The Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) requested the preparation of an environmental status study for Abu Qir Bay.
The study was to identify industrial pollution sources through preparation of technical, financial and institutional feasibility studies, with the objective of preparing an action plan, focusing on industrial pollution abatement.
Environics, in association with Dorsch Consult and EWATEC, was commissioned to conduct the required environmental studies.
Environics divided the studies into two phases. The first phase was conducting an Environmental Baseline Survey, while the second phase included an Environmental Audit that identified problems and potential solutions; feasibility studies, and institutional studies.
– The Environmental Baseline Survey entailed:
o Compilation and analysis of the baseline environmental components of Abu Qir area: oceanographic characteristics; terrestrial and marine ecologies; surface and ground water; marine water quality; soil quality; fisheries, and the socio-economic status,
o Identifying pollution sources from 55 industrial facilities by means of walk-through surveys and data collection, and
o Setting the criteria that necessitated further auditing of industrial facilities, which led to selecting 30 of the 55 facilities.
– The Environmental Audit entailed:
o Auditing the processes of 13 priority facilities, which covered production units and utilities through document review, site investigations, measurements and sampling, and discussions with concerned parties. Data concerning the compliance status of the facilities were also acquired from regulatory agencies to complement the field information.
o Auditing the environmental management systems of the 13 facilities to assess performance and effectiveness, as well as determine needs for enhancement.
o Recommending procedures to enhance environmental performance, which focused on cleaner production through waste minimization and pollution prevention at the sources.
o Recommending the improvement of the Environmental Management Systems (EMSs), through establishing self-monitoring, internal auditing, and follow-up procedures; institutionalizing the system within the facility, and capacity building of the personnel responsible for maintaining the systems.
– Feasibility Studies
o Feasibility studies were undertaken for the different alternatives of mitigation measures/pollution abatement plans suggested for each facility to select the preferred cost-effective ones.
– Institutional Study
The institutional study aimed at assessing the organizational and the institutional frameworks, which should achieve integrated environmental management of hot spots. The studies entailed:
o Addressing institutional capabilities, environmental systems, and environmental management tools.
o Suggesting systems for the implementation of recommended projects and proposed action plans.
o Providing recommendations for replicating the experience in other hot spots.