5 October, 2021

Why Is It Important to Monitor Environmental Data?

The new climate science report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [1] released on August 9th, 2021 highlighted that scientists are more confident than ever that climate change as we know it is caused by human activity. The global environmental situation is becoming increasingly critical, and radical action needs to be taken to prevent further damage. An essential tool in combating climate change is effective environmental monitoring.

At its core, environmental monitoring can be defined as the systematic sampling of air, water, soil, and biota to observe and study the environment, as well as to derive knowledge from the process [2]. Environmental monitoring is designed to help us understand the natural environment and minimize the negative outcomes of human activity. There are several reasons to monitor environmental data, including [3]:

  • Establishing baselines, trends, and cumulative effects
  • Testing environmental modeling processes
  • Educating the public on environmental conditions
  • Informing Policy and decision making
  • Ensuring compliance with Environmental Regulations
  • Assessing the effects of anthropogenic influences
  • Conducting an inventory of natural resources

By monitoring environmental data at regular intervals, it becomes possible to compare changes within the environment because the results provide situational “snapshots” that can be compared against established standards and regulations.

Any operation where there is a risk of impacting the local environment must monitor its environmental impacts to understand the baseline, and to trend the impacts of these operations.

Generally, environmental authorities set up guidelines to monitor such aspects. Examples of parameters that can be monitored within the energy industry include water usage, quantity of gases flared, fuel gas usage or water quality.  Other measurements may also include the ambient environmental quality in the vicinity of a site using biological, chemical, and physical indicators [4].

Monitoring of environmental data alone is insufficient to have a meaningful impact on the environment. To be effective, environmental KPIs must be integrated with formal management activities and address all aspects of desired environmental performance. Environmental management software can be used to streamline the process of monitoring environmental data requirements along with their KPIs.

AIE’s CONTRIBUTION

AIE is striving to help the energy industry by equipping clients with the necessary tools to minimize their environmental impacts and to identify opportunities for improvements using a real-time environmental data management tool. AIE’s proprietary Environmental Management Software, Veracity EMS, provides users an interactive platform to collect, organize, display, and report environmental data. Users can select relevant KPIs for parameters to be monitored, and thereafter analyze data on the software to obtain information used to drive critical environmental business decisions.

REFERENCES

[1]          IPCC Sixth Assessment Report

[2]          Artiola, J.F., Pepper, I.L., Brusseau, M. (Eds.). (2004). Environmental Monitoring and Characterization. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Academic Press

[3]          http://www.oil-gasportal.com/environmental-monitoring-in-offshore-oilgas-industry/

[4]          https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/8275/-Environmental%20Management%20in%20Oil%20%26%20Gas%20Exploration%20%26%20Production-19972123.pdf?sequence=2%26isAllowed=y

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