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January 26, 2024 Why Construction Sites Need Environmental Monitoring

Any construction project is likely to have an impact on the environment, whether it is through dust, noise or even vibrations.

In this article, CEM Solutions take a look at what environmental monitoring means and why it is so important.

What is environmental monitoring?

The process of environmental monitoring was created to provide essential measurement and analysis of the environmental conditions on construction sites and in the surrounding areas. When submitting any plans for development these days, there are likely to be certain environmental concerns and restrictions in place, and so it is necessary to keep a constant eye on the environmental conditions to make sure that all stipulations are being met.

It can not only ensure that the site remains compliant with any environmental plans and permits, it can also help to protect the health and safety of those working on the site and living nearby, as well as demonstrating an environmental commitment on behalf of the company.

Dust monitoring

Any construction project is likely to create significant amounts of dust, and this can be a huge concern as it is responsible for serious respiratory problems and allergic reactions. In addition to this, it can also interfere with the nearby soil and water quality, therefore having an impact on the local wildlife as well as humans. Dust has also been found to be extremely damaging to nearby buildings and vehicles, particularly if it contains abrasive or corrosive materials, and so it can lead to some expensive claims being made against the company.

Dust monitoring is therefore very important, as it regularly assesses the dust emissions in and around the site using specialist dust monitoring equipment. This will look at the depositional and directional data patterns and can help to identify the sources of dust emissions, such as soil disturbance, material handling, vehicle traffic and weather conditions.

Once you have gathered this information, it is easier to take measures to control them. By having a dust monitoring system in place, you also have relevant data to prove that you are tracking the impact and taking the necessary action to reduce the impact.

Noise

Noise is a common complaint from most construction sites thanks to traffic and heavy machinery. As well as being unpleasant to live near, it can also lead to conditions such as hearing loss and tinnitus, and can disrupt the communication, feeding and breeding patterns of wildlife. It is therefore important to reduce noise levels where they exceed the legal limits and stick to any restrictions regarding the time of day that work can take place.

Vibration

Vibration from construction sites has been found to cause damage to nearby buildings and infrastructure as well as disturbance to those living in the area and needs to be monitored closely. Vibration monitoring can help to identify the source of any problems, and can be solved by reducing the speed of construction traffic and heavy equipment or using damping materials to cushion the impact.

The Control of Pollution Act 1974, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 all require construction companies to monitor the environmental impact that they have on an area. If they are found to be causing excess disruption or damage and have not taken steps to remedy this, then they could find themselves subject to penalties or the site being suspended until the problems can be resolved.

 

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