One of the harder questions on the sample paper from the APM is about environmental legislative requirements. Below is a very good answer from one of my students.
50 marks (10 marks each)
When planning the project the project manager must take into account many different aspects of environmental legislation. Some of this is specific to the industry or location but general areas to consider could be:
1. Environmental Impact Assessment. This is carried out to demonstrate that the project does not have a disproportionate effect on the environment both on the project but in the wider area which could be affected by discharges from the facility both during construction, operation and decommissioning/demolition
2. Carbon footprint of the project. Where possible the carbon consumption of the project should be tracked and minimised using BATNEEC (best available technology not entailing excessive costs) and similar techniques. Measures taken to reduce the impact could include, local sourcing of materials to reduce transportation, local workforce, revised working patterns to reduce electrical consumption of temporary lighting, solar panels to heat water in the welfare facility
3. An effective waste management policy must be in place. This will take the form of a hierarchy
a. Remove the requirement for using the material. Particularly important if it is a hazardous material.
b. Reduce consumption. Ensure materials are not wasted.
c. Recycle where possible
d. Recover reusable materials, e.g. copper from cable offcuts.
e. Disposal in an environmentally acceptable manner. Landfill or incineration should be avoided for example
4. Discharge consents have to be negotiated with the local environment agency, national rivers authority etc depending on the nature of the discharge. The consents are likely to be different for the construction, operation and decommissioning phases of the asset lifecycle but all need to be considered during the project phase.
5. When designing and constructing the new facility thought has to be given as to how it will be decommissioned and demolished once its useful working life is over. Examples are
a. Tanks should be easily cleaned
b. Areas where hazardous wastes can accumulate over time should be eliminated
c. Areas where contamination can take place should be designed to be easily decontaminable using special coatings or surfaces