Leonoil Company contracted INTEGEMS to undertake a comprehensive Environmental Social and Impact Assessment (ESIA) study on the twenty (20) LEONCO retail outlets in Sierra Leone. The study examined both positive and negative impacts that the Project’s current and future operations are likely to have on both biophysical and socio-economic environment. Early identification of possible impacts promoted environmental and social compliance so that anthropogenic factors will not interfere with the natural environment but will blend with it creating harmony.
The objective of the ESIA study of the proposed project was to ensure full environmental and social protection and ecosystem services for the people and other potentially impacted communities. The Project is anticipated to have some impacts on both the social and the natural environment. The study was meant to identify, recommend and adopt appropriate environmental and social measures acceptable to the EPA-SL regulations and Good International Industry Practice (GIIP), codes and standards, during design, construction and operational phases of the Project. Through these mitigation/enhancement measures, the adverse environmental effects brought to the Project can be minimized to an acceptable level and the Project construction and operation are environmentally and socially viable.
The specific objectives of the ESIA study are as follows:
- Describe in detail the proposed Project, including any feasible alternatives;
- Describe the existing environment, including all physical, biological, and socio-economic characteristics relevant to the Project;
- Assess in detail the potential environmental and social impacts that would result from the Project;
- Identify environmental and social impacts mitigation measures to address the potential impacts identified;
- Develop an ESMP based on the mitigation measures proposed in the ESIA and Formulation of a Community Development Action Plan (CDAP) where necessary; and
- Inform and engage with positively or negatively affected individuals, communities, governmental authorities, and other stakeholders in order to document and address relevant issues and concerns throughout the ESIA process.
- In general, the Study required INTEGEMS to examine all the 20 outlets to ascertain whether their design has and/will optimize the best use of the available technology to prevent or minimize potentially significant environmental and social impacts associated with the Project and to incorporate efficient operational controls.
- The ESIA required INTEGEMS to provide precise information on the environmental and socio-cultural settings through detail narrative, maps, and tables of important trends and predicted situations with and without the proposed Project.