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Introduction to Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP)

A Construction Environmental Management Plan describes how activities undertaken during the construction phase of development will be managed to avoid or mitigate negative environmental impacts on-site and how those environmental management requirements will be implemented. 

The Construction Environmental Management Plan is a site-specific plan developed to ensure that appropriate environmental management practices are followed during the construction phase of a project. 

When undertaking an assessment of a development application or major development, the EPA or a relevant authority may request a CEMP be provided as part of that assessment or may recommend or impose a condition requiring a CEMP be prepared prior to construction commencing.

It is advisable that the CEMP be prepared by a suitably qualified and experienced consultant, particularly when the development is large scale with complex issues. 

The Construction Environmental Management Plan should include the following general information about the project:

  • A description of the site location and the receiving environment, including the location of sensitive receivers.
  • A description of the project construction works to be undertaken, including timeframes and construction hours. 
  • Identification and analysis of potential environmental impacts, including environmental hazards and risks, proposed mitigation measures, and any residual risks.
  • Identification and description of the management measures to be implemented to mitigate linked source−receptor−exposure pathways. 
  • Identification of a person or persons with responsibility for implementing the CEMP.
    ○ The responsible person may be the owner, occupier, contractor, or head contractor for the site.
    ○ The responsible person or persons should have the authority to call for the immediate cessation of works if an issue arises.
    ○ The responsible person or persons should have responsibility for managing communications and complaints.
  • Identification of appropriate reporting and verification measures.
  • Description of appropriate contingencies to be implemented, if management measures are identified as being ineffective and/or resulting in an environmental nuisance. 

Scope of Construction Environmental Management Plan

The scope of the Construction Environmental Management Plan should consider the following subject areas as applicable to the individual project, such as:

  • Air quality 
  • Water quality and drainage 
  • Noise and vibration
  • Geology and soils 
  • Landscape and visual impact 
  • Nature conservation 
  • Archeology and cultural heritage 
  • People and communities 
  • Transportation 
  • Materials. 

Construction Environmental Management Plan is needed for projects:

  • Needing EIA screening or clearance.
  • Significant industrial facilities that e.g. contain manufacturing processes.
  • Larger residential and commercial development projects.
  • Any other project deemed by Authority as presenting an environmental risk warranting a CEMP.

The purpose of a Construction Environmental Management Plan can be:

  • Provide effective, site-specific procedures and mitigation measures to monitor and control environmental impacts throughout the construction phase of the project.
  • Ensure that construction activities so far as is practical do not adversely impact amenity, traffic or the environment in the surrounding area.
  • Highlighting stakeholder requirements
  • Ensuring the development is in compliance with the current environmental legislation.
  • Outlining the Environment Management Systems as per ISO standards and other applicable standards.
  • Detailing the mitigation committed to within the Environmental Impact Report / Statement and how it is implemented at the site.

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