The Environment Agency has completed the draft of a methodology for predicting the environmental impact of public works projects, agency sources said Oct. 8.The draft also includes basic matters to be assessed for such predictions when the Environmental Impact Assessment Law goes into effect in June 1999, they said. Conspicuously mentioned are greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, and the way such emissions affect the ecology as a whole.The agency plans to promulgate the basic impact guidelines in December, after obtaining consent from the relevant government agencies, the source said. In accordance with the basic guidelines, the agencies will draw up technical guidelines for assessing the environmental impact of dams, roads and other public works projects, the sources said.In addition to items conventionally cited, such as noise, water quality, carbon dioxide emissions, and fauna and flora, the draft cites the amount of contact between people and nature, waste disposal volumes, and impact on underground water and geology as items to be used in assessing the impact of public works projects. Estimates of carbon dioxide emission levels from power plants and roads completed or under construction will also be used to judge whether emission targets set forth by the central and local governments will be affected, the sources said. In judging the impact, emphasis will be put on carnivores, such as bears or predatory birds.
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