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Audits

Environmental Audits

 

Promotes safe and healthy environment

Environmental Audit (EA) is the systematic documented, periodic and objective evaluation of how activities and processes of an ongoing project to determine how far these activities and programs conform with the approved environmental management plan of that specific project and sound environmental management practices. A comprehensive EA promotes safe and healthy environmental at all stages of a project operations, as well as decommissioning.

>> EA What for?

The goal of EA is to establish if proponents of projects are complying with environmental requirements and enforcing legislation.

WHAT ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT LOOKS FOR

1. An environmental auditor shall appraise all project activities, including the production of goods and services, taking into consideration environmental regulatory frameworks, environmental standards, environmental health and safety measures and sustainable use of natural resources. An auditor shall specifically:
a) Indicate the objective, scope and criteria of the audit;
b) Study all relevant environmental law and regulatory frameworks on health and safety, sustainable use of natural resources and acceptable national and internal standards;
c) Verify the levels of compliance by the proponent with the conditions of the environmental management plan;
d) Review existing project documentation related to all infrastructural facilities and designs;
e) Examine monitoring programs, parameters, and procedures in place for control and corrective actions in case of emergencies;
f) Examine records of incidents and accidents and the likelihood of future occurrence of the incidents and accidents;
g) Examine and seek views on health and safety issues from the project employees, the local and other potentially affected communities.

2. An audit report shall include but shall not be limited to the following information:-
a) the past and present impacts of the project; b) the responsibility and proficiency of the operators of the project; c) existing internal control mechanisms to identify and mitigate activities with a negative environmental impact; d) existing internal control mechanisms to ensure the workers’ health and safety; and f) the existence of environmental awareness and sensitization measures, including environmental standards, and regulations, law and policy, for the managerial and operational personnel.

WHO ADMINISTERS EA?
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) oversees administration of EA.

PROJECTS WHICH REQUIRE EA- EA shall be undertaken on the following enterprises or activities because of their potential adverse environmental impacts.
1. Ongoing projects commenced and or have been in operation prior to the coming into force of the Environmental (Impact Assessment and Audit) Regulations, 2003
2. New projects undertaken after completion of an environmental impact assessment study report and a license issued;
3. The second Schedule of the Act (EMCA of 1999) specifies projects or activities which must be subjected to environmental impact assessment (EIA). These too must be subject to environmental audit. These projects are:
a) General: an activity out of character with its surrounding; any structure of a scale not in keeping with its surrounding; and major changes in land use.
b) Urban Development including: designation of new townships; establishment of industrial estates; establishment or expansion of recreational areas; establishment or expansion of recreational townships in mountain areas, national parks and game reserves; and shopping centre and complexes.
c) Transportation including: all major roads; all roads in scenic, wooded or mountainous areas and wetlands; railway lines; airports and airfields; oil and gas pipelines; and water transport.
d) Dams, rivers and water resources including: storage dams, barrages and piers; river diversions and water transfer between catchments; flood control schemes; and drilling for the purpose of utilizing ground water resources including geothermal energy.
e) Aerial spraying.
f) Mining, including quarrying and open-cast extraction of precious metals; gemstones; metalliferous ores; coal; phosphates; limestone and dolomite; stone and slate; aggregates, sand and gravel; clay; exploitation for the production of petroleum in any form; and extracting alluvial gold with use of mercury.
g) Forestry related activities including: timber harvesting; clearance of forest areas; reforestation and afforestation.
h) Agriculture including: large-scale agriculture; use of pesticide; introduction of new crops and animals; and use of fertilizers; irrigation.
i) Processing and manufacturing industries including: mineral processing, reduction of ores and minerals; smelting and refining of ores and minerals; foundries; brick and earth ware manufacture; cement works and lime processing; glass works; fertilizer manufacture or processing; explosive plants; oil refineries and petrol-chemical works; tanning and dressing of hides and skins; abattoirs and meat-processing plants; chemical works and process plants; brewing and malting; bulk grain processing plants; fish-processing plants; pulp and paper mills; food-processing plants; plants for the construction or repair of aircraft or railway equipment; plants for the manufacture or assembly of motor vehicles; plants for the manufacture of tanks, reservoirs and sheet-metal containers; plants for the manufacture of coal briquettes; and plant for manufacturing batteries;
j) Electrical infrastructure including: electricity generation stations; electrical transmission lines; electrical sub-stations; and pumped-storage schemes.
k) Management of hydrocarbons including: the storage of natural gas and combustible or explosive fuels.
l) Waste disposal including: sites for hazardous waste disposal; sewage disposal works; works involving major atmospheric emissions; works emitting offensive odours and sites for solid waste disposal. m) Natural conservation areas including: creation of national parks, game reserves and buffer zones; establishment of wilderness areas; formulation or modification of forest management policies; formulation or modification of water catchment management policies; policies for the management of ecosystems, especially by use of fire; commercial exploitation of natural fauna and flora; and introduction of alien species of fauna and flora into ecosystems. n) Nuclear Reactors. o) Major developments in biotechnology including the introduction and testing of genetically modified organisms.

WHO CONDUCTS ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT
1 An initial environmental audit and a control audit shall be conducted by a qualified and authorized environmental auditor or environmental inspector who shall be an expert or a firm of experts registered by the Authority.
2 In the case of an ongoing project the Authority shall require the proponent to undertake an initial environmental audit study to provide baseline information upon which subsequent environmental audits shall be based.
WHO QUALIFIES TO CARRY OUT EA?
Individual Experts or Firm of Experts registered by NEMA are the only ones to do all EIA/ EA studies.

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT
An environmental audit shall be conducted in accordance with the terms of reference developed by the proponent in consultation with the Authority.

CONTROL AUDITING

- A control audit shall be carried out by the Authority whenever the Authority deems its necessary to check compliance with the environmental parameters set for the project or to verify self-auditing reports. SELF

AUDITING
After the environmental impact assessment study report has been approved by the Authority, or after the initial audit of an ongoing project, the proponent shall take all practical measures to ensure the implementation of the environmental management plan by carrying out a self-auditing study on a regular basis; preparing an environmental audit report after each audit and submitting the report to the Authority annually or as may be prescribed by the Authority; and ensuring that the criteria used for the audit is based on the environmental management plan (EMP) developed during the environmental impact assessment process or after the initial audit.


METHODS OF ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT

An environmental audit shall be carried out through questionnaires, environmental site visits and test analysis.

CONTENTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT REPORT
An environmental audit report shall contain-
1. type of activity being audited; 2. an indication of materials used, and the final products, by-products, and waste generated; 3. a description of activities, processes and operations of the project; 4. description of national legislative and regulatory frameworks on ecological and socio-economic matters; 5. a description of the potentially affected ecological and socio-economic matters; 6. a prioritization of all past and on-going concerns; 7. identification of environmental, occupational health and safety concerns; 8. an opinion on the efficacy and adequacy of the environmental management plan of the project;
9. detailed recommendations for corrective activities, their cost, timetable and mechanism for implementation;
10. measures taken under the EMP to ensure implementation is of acceptable environmental standards; and11. anon technical summary outlining the key findings, conclusions and recommendations of the auditor.
POST AUDIT ORDERS
The Authority may issue an improvement order for the carrying out of corrective measures for mitigating the environmental degradations revealed during any audit study.

INSPECTIONS
1. An inspector may, at reasonable times, enter on any land, premises or facility of a project for the purposes of inspection, to examine records and to make enquiries on the project. 2. A person who refuses to answer questions, refuses to avail documents or refuses to give other information legitimately sought by the inspector commits an offence.

AUDIT PETITION BY PUBLIC
A member of the public may, after showing reasonable cause in writing, petition the Authority to cause an audit to be carried out on any project.

WHEN SHOULD AN EA BE DONE?
EA should be done on a yearly basis and the study report submitted to NEMA.
WHO PAYS FOR EA?
The project proponent pays for the entire EA process including lodgment fee to NEMA.
WHAT NEXT AFTER EIA OR INITIAL EA APPROVAL,? Thereafter conduct self-auditing annually or as may be directed by the Authority and submit report.
It is Your Responsibility to Carry out Self-Auditing study.

 

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