Environmental Impacts Assessment is an assessment or the analysis of the possible positive or negative impact that a proposed project may have on the environment together consisting of the environmental, social and economic aspects (International Association of Impact Assessment, 2002). Environment Impact Assessment or EIA can also be defined as the study ofpredicting the effect of a proposed activity/project on the environment. A decision making tool, EIA compares various alternatives for a project and seeks to identify the one which represents the best combination of economic and environmental costs and benefits. EIA systematically examines both beneficial and adverse consequences of the project and ensures that these effects are taken into account during project design. It helps to identify possible environmental effects of the proposed project, proposes measures to mitigate adverse effects and predicts whether there will be significant adverse environmental effects, even after the mitigation is implemented(IAIA ,2002). By considering the environmental effects of the project and their mitigation early in the project planning cycle, environmental assessment has many benefits, such as protection of environment, optimum utilization of resources and saving of time and cost of the project (Wikipedia, 2013).
Environment refers to the totality of natural resources including the intricate interrelations among living and non living things which constitute the ecosystem and biomes (Randall et al; 1987). Webster’s new collegiate dictionary (2012) defined environment as the aggregate of all the external conditions and influences affecting life and development of organisms. Sada and Odemerho (2001) conceive environments as a system within which living organisms interact with the physical elements. Environment is a common property not only of existing stakeholders but also of the future generations (Okonkwo,2004)
A Tankfarm is also known as an oil depot or oil terminal, a facility for storage of petroleum products or petrochemicalproducts from which these products are usually transported to end users for further storage facilities. An oil tankfarm typically has tanks or either above or under the ground and gantries for the discharge of products into road tankers or other vehicles such as barges or pipelines.Tankfarms are usually situated close to oil refineries or locations where marine tankers or vessels containing products discharge their cargo.
A Tankfarm is a comparatively unsophisticated facility in that (in most cases) there is no processing or other transformation on site. The products which reach the depot from refinery are in their final form suitable for delivery to customers. Modern Tankfarms comprise the same types of tanks, pipelines and gantries as those in the past and although there is a greater degree of automation in site, there have been significant changes in depot operational activities over time (Wikipedia 2013).
One of the key imperatives of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) is that the operators of a Tankfarm must ensure that products are safely stored and handled. There must be no leakages which could damage the soil or the table water and these forms of undesirable activities gives rise to the analysis of some predictable and unpredictable impacts of Tankfarm to the existing environments andthus brought about the delivery of this project.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
The main objectives of the research work are to:
- determine the physiochemical properties of soil samples
- predict and evaluate the impacts of the project (Tank Farm) on the environment (Soil, Air, Water and People);
- Establish and develop cost effective mitigation measures that avoid, reduce, control or compensate for negative impacts and enhance positive benefits.
1.3 SCOPE OF THE PROJECT
This work provides scientific knowledge of Environmental Impact Assessment of a proposed hydrocarbon tankfarm to the environment. In other to evaluate the environmental impacts (actual and potential) such as waste water (effluent) discharge, dust emission, vegetation degradation and soil pollution, samples were collected from strategic location within the study area for quantitative laboratory analysis.
The results obtained were used as basis of comparison with the existing standard criteria for soil, water and air qualities.
1.4 JUSTIFICATION OF THE PROJECT
The need for environmental impact analysis arose due to facts that the preconstruction, construction and operational stages of Tankfarms has been known to bring about environmental hazards and danger to the existing environments. Environmental Impact Analysis will be necessary in order to identify the impacts of the proposed developmental projects and suggest mitigating measures against possible impacts so as to avoid environmental hazards or problems to thestudy area.
1.5 EXPECTED CONTRIBUTION TO KNOWLEDGE
This research is expected to:
- provide information on the extent to which the surrounding air, water, soil and vegetation could be contaminated by pollutants through tankfarm operations.
- contribute to the understanding of health hazard and safety associated with tankfarm operations.
- establish environmental impacts of tankfarm activities or operations on human dwellers.
1.6 ABOUT OKFTZ (OLOKOLA FREE TRADE ZONE)
The Olokola Free Trade Zone (OKFTZ) is a state of the art industrial zone of about 10.000 hectares located inbetween Ogun and Ondo State in Nigeria. OKFTZ has been licensed by the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) with a tax free status under the Nigerian export processing zone act.The zone is located about 100 km east of Lagos, the economic centre of Nigeria, and right in front of the new oil and gas deposit discoveries. The master plan of the OKFTZ includes a state of the art deep sea port which will be constructed in several phases up to -16m water depth and other infrastructures amongst a Single Point Mooring (SPM) and a Tankfarm. (OKFTZ, 2013)
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