The purpose of an EMP is defined in the Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) Guideline Series (Department of Environmental Affairs, 1992) as: “A plan that organises and co-ordinates mitigation, rehabilitation and monitoring measures in order to guide the implementation of the proposal”. The objectives of this EMP are thus to:
- include all components of the development;
- prescribe the best practicable control methods to lessen the environmental impacts associated with the construction of the development;
- monitor and audit the performance of construction personnel in applying such controls; and
- ensure that appropriate environmental training is provided to responsible construction personnel.
The recommendations from the Environmental Impact Assessment for a development, also documented in the environmental decision, are the major informants in developing the necessary environmental control measures. An Environmental Control Officer (ECO) is required on site during the construction phase. The ECO ensures that the contractor complies with the environmental specifications in the EMP. The ECO is thus responsible for ensuring that the requirements of the EMP are implemented. More specifically, duties being undertaken by the ECO includes to:
- Request, review and approve method statements from contractors and sub-contractors prior to any construction commencing;
- Undertake regular inspections of the construction site in order to check for compliance with method statements as well as specifications outlined in the EMP. This involves completion of a weekly checklist, which also serves as site records;
- Ensure that the contractor, sub-contractors and employees receive appropriate environmental awareness training; and
- Meet with contractors to discuss the implementation of and non-conformances with EMP. The meetings serve to re-affirm overall policy for the project, method statements and discuss weekly checklists.