Strategic Tailored Advice on Emerging Environmental Risks

ERS provides tailored strategic advice to policy makers & regulators on a wide range of emerging environmental risks, including:

  • Climate change risk & vulnerability
  • Contaminated land
  • Groundwater dependent ecosystems

Climate Change Risks

Global warming induced climate change hazards can impact assets, developments and operations through both chronic and acute effects:

  • Increases in rainfall intensity and storm duration that increase river and pluvial flood risks.
  • Increases in storm intensity that increase landslide and slope stability risks at mine waste & tailings facilities.
  • Changes in rainfall patterns that reduce groundwater recharge, resource potential and baseflow to surface water groundwater ecosystems.

Contaminated Land Risk

Contaminated land risk and liabilities can arise from a range of current and legacy land use and activities:

  • Fuel storage and handling for heating systems, vehicles, plant and machinery.
  • Organic solvent use in manufacturing and ancillary processes (degreasing, surface coating applications and painting).
  • Metal solutions in surface treatment, electroplating and wood preservation operations.
  • Import of waste materials for fill to create level development platforms that may contain a wide range of hazardous materials, including asbestos.

Groundwater Resources & Dependent Ecosystems

Development projects have the potential to negatively impact the groundwater resources of an area:

  • Changes in large land surface areas can alter local hydrogeological systems that impact groundwater dependent ecosystems such as wetlands and tufa springs.
  • Redevelopment of brownfield sites incorporating sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) can mobilise pre-existing ground contamination.
  • Landfill developments require detailed consideration and assessment of potential groundwater impacts during the operation and closure aftercare of the waste facility.

Bespoke Guidance & Training

ERS has advised the EPA in relation to Local Authority RMCEI enforcement planning and has developed internal environmental risk guidance on a wide range of industrial sectors and emerging risks for insurance underwriters:

  • Renewable energy developments
  • Large infrastructure developments (airports, ports, tunnels, roads, hospitals)
  • Petroleum and chemical manufacturing
  • Mining and waste tailings management facilities
  • Contaminated land and brownfield developments
  • Organic solvent use & dry cleaning
  • Underground storage tanks and petrol filling stations
  • Metal recycling and radioactivity
  • Agriculture

Shane Herlihy has developed and led training courses for EPA inspectors and licence operators on environmental liability, closure planning and financial provision (ELRA, CRAMP & FP).