The Europipe construction permit approved by the German authorities requires Statoil to initiate a comprehensive ecological monitoring program for the landfall area of the national park. The objective of this program is to provide a description of the state of the total ecosystem before, during, and after the pipeline installation to identify any disturbances or changes to the ecosystem originating from the pipeline construction activities. The program will also permit evaluation of the assumptions of the environmental impact assessments for building this pipeline and will be used in planning future construction projects. The monitoring program covers sedimentology, hydrodynamics, morphology, benthic fauna and flora, fish and decapodes, and avifauna. The work is being carried out under the coordination of the national park authorities by a number of reputable German and Dutch institutes in cooperation with Statoil.
The program is well under way and may continue for several years after project completion. Because of the environmental precautionary measures taken, the final conclusions of the ecological monitoring program should show limited adverse environmental damage with few or no permanent effects.
Particularly important to the environmental protection plan are implementation, control, and verification of the specific environmental protection measures required to ensure minimum or no adverse environmental effects of the construction activities. Statoil has found the British Standard BS 7750, Specification for Environmental Management Systems, to be very useful in developing appropriate environmental planning documentation. With BS 7750 as a basis, the project contractors have been requested to prepare three levels of environmental documents.
Environmental management manual. In this document, the contractor states the company's commitment to a high standard of environmental performance and describes how the company intends to carry out the environmental management. The manual addresses such things as environmental policy organization, personnel qualifications, regulations and permits, environmental impacts, environmental objectives, and audits and reviews.
Environmental protection program. This documentation provides considerable detail based on the principles and statements outlined in the management manual. The program describes critical operations, possible adverse impacts of critical operations, protective measures, program implementation, control and verification measures, and emergency planning.
Operational control sheets. These documents provide instructions for execution,