VIEWS: 24 PAGES: 3 CATEGORY: Engineering & Energy POSTED ON: 6/11/2010
Environmental issues include an increasing emphasis on water, both in managing the water- taking s and draw-down effects of these takings on other water supply sources, but also in ensuring that the water returned into the natural environment, for example, from quarry dewatering, meets regulatory standards. While coordination and integration is the overall responsibility of the Project Manager, one way to manage information flow is through using the capabilities of networked information technology - a password-protected collaboration workspace can provide a place where members of the team, outside service providers, and the client can work together.
Industry Trends Managing environmental, social and economic issues A professional geoscientist and planner offers some timely guidance to aggregate producers. by Wayne Caston I n the competitive, tight-margin business to be declining, so companies are less cer- to the area may be welcome, but local resi- of quarrying and aggregate production, tain of receiving a green light at the end of dents will not be pleased if most of the jobs cost management has long been one of the process. Even with all approvals in place, at the pit or quarry go to skilled workers from the keys to success. Now, however, legisla- the conditions attached to a Licence or Per- outside. The local community will also be tive and social changes are causing members mit, both prior to commencement of extrac- concerned about the costs a new or expand- of the industry to re-focus their efforts. They tion and over the life of the operation, may be ed operation may have on their own water are finding that being able to manage the both onerous and expensive. supply, the natural environment and on roads environmental, social and economic (ESE) These trends are being driven by several and traffic. implications of their operations are becoming ESE issues facing pit and quarry operators Regulators, non-governmental organiza- essential to success. in Canada. Environmental issues include an tions (NGOs), political leaders and the news Consider that in Ontario, for example, ob- increasing emphasis on water, both in man- media may take up the cause of local stake- taining new pit or quarry Licences and related aging the water-takings and draw-down ef- holders if it is felt they are not being treated Permits used to take approximately four years fects of these takings on other water supply fairly. The result can be negative news cov- but that now, the requirements are such that sources, but also in ensuring that the water erage, political opposition, regulatory delays it typically takes closer to six or seven years. returned into the natural environment, for ex- or even denial of approvals. This means that This can be a real problem for companies ample, from quarry dewatering, meets regu- the risks and opportunities associated with that are running out of reserves within their latory standards. Social issues include local ESE factors have become a major part of the existing licenced areas, and who may face residents who are concerned about the impact decision process around both new pits and shutdown if they cannot receive the required of an extractive operation on their quality of quarries, and for expansions of existing op- approvals in time. life, factors that are not easily quantifiable. erations. Success rates for applications also seem The economic activity that extraction brings It is no longer enough for companies to 24 / March-April 2009 / Aggregates & Roadbuilding sitating additional work to be carried out or studies to be undertaken. While coordination and integration is the overall responsibility of the Project Manager, one way to manage information flow is through usin
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