check the quality of the effluent. All generated waste oil resulting from the machineries during the construction phase, and resulting from maintenance of equipments during the operation phase should be collected in sealed drums and regularly shipped to Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company according to its established requirements. The company will test the gas pipeline using about 130,000 m3 of water from Gulf of Aqaba. As proposed by the company, the test water will be discharged into several evaporation ponds. A water-based product consisting of biological control disinfectant,
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oxygen scavenger and corrosion inhibitor will be added to the testing water. If this alternative is approved by the authorities, the evaporation ponds shall be selected in areas characterized of deep water table below the surface, and the floor of the evaporation ponds shall be well compacted to reduce the infiltration of the test water. The ponds shall be of shallow depth (about 0.5 m). The location of the ponds shall be selected far from any residential and agricultural areas or in any biological sensitive location. The evaporation ponds shall be surrounded with warning signs and tape. The company shall get the approval from ASEZA and other regulatory authorities before the excavation. The precipitated salts shall then be removed and sent to licensed landfills. 1.3 Project Geology: The geology of the project area was studied to see how the project may affect or be affected by such an issue mainly concerning seismic activities and faults. The study revealed that the project area (pipeline route) from Aqaba (south) to Rehab (north) interact with some faults, very few were ranked as major faults. Thus require more care in the design of the pipeline. The company is already informed and these points were taken with full attention; the pipe and project components shall be designed to withstand such effects.
The public health was focused on air quality, noise, and the risk management as follows. 2.1 Air Quality: A comprehensive air quality study was undertaken. It included ambient air pollution and wind speed and wind direction monitoring program at the study area of Aqaba; a onemonth wind speed and wind direction monitoring at four sites along the natural gas pipeline route (Al-Quwaira, Al-Huseineya, Al-Hassa and Al-Zaitouna townships); reviewing results of previously done monitoring programs and collection of wind speed and wind direction data from the respective stations of the Meteorological Department along the natural gas pipeline route; air pollution dispersion modeling to allow predicting future levels of pollutants as a result of the activities in the station. The major findings of the assessment are summarized as follows: During the construction phase, dust will be mainly emitted from the construction activities of the compression and car filling stations, in addition to excavation activities to install the 36” natural gas pipeline and branch pipeline of the car filling station. There will also be gaseous emissions from vehicles that will be used during construction activities. The mitigation measures in this regard include using water sprays to keep soil damp and thus to reduce dust generation; using premixed concrete for constructing the car gas filling and compression stations to eliminate the generation of dust during unloading of materials and concrete mixing; conducting periodical maintenance and emissions monitoring for constructing vehicles to reduce their emissions. During the operation phase, gaseous emissions, mainly SO2 and NOx, will be emitted from five sources at Aqaba Compression Station; the flare (venting), 1.3 MW power
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generator (gas powered), two turbines operated by 11 MW power generator (gas powered), in addition to stand by power generator of 0.8 MW (diesel powered). There are several industrial plants at Aqaba southern industrial area where the gas natural compression station will also be located. These industries include: Aqaba Thermal Power Station, Fertilizer complex of Jordan Phosphate Mines Company, The NipponJordan Fertilizer Company and Kemira-Arab Potash Company. Air pollution modeling results of SO2 in Aqaba southern industrial area showed that the levels of SO2 are within the acceptable limit set by the standard. Modeling results also showed that levels of SO2 will not be influenced by the future activities of JEFGC. Thus, burning clean natural gas, which contains negligible sulfur content at the planned JEFGC compression station, will have negligible effect on SO2 levels. In fact, the natural gas already caused a considerable reduction in SO2 levels in the study area of Aqaba since it is already being used at Aqaba Thermal Power Station instead of the heavy fuel oil that was previously used. Regarding NOx, the assessment by the model showed that the maximum level of NOx were below the limit set in the standard. It also showed that NOx contribution made by JEFGC would cause a maximum increase of 11% in NOx levels in the study area at the worst-case scenario (of wind speed and direction), which may occur less than 5% of the year. On the other hand, and as predicted by the model, NOx will be dispersed over a larger area but it will be well below the allowable level and limited to Aqaba southern industrial zone, thus the residential areas will not be affected. To mitigate this slight negative impact, it is recommended that JEFGC consider increasing the heights of its stacks as much as design requirements allow especially the heights of the two stacks of 11 MW power generators for compressors. 2.2 Noise Pollution: A short-term noise monitoring program was conducted to determine the existing noise level at the planned compression station site. The major sources of noise in the selected site are the industrial activities (mainly Jordan Phosphate Mines Company and its cooling pipes facilities), heavy transportation on the main road (trucks, tankers and buses) and port activities. The program revealed that all values of equivalent sound pressure levels for day and night periods are within the permissible limits of 75 dB(A) at day time and 65 dB(A) at night time. The results also indicated that there is a very slight difference in noise levels between day and night periods, which means that the major sources of noise are rather continuous, as the area is a heavy industrial area. The major findings of the assessment are summarized as follows: During construction of the gas pipeline, different types of excavation and construction machines will be used that will generate noise levels. The levels were assessed taking into account the distance to the nearest residential areas. It was found that residential places located at less than 130 m from the construction activities may be exposed to
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noise levels above the standard. Therefore, it is necessary to limit the construction works to day time working hours only and that the residential areas be informed of the program of the construction works. It should be noted that the construction works will take place for a relatively short period of times. The areas that may be exposed to noise were identified in the study, a monitoring program shall also be undertaken to check the real values and the execution procedures. Concerning the exposure of workers to noise levels during construction, it is necessary that in all areas (within the compression station and along the gas pipeline route) where the noise exceed 85 dB(A), warning signs should be posted indicating hearing protection is required, and workers should be instructed directly by the occupational health and safety responsible person to use the hearing protection tools. During the operation phase, the issue of noise is limited to the station in Aqaba (compression and gas turbine). The expected levels of noise from the station were assessed; it was found that the station site is not expected to contribute in any significant noise levels that could increase the existing background noise levels. 2.3 Quantified Risk Assessment for the Gas Pipeline and its Branches: Quantified Risk Assessment (QRA) enables prediction of risks as a result of specific planned activities and setting measures to avoid such risks. A QRA study was undertaken by JEFGC for the 36” pipeline, its facilities and the branches feeding the power stations. The study concluded that 14 sectionalizing valves should be installed along the 36” pipeline to minimize the quantity of gas release in case of leak / accident, these valves allows the company to isolate the pipe from any section where problems are encountered. On the other hand, the distance between the valves and the edge of populated areas shall be around 500 m. Where the pipeline will pass through highly populated areas, thicker wall and concrete slabs located 0.5 m above the pipeline should be used. The study also recommended certain monitoring and control procedures such as patrolling and involvement of local communities. Venting shall be under strict control. Concerning the branches, it is recommended to protect the pipe using concrete slabs at 0.5 m above the pipe. Shut down valves should be provided to isolate the branch from the main pipeline. Coordination between the main line operator and the power stations shall be ensured.
A comprehensive biodiversity study was undertaken for the project components. It included literature surveys, detailed field survey for the project area and along the route and assessment of potential impacts. The findings are summarized below.
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The Biodiversity study has evaluated the proposed route for the gas pipeline. The pipeline has to start from Aqaba where the receiving station is located on the shoreline. The pipeline route going north was selected to be through Wadi Al Yutum, where the line will be on the wadi bed. This is found to be the most ecologically appropriate route. The wadi bed has a dynamic environment (exposed to natural floods and natural recovery), the impact will be reversible (after construction, plant and natural species can recover) noting that the impact of direct destruction (removal of trees) will be limited to a maximum of 20 Acacia trees out of several hundreds of Acacia trees. Furthermore, such a residual impact will also be mitigated by collecting seeds of the Acacia trees to be planted in the wadi bed area. This route has also an advantage of maintaining the landscape and the ecological importance and significance of the area, since it does not need to cross the mountains and destroy important refuge for the migrant raptors that use Aqaba Mountains for roosting and refueling during their migration between the southern and northern parts of the hemisphere, these mountains are the most important part of the Aqaba Important Birds Area. Therefore, other alternatives would cause more impact, as they would imply crossing mountains, where the impacts will be more severe (destruction of rocky landscape that is important for birds and wild life), irreversible, as such destruction will be permanent. The pipeline will have interaction with Al Naqab rangeland reserve. This area is a degraded rangeland that is planted with fodder bushes and shrubs to feed livestock in the area, thus it is a man made rangeland area. The proposed route at the Al Naqab rangeland will not have large extent of damage for the man made habitats because the removal of some bushes will be limited to the construction corridor only (30 m wide) located at the western part of the rangeland. The impact will be reversible as the the bushes and shrubs will be replanted after completion of construction works. Other alternatives is either to the east or west, which will have much more significant damage to other natural habitats such as the granite mountains of Wadi Araba at the Jordan Rift Valley to the west and the sandstone stands to the east which maintain important species of plants, mammal and birds. Any other alternative will damage the above-mentioned natural habitats where the impact will be irreversible. The pipeline will have interaction with the northern soil and agriculture areas. Such interaction is unavoidable as the pipeline has to reach Rehab power plant. However, such interaction will be very limited as less than 1% of these areas will be impacted, and the impact is reversible; the top soil will be handled separately and returned to the top after laying the pipe. In other areas (Hisma Basin and Al Samra Important Birds Area), the gas pipeline will not have any direct interaction with them, as the line will be at least 1 km far from their borders. Despite of that, these areas were addressed, and necessary mitigation measures to avoid and minimize any indirect impacts were given. On the other hand, the findings of the study were presented in details and discussed with the participants during a major reviewing session held in Aqaba on July 15. The concerned organizations such as the Environmental Department of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), the Royal Society for Conservation of Nature (RSCN), Ministry of Environment (MoE) were among the participants in the session. The route as finally proposed together with the mitigation measures given in the study are accepted by the parties.
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The following mitigation measures shall be applied at all of the project components: • Avoiding cutting the Acacia trees in the working corridor as much as possible and to coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture to reseed and replant the Acacia trees in Wadi Al Yutum; • Prohibit any kind of activities outside the 30-meter wide construction corridor (except for utmost necessity and after getting approval from concerned authorities) that will affect the surrounding natural habitats; • To prohibit any removal of the topsoil outside the construction corridor; • To ensure returning the topsoil within the construction corridor as before construction and maintaining its original composition (without mixing with the lower parts of soil); • To prohibit animals hunting; • To translocate any nest found; • To prohibit workers from capturing or hunting birds. • To collect the domestic solid waste in closed bags and ensuring proper disposal at the corresponding landfill; • To conduct the construction activities during the daytime only during the migration seasons (Spring and Autumn). • To prohibit workers from cutting wood from trees and shrubs for any purpose; • To rehabilitate the construction corridor by removing any leftovers after the construction activity; • To replant the removed important native species in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture; • To maintain close coordination with the relevant institutions, such as Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment and, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and the Royal Society for Conservation of Nature, particularly for the areas mentioned above. • To follow up the implementation of the measures through a monitoring and control system.
The socio-economic study was conducted to assess both positive and negative impacts of the different project activities on socio-economic conditions. Appropriate mitigation measures were recommended to enhance the positive impacts and reduce the negative ones. Existing conditions regarding population, age distribution, and education and skill levels were collected for Jordan and for relevant governorates. The main issues related to socio-economic conditions include; employment, employees training and benefits; business prosperity; land acquisition and land owners compensations, agricultural and range lands, economic benefits, discontinuity of gas supply and connection of new customers, power generating at Aqaba compression station, traffic congestion and accidents, fire and gas leak impacts on buildings and properties, earthquakes, stress on roads and infrastructure, excavation impact on infrastructure; and visual impact. Following is a summary of potential impacts and mitigation measures:
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Economic benefits: this will result from the low cost of natural gas compared to fuel oil cost, reduction of air pollution emissions due to use of clean natural gas, which will be reflected on public health and its related cost and also on the extension of the operational lifetime of power stations equipments due to low sulfur content of natural gas. Employment: The project will create new job opportunities for Jordanians during its different phases. JEFGC is committed to employ Jordanian to the maximum extent possible and shall also give priority to qualified Jordanian contractors and suppliers. It is highly recommended to cooperate with vocational training centers distributed in different Jordanian governorates to provide appropriate training to local people in order to qualify them to get the new job opportunities. Business prosperity: To enhance the positive impact on local businesses located along the pipeline route during construction phase and located in Aqaba during operation phase, it is recommended that JEFGC get supplies, food, spare parts from local stores. It is also recommended to rent apartments, where possible, to replace constructing camps in some areas. Land acquisition and land owners compensation: The areas of land to be acquired permanently or temporarily for the gas pipeline from Aqaba south to Rehab north and its facilities were determined. The Government of Jordan will pay fair compensation for the private land owners according to Land Acquisition Law No. 12/1987. The compensation will be based on the market value of the land and on the properties or plants existing on it. The Ministry of Energy is committed to this and it is a legal requirement. Agricultural and range lands: The gas pipeline will cross some agricultural lands, range lands and important soil areas, especially in the northern part of the Kingdom. Although the impact is limited to small areas, however, the following mitigation measures shall be implemented: To collect topsoil and keep it separated from other excavated layers in order to return it as it was before excavation; To transplant trees especially olive trees; Not to place the overburden near the agricultural land; Prohibit workers and contractors from cutting any tree or destroying the plants outside the boundaries of the acquired lands. Generating power at Aqaba compression station: This has an overall positive impact since the supply of relatively large power quantity (23 MW) from the national network will create further pressure and load on the existing power generating stations. Another positive aspect is that this power will be generated using natural gas, which is relatively cleaner fuel. Traffic congestion and accidents, and stress on roads and infrastructure: During construction phase, it is recommended to: avoid the peak traffic hours when transporting pipes, other facilities and heavy machinery; use qualified drivers and direct them to follow Jordanian traffic regulations; use well maintained appropriate trucks having a gross weight within the axial permissible load. Interruption of traffic flow on the main roads shall be avoided by conducting underground excavation and installation of the gas pipeline. However, crossing of secondary roads will be done by direct cutting. It is recommended to do so at the lowest traffic flow and to establish traffic detours. The overall assessment of the related impacts will be positive during the operation phase, since the use of natural gas instead of the fuel oil will reduce the number of tanker trucks used currently for transporting fuel oil.
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Impact of excavation on underground infrastructure items: To mitigate any potential negative impact, it is recommended the JEFGC coordinate with the related industrial plants, authorities and ministries prior to excavation works. In areas where it is expected that the gas pipeline will cross existing cables and pipes, it is recommended to make exploratory pits by manual excavation and to have a representative of each related facility during excavation. Discontinuity of gas supply and connection of new customers: It is unlikely that negative impact will occur as a result of discontinuity of gas supply due to large gas reserves and high availability of the gas pipeline system taking into consideration that all power stations will have diesel as a back-up fuel. Additionally, JEFGC is committed to supply natural gas to new power plants and large industrial customers at any side or distance from the gas pipeline. Visual impact: To mitigate negative impact it is recommended to: dispose of debris resulting from pipeline construction or decommissioning to areas or dump sites specified by local municipalities; and to rehabilitate the lands along the route of the pipeline after completion of construction.
An archeological survey was undertaken to determine the baseline. The study area within the project corridor, which is 250 m from both side of the pipeline was covered. Additionally, most of the available references that are related to the study area were reviewed. The survey located 30 archeological sites along near the corridor of the gas pipeline route. The periods best represented are Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Roman, Nabataean, Byzantine and Islamic. The located archeological sites fall under the following categories: settlement sites, scarced sites, agricultural site, military sites, water installation and road stations. The survey showed that none of these sites is expected to be under direct threat by the project activities. Nine of them might be indirectly affected by the construction activities as a result of dust and vibration. To reduce the potential impacts on the nine archeological sites, the company should conduct the construction activities including digging, and movement of all heavy machineries and traffic with care to avoid causing any threat on the sites as a result of dust and vibration; the digging activity should be conducted in a simple (low vibration) using light equipment and techniques. It is essential during the construction phase to provide strict instructions to the contractor to pause construction work and excavations in case of discovering any antiquities or archeological item. Such discoveries should be reported to the Director of Department of Antiquities or to the nearest General Security Center. The Department of Antiquities would in such cases recommend certain measures to protect the found items. Such a requirement is governed by the Law of Antiquities.
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The marine environment study concerned the activities that will occur on land (especially at the compression station) which could have impact on marine environment. The compression station site is located in the southern part of Aqaba within the industrial zone and south of the cooling facility of the Fertilizer Complex of Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC). The geology of the compression station site is characterized as sand, gravel, granite and volcanic rocks cobbles with high permeability. Due to the geology and the close distance of the site to the sea, any type of waste generated from the project may have negative impact on the marine environment if not managed well. As proposed by the project, the hydraulic test of the gas pipeline will be carried out utilizing water from the Gulf of Aqaba, where about 130,000 m3 of water will be used for hydraulic testing of the first 200 km from Aqaba. Several points along the first 100 km from Aqaba will be established to discharge the water into evaporation ponds. Since the test water will not contain toxic compounds, RSS study team suggested another alternative for the disposal of the water where it can be discharged back to the sea through a wadi (at a point close to the sea) instead of discharging it into many evaporation ponds. The company should have an approval from Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) for pumping the required amount of seawater that will be used in the hydraulic test of the gas pipeline and also to have approval for the location and the way that will be used for disposal of the water used in the hydraulic test. It should be noted that during the reviewing session (Aqaba, July 15, 2004), this issue was discussed with the concerned stakeholders and ASEZA, the participants favored the discharge to evaporation ponds. To minimize dust generation during construction works and its impact on sea, the company could spray water on the soil. All heavy hydrocarbons fluid generated from knock-out drum of the compressor should be collected in sealed containers and sent to Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company according to its requirements.
Occupational Health and Safety
Occupational Health and Safety Plan was prepared to specify procedures and sequences of actions that should be followed to deal with any emergency cases that might happen during the operation phase. The objectives of the plan are to minimize the risk to persons, equipment and environment and to keep continuous supply of natural gas. The full document is included in EIA report.
Gas Pipeline Route Selection
The route of the pipeline was also assessed in details, the alternatives were reviewed. It was found that two options would be available, the selected and fully assessed route described above, or alternatively going through the Wadi Araba then on the mountain rage (mainly going through Jordan Rift Valley). The later was found inappropriate as it will result in damaging huge areas of rocky mountains that are of real high value to biodiversity, the distance will be much longer, the connection to users will be long and
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the lines will go through more residential areas to reach the consumers (power plants, and future industries). The selected route was found more appropriate taking into account that the impacts were found minimal on biodiversity, residential areas and it completely avoided historical areas. The selected route and its designs have also been adjusted to minimize interaction with environmental components.
The findings of the study were presented in details to the concerned authorities and the general public during a major reviewing session held in Aqaba on July 15, 2004. All comments were documented, most of the points were answered / clarified during the session. Some points required further elaboration or clarification in the main report. These were handled and a final report is issued. A reviewing session report is also issued.
In conclusion, based on the assessment study the level of residual impacts of the project are acceptable provided that the mitigation measures given shall be fully implemented and followed up in an adequate manner. For this purpose, an Environmental Management Plan has been prepared for the project. This plan shall also be adhered to and implemented by the project management.
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