Construction Environmental Risk Assessment (CERA)- EPIC for installation of 24” Gas Line for QAFCO

CERA 24 inch gas line

The objective of this project is to install and integrate a new 24″ line from Qatar Energy Battery Limit (MS-1) to QAFCO Q1-4 and another new 24″ line from Qatar Energy which will be installed by Qatar Energy Battery limit (Station S1) to QAFCO Q5-6. These new gas lines will ensure the redundancy of gas supply to sites Q1-4 & Q5-6 facilities. IFluids Engineering, Qatar carried out the Construction Environmental Risk Assessment (CERA) studies for the facility.

The purpose of this CERA study is that most industrial activities result in some degree of risk to the environment. It’s crucial to comprehend these risks and, when necessary, control them to a tolerable level in order to make sure that they do not have unacceptably negative effects on people, the environment, assets, or reputation. Click  here to read more on What is CEMP?

The effects of human activities on the environment are often complex and difficult to quantify. The type of substance (contaminant) that is released into the environment, its chemical makeup, the proximity and sensitivity of environmental receptors, the severity of any potential effects, and the transport mechanism between the source of contamination and the receptor are all factors that need to be considered. Furthermore, it can be challenging to determine how to strike a balance between the necessary level of environmental protection and economic and technological factors.

The technique of CERA has been developed to assist in understanding and resolving some of these complexities. Environmental risk is a measurement of prospective environmental dangers that considers both the likelihood that a certain occurrence will result in environmental deterioration and the degree to which it will occur. CERA is an important tool for an action or activity on the environment and for allowing informed decisions to be made on the magnitude of environmental risk.

CERA allows a proactive approach to be taken to environmental management, rather than a reactive one focusing only on remedial measures. ERA is now widely recognized as an essential tool for businesses to incorporate environmental issues into their management systems.

The Proposed CERA

  • Quantify and qualify risks to identify the key environmental issues that require detailed assessment and to provide a mechanism to focus a range of management responses on those risks.
  • Identify and discuss potential hazards generated by or impacted by the proposal.
  • Determine relevant potential direct and indirect consequences of the identified hazards and assess their associated likelihood.
  • Identify levels of uncertainty about estimated of risks and the effectiveness of risk controls in mitigating risk
  • Determine which stakeholders may be exposed to ongoing risks.
  • Provide transparent and auditable guidance in decision making for mitigation prioritization and escalation
  • Demonstrate that the proposal represents best practicable technology, implementing Best Practicable Measures and industry standards, where applicable

Environmental danger Assessment needs a systematic framework to carry out frequently complex analyses consistently and proportionately to the amount of danger.

  • The requirement to define the issue accurately at the outset.
  • Prior to quantification, all risks must be screened and prioritised.
  • The need to consider risks of different options.
  • The process of risk assessment is iterative.
CERA risk control framework

The principal elements of the framework are described in subsequent Sections of this Guideline. It’s critical to remember the following fundamental ideas:

Each of the three tiers of risk assessment illustrated in Figure includes five stages:

  • Stage 1: Hazard Identification
  • Stage 2: Identification of Consequences
  • Stage 3: Magnitude of Consequences
  • Stage 4: Probability of Consequences
  • Stage 5: Significance of Risk

Finding the choices for risk management comes after determining the scope and importance of the risk posed by each specific hazard. Typically, the following choices will need to be taken into account:

  • Examining the acceptability of the risk with key stakeholders.
  • Reducing the hazard through use of technology.
  • Mitigating the effects through environmental management.

The remaining sections of this Guideline provide further details on the structured risk assessment methodology described above.It is important to establish priorities so that risk assessment activities and decisions are properly focused. The ability to consistently screen all risks for a given problem is essential in order to minimize unnecessary effort and to ensure that no important risks are overlooked.

It is possible to apply screening and prioritizing at all stages of risk assessment and management. In the beginning, screening is typically performed to determine whether risks or dangers require further investigation. Based on a risk rating score, a priority list can be created from this. These are the main components of the risk assessment process:

  • The identification and assessment of magnitude of consequences.
  • Probability of consequences actually occurring.
  • Significance of risk

Scoring systems using scales of 0 (Low) to 5 (High) are commonly used to rank risks with reference to the issues detailed in 3.2 to 3.3. The overall score for a particular risk is the product of each individual score. Data for assigning scores can come from sources such as:

  • Prior experience with the same or comparable problems.
  • Consideration of worst-case scenarios

For some environmental issues, the complexity of the consequences may be such that quantitative risk scoring is not possible. In such cases, expert judgment from an experienced environmental specialist or a group of such specialists has to be used.

The amount of effort put into any environmental risk assessment should be proportional to the severity of the problem. The tiered approach illustrated in Figure is intended to help match effort to severity, by allowing decisions to be made at different stages in the process, based on the outcome of the individual stage of assessment. Therefore, further investigation won’t be required if the initial assessment based on the worst-case scenario shows there is no reason for alarm. This enables the focus of a detailed risk quantification to be on the risks that are most likely to be significant.

The risk assessment matrix includes the consequences for people, asset damage & business losses, environmental effect and reputation impact are explained in the above Table.

The significance assessment will also need to consider broader issues, such as social, legal and environmental, economic consequences. Ultimately, the significance of a particular risk must be linked to its acceptability, both within the context and to society in general.

For most activities, it is likely that more than one hazard will be present. The risk estimation for each hazard will often be based on semi-quantitative data and imperfect knowledge. Decisions based on such assessments need to be based on consistent approach and use of a simple matrix which combines the magnitude, consequences (or impact effect) and probability of risk allows such consistency to be applied.

There are various factors which should be taken into account when assessing risk significance. These include:

  • Legal requirements
  • Value judgements.
  • Societal aspects.
  • Economic considerations.
  • Changing environmental conditions.

The ALARP principle involves balancing reduction in risk against the time, trouble, difficulty and cost of achieving it. This level denotes the point at which additional risk reduction methods become unreasonable disproportionate to the additional risk reduction achieved in terms of time, trouble, difficulty, and cost. As a basic requirement, all environmental risks must be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP), in line with Company Health Safety and Environmental Management System (HSEMS) Requirements. The ALARP principle for environmental risk is illustrated in Figure below.

ALARP principle for environmental risk

The BAT principle requires the selection of pollution control techniques which achieve an appropriate balance between the environmental benefits they bring and the costs to implement them. Importantly, the application of BAT and the estimation of risk associated with a particular activity can change over time, as new techniques in pollution reduction become available at reasonable cost. BAT also considers other types of environmental control, such as the use of environmental management and staff training.

Where a construction activity releases pollutants to more than one environmental medium i.e. to the air, water or land, it is important to identify control procedures which minimizes the impact on the environment as a whole. Selection of BPEO addresses this cross media impact issue by analyzing the effects of different control strategies to ensure that solution of one environmental problem does not lead to problems in another medium. Options appraisal is concerned with identifying the best risk management decision, based on the outcome of the risk assessment.

The process involves consideration of possible alternative strategies that have been scored or weighted in some way to reflect their effectiveness in controlling the risk. Relevant options could include use of different technical control techniques or environmental management approaches. The process can be iterative, with the options appraisal feeding back into the risk assessment process. It is important that the options appraisal is carried out systematically, so that any decision on the selection of an option is consistent. The steps that should be included in the procedure are:

  • Identification of the objective.
  • Identification of the options.
  • Identification of impacts of different options.
  • Specification of the decision criteria, including human health and environmental requirements and economic considerations.
  • Comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of alternative options.

Table below represents a summary of the impacts significance rating. For impacts that are rated High (Red) an alternative location or technology should be investigated or preventive and control measures shall be incorporated in the project design when no alternative are available.

Impacts rated Medium (Yellow) would require environmental control and/ or management measures in the project design and implementation plan. The efficacy of these measures would be assessed in the impact monitoring plans that are components of the project Environmental Management Plan.

For impacts of Low (Blue) rating, environmental management measures (e.g. internal procedures, training of staff) would be implemented and continual improvement would be best approach.Monitoring is required to gain a continuous or periodic record about aspects of an Intention during its life cycle. There are several ways to incorporate monitoring data into the process of evaluating environmental risks:

  • As a benchmark to measure actual or anticipated impacts against.
  • As a component in environmental modelling.
  • To offer data that can be used as feedback in the iterative process of risk assessment.
  • To provide confirmation that the risk management/control options are effective in practice.
  • As a ‘alarm’ for early detection of unforeseen environmental effects

This ERA process undertaken for this EIS has included a comprehensive risk assessment. The outcomes of the detailed risk assessment, the methods used to identify proposal risks and initiatives taken by the QAFCO to mitigate them, can demonstrate that,

  • The proposal’s proponent is aware of the dangers connected to all foreseeable parts of it.
    • The QAFCO has or will continue to undertake necessary studies to quantify risks
    • Conceptual design has addressed risk prevention and mitigation.
    • Risks can and would be managed effectively during construction, operation, decommissioning, closure and post- closure phases of the proposal
    • Risks will continue to be assessed through the development of the proposal i.e, in detailed design

The information has been provided to assist the reader to understand the likelihood and consequence of each risk presented by the project. The ranking of risks has been justified by adopting National Standards. Supporting CERA studies, such as the operational and post-closure risk assessment have provided sufficient quantitative analysis to indicate whether level of risks is likely to be acceptable, tolerable or non-existent.