Environmental Impact Assessment
In Oil Palm, fire is used to clear residual wood debris, land clearing and for physo-sanitary control during replanting.
The Air is polluted by mill emissions during oil palm processing, methane production from efficient lagoons (and to a lesser degree from plantation operations), on-farm vehicle emissions and the burning of refuse.
Water Quantity and Pollution are the largest components of an environmental risk register and can account for about 50% of the risks. Leaching of pesticides and other agrochemicals, runoff, sedimentation, pollution by palm oil, affluent discharge and hydrocarbon contamination will all affect the water.
The Effects of the Effluents on the Environment
1) Impact on Air – The major significant negative impact of the establishment of oil palm plantations and mill are:
• Air Pollution
• Haze Pollution
Air and Smoke/Haze Pollution causes:
1) Health complications
2) Loss of Biodiversity
3) Reduced forest carbon sinks
4) Ground cover and organic matter
5) Increased green house gas emissions – deforestation accounts for about 10% of man-made CO2 emissions and this will lead to increased global warming and rising sea levels.
2) Impact on the Land – The major significant impacts of the establishment of oil palm plantations and mill on land are:
1) Soil Health
2) Habitat Conversion and Biodiversity
3) Impact on Water – The major significant impacts of the establishment of oil palm plantation and mill on water are:
1) Water Take
2) Water Pollution
3) Water Quality
4) Impact on socio-economic environment
5) Impact on physical environment
1) Land degradation and soil erosion as an environmental factor
2) Noise pollution as an environmental factor
3) Air pollution as an environmental factor
4) Solid waste management as an environmental factor
5) Oil spillage as an environmental factor
6) Impact on communication network
7) Impact on ecology
8) Impact on safety and security
9) Impact on quality control
Various Methods of Treatment and Disposal
The various treatment options under consideration include:
1) Tank digestion and facultative ponds
2) Tank digestion and mechanical aeration
3) Decanter and facultative ponds
4) Antra system
5) Anaerobic and facultative ponds
6) Installation of sound proof electric generating plant. This will help to reduce noise as much as possible.
7) Proper landscaping of the site through planting of flora (trees) that could serve as buffer to noise and at the same time regulate the quality of the air.
8) The introduction of tree planting could as well replace trees that were removed during site clearing.
9) It is also important that the premises be constantly kept clean so as to avoid littering the oil mill with dirt’s that could release bad odour.
10) There would be well prepared comprehensive master, architectural and structural plan which will be adhered to avoid land use conflict, misuse, abuse, and disuse of land.
11) Indiscriminate dumping of solid wastes in unauthorized places will be avoided.
12) There will be well constructed septic tank and soak away pit.
13) Checking and maintenance of the machines and equipment in the oil mill will be a regular exercise.
14) The installation of water hydrant inside the oil mill site through the sinking of water borehole which will make water available to combat any fire outbreak, should it occur. Adequate and uninterrupted water supply is essential for washing and cleaning the environment.
15) The provision of fire alarm control system. The fire alarm control system will alert the workers of danger.
16) The oil mill site should be well fenced to separate the oil mill from other incompatible land uses.
17) The employment of trained security guards.
18) The fire extinguishers will be hung conspicuously in the oil mill premises, for use to combat fire outbreak.
19) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as overalls, hand gloves, eye and mouth covers will be provided and given to the workers.
20) There will be quality control laboratory to ensure that standard of the oil produced in the mill have national and international acceptability. The quality control is important as it checkmates the environment.
21) There will be strict adherence of the necessary environmental laws in all the stages of establishing the oil mill and its operations when fully operational or functional.