The cumulative environmental effects of proposed small-scale hydroelectric developments in Newfoundland, Canada

Bonnell, Stephen J. (1997) The cumulative environmental effects of proposed small-scale hydroelectric developments in Newfoundland, Canada. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

One of the most important issues in the field of contemporary Environmental Impact Assessment (HA) is that of cumulative environmental effects. Despite widespread recognition of the need to assess and manage such effects, however, Cumulative Effects Assessments (CEAs) are not being widely undertaken. This can been attributed to the failure of the EIA process, as traditionally practised, to incorporate CEA, as well as a lack of suitable methodologies which actually facilitate it. -- Since 1990 there has been increased interest in the development of small-scale hydroelectric facilities by the private sector in Newfoundland. While, in most cases, proposed hydro developments in Newfoundland are individually subject to environmental assessments, the current provincial EIA process does not allow for the consideration of cumulative effects. Consequently, there has been no assessment of the overall impact of this set of projects as a whole. -- This study used expert opinion to assess the potential cumulative effects of eight proposed small hydro projects in insular Newfoundland on a set of eight Valued Environmental Components (VECs) - Water Resources; Fish Resources; Raptors; Waterfowl/Migratory Birds; Caribou; Moose; Furbearers/Small Mammals; and Historic Resources. This was done through the use of a modified Delphi procedure. The potential effects of each project/VEC combination were rated by 40 expert panelists according to a set of impact evaluation criteria (i.e. impact probability; magnitude; spatial extent; temporal duration; VEC importance; and the current/pre-project state of the VEC). Taken together, these values comprised a numerical "Impact Score" for each project/VEC combination. An Impact Summation Matrix was then used to calculate an "Index of Cumulative Effect" which represented the potential overall effect of the set of projects on each of the VECs under consideration. The results of the study are discussed, as well as the implications of the proposed methodology for environmental management and resource planning.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1063
Item ID: 1063
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [249]-273.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: 1997
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Hydroelectric power plants--Environmental aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador; Environmental impact statements

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