Waste, Noise and Air Quality

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Waste, noise and air quality, in this context, relates to the efforts of hydropower developers to ensure that noise and air quality is maintained in the project vicinity and that project wastes are responsibly managed.

Good practice involves carrying out assessments at the implementation stage to identify waste, noise and air quality issues utilising appropriate expertise.  Measures taken to manage these issues could include some of the following: treatment of liquid wastes in wastewater treatment plants; restrictions on the size of machinery involved in excavation activities; rules specifying no burning.  

Understanding good practice

International industry good practice in waste, noise and air quality for hydropower projects is defined in the Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice (HGIIP).

The guidelines were published by the International Hydropower Association and are governed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, a multi-stakeholder group of representatives of civil society, industry, governments and financial institutions.

Assessing project performance

Two assessment tools are available to measure hydropower project performance:

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP)  is used by independent accredited assessors to consider whether a project has achieved good and best practice at different stages of its life cycle. Waste, Noise and Air Quality is addressed in I-18 for the implementation stage.

The Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool is used by independent accredited assessors to help project teams address any gaps against good practice in environmental, social and governance topics across 12 assessment sections. Waste Noise and Air Quality is addressed in Section 1.

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