Environmental Compliance Monitoring
An Environmental Control Officer (ECO)/compliance monitor is typically appointed to implement the conditions of an Environmental Management Programme (EMPr), and therefore advises appointed contractors, engineer or developer on how a particular activity/action should be undertaken so as to minimize environmental degradation, pollution etc. Typically, the ECO will monitor a construction site and liaise with the development team and the relevant authority to ensure a sustainable realization of the conditions of approval.
Accompanying the environmental control work is usually some degree of environmental awareness training or education. Such training/education is crucial to an effective environmental management programme. The training is therefore customized to suit both the site and the activity/action being undertaken.
Further environmental control is typically accomplished by means of an Environmental Liaison Committee (ELC), which is a platform for all relevant stakeholders to review the progress of a development and give/receive feedback on compliance, environmental management and issues that arise. Typically, the ECO is a member of the ELC and provides feedback to the relevant authorities, construction team, watchdog bodies, etc.
Environmental audits are completed after the construction process is concluded and are a requirement to validate the implementation of a ‘best practice’ approach to the environment by the development team. These audits are usually employed to verify compliance with the conditions of a particular approval process or management regime, with the intention of determining whether or not the authorisation was adhered to or the management plan was properly implemented. Audit reports are, for example, required by the competent authorities administering the approval of the EIA and EMPr.