Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA)

The Revised Procedural Manual of DAO 2003-30 defines Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) as “a process of analyzing and describing the risks associated with a project or activity to ecosystems, human health and welfare”. Risk is defined as a measure of potential human injury/ death, economic loss, or environmental damage in terms of the probability of the loss, injury/ death or damage occurring and the magnitude of the loss, injury/ death or damage if it occurs. It is the product of the calculated consequence of a postulated accident scenario and the probability or frequency of occurrence of such event.

Generally, risk assessment identifies and assesses the potential risks to human health and safety. It is also intended to assess the proposed safety management schemes that would minimize if not eliminate such hazards and risks. The following figure shows the general ERA process.

FLOW DIAGRAM OF THE RISK ASSESSMENT PROCESS

Environmental Risk Assessment Process

Hazard identification is the first step in the risk assessment process. It involves the identification of all possible events or processes that could lead to disastrous or fatal incidents. It also entails defining the inherent and potential hazards of the substances or materials used, as well as process hazards with potential to adversely affect project personnel, the public, and the environment.

Consequence analysis is the second step, involving the estimation and/or assessment of the effects or results of an incident. It uses models beginning with release rates calculations, dispersion and physical effects.

Frequency analysis is the third step and may be defined as the estimation of the likelihood of occurrence of the identified hazard.

Risk is the product function of the frequency and consequence analyses.

Risk assessment is defined as the examination, analysis, evaluation, and estimation of an adverse or undesirable event occurring in a given project area which could cause unacceptable impacts or results, expressed as fatalities per million per year.

Risk management encompasses the risk assessment process. It is the term applied to a logical and systematic method of identifying, analyzing, assessing, treating, monitoring and communicating risks associated with any activity, function or process in a manner that would enable one to minimize losses and maximize opportunities.

Apercu has conducted several risk assessment activities as part of EIS and EPRMP works and also as individual studies. Refer to our Projects page for the list.