Environmental Impact Assessment
Ambassadori Batumi Island continues to carry out a series of surveys within the framework of the preparatory process for the construction of the island in Batumi.
Since the day the project was presented, the company has commissioned various types of surveys from international organizations, including bathymetric works carried out by Kordil Surveying & Engineering, the technical feasibility study of the project and the preparation of the technical and conceptual design project of the island by YÜKSEL PROJE, and the geological survey of the seabed, carried out under the leadership of major Turkish company Zemin Teknik.
The cooperation between Ambassadori Batumi Island and Gamma Consulting – which will study the environmental impact of the construction of the island – is a part of precisely this process.
Gamma Consulting Ltd. is a company whose main activities involve surveying for natural resources, studying environmental protection issues, and providing consulting services in this field.
The company is staffed by the country’s leading experienced chemists, biologists, hydrogeologists, ecologists, and engineers. The main areas of the company’s activity include the standardization of permissible levels of impact on the environment and the substantiation of the limits of natural resource management, in addition to carrying out ecological calculations and the mathematical modeling and forecasting of environmental impact.
The technological base of Gamma’s laboratories and its highly experienced staff will assess the material composition of atmospheric air, the hydrosphere, soils, and geologic samples, as well as the ecological condition of the environment.
The surveys are conducted in accordance with international (ISO, USEPA) and Georgian national standards. The main part of their activity includes the assessment of the environmental impact of existing enterprises and those envisaged by the project, the preparation of the environmental section of the project documentation, and the organization and implementation of the ecological monitoring of the given location (water area).
The process of the assessment of the environmental and social impact of activities subject to environmental expertise will be carried out by Gamma Consulting in two stages.
Stage one is the scoping phase, during which a preliminary assessment will be made by way of a desk study. A report on the project will be prepared within the framework of this study concerning the impact it may have on the environment and what key surveys should be conducted in case of project implementation as well as during the environmental impact assessment phase. It will also determine the methodology and mitigation measures.
The application for primary environmental impact scoping will be considered by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, which will also issue a scoping report with specific instructions on how to carry out the environmental impact assessment procedure.
Primary scoping analysis is a kind of preliminary document that provides an assessment of the seabed sediment survey, wave conditions, and sea currents based on early marine biology survey materials.
Environmental impact assessment has two target areas: the impact that the implementation of the project will have on the natural and social environment and the impact that the environmental conditions at the location may have on the project itself.
In this case, numerous factors must be taken into account, such as the geology of the submarine slope, wave conditions, the direction of wave movement, the dynamics of coastline development, and so on.
The impact on the biological environment of the sea is of the greatest importance among environmental risks. The area of the submarine slope at this location measures approximately 164 hectares.
The aim of the survey is to study the biological environment – not only fish but also ichthyofauna, marine mammals, micro and macroinvertebrates, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and species belonging to the entire biological environment in general.
During the survey implementation stage, surveys conducted in the Batumi coastline at various times over the years will be compared with the new surveys conducted in this area, and the corresponding report will be prepared about ambient conditions.
Environmentalists, geologists, and ichthyologists from both Gamma Consulting and the National Environment Agency will be involved in the environmental impact assessment process.
It should be noted that this area of the Batumi coastline is the location of the former Batumi oil refinery, where the environment has been polluted with hydrocarbons in the past. Although contaminated foci are undergoing degradation and self-cleaning over time, it is important to study the current situation in this regard. That is precisely why Gamma Consulting will also assess the degree of submarine slope floor pollution at the given location.
The survey must also determine the quality of water and the corresponding pollution figures. It is also important to study wave conditions. Existing data on wave conditions at the Batumi coastline will be enhanced with greater detail in the course of the survey. A report on marine currents will be prepared.
In addition to marine biology, a survey of terrestrial biology is also planned. In order to determine the impact of construction infrastructure and construction works, it is necessary to determine the ambient air and noise conditions in Batumi. The distance of the construction site from residential areas is of great importance in this regard.
The aim of the study is to determine the impact of noise propagation on fish and marine mammals, how the coastline will change during project implementation, and how the said change will affect the operation of the Batumi Port.
In addition to the aforementioned, one of the main goals of the study is to determine the sustainability of the project, which will be studied in detail by engineering geology of the submarine slope.