Unit 2: Impact Measures: Monitoring Techniques
Introduction to Monitoring and measurement
This unit will deal more with an overview of the monitoring and measurement techniques involved upon a company striving for environmental improvements.
The bare minimum that a company is required to monitor in environmental terms, with or without having implemented an EMS is devising systems to ensure that they are compliant with consents such as discharge consents, licenses and authorisations. A company is also required to keep records of any unauthorised chemical releases and complaints from the public and to make sure that the objectives and targets that they have set themselves have been reached.
It is not only those that have or are in the process of planning an EMS that need to monitor and measure environmental effects in order to continuously improve their processes. Sites releasing substances into the environment are being increasingly more pressurised into keeping emissions inventories detailing monitoring practices and analysis and to make this available to the relevant authorities such as Local Government or the Environment Agency- which will be a component of authorisation or consent conditions.
What should be monitored?
Monitoring is not necessarily confined merely to testing, sampling and recording discharges such as effluent streams and atmospheric emissions. Areas of particular sensitivity such as where sensitive receptor's are located such as certain aquatic populations may be monitored. The larger companies may also set up joint sampling programmes with trade associations, other companies or with the enforcing authority. A good example of where large companies have joined together is in the case of National Power, Eastern Generation and Powergen The Joint Environmental Programme