Environmental Mitigation

Environmental mitigation refers to the  strategies, policies and activities that are designed to avoid, minimise, or compensate for the negative impact to or the disruption of elements of the human and natural environment associated with the implementation of a project

Such measures include the restitution for any damage to the environment caused by local or state-wide projects—notably those resulting of highway, energy, water, and other infrastructure projects. Mitigation can be achieved, for example, through replacement, restoration, compensation or any other means.

The mitigation measures aim to:
  • protect the physical, biological and human environments;
  • manage mineral wastes;
  • control hazardous compounds and wastes; and
  • provide the basis for the development of monitoring plans (and minimise future negative side effects)

German trash with the label "Cigarette Butler"

For instance, if we consider a construction site, negative effects on air quality may be caused by Fugitive Dust Emissions, exhaust from generators, trucks or mobile equipment, and Sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions from diesel fuel use. Possible mitigation plans could be: Dust Best Management Plan (DBMP), preventive maintenance programs for machine engines and the use of low sulphur fuels.

Mitigation is paramount because it ensures that the adverse environmental impacts of a developmental project are minimised or completely avoided. There are different mitigation levels, which are organised in what is called “mitigation hierarchy”. The hierarchy begins from the most beneficial method of mitigation (i.e. avoidance) and goes on to the least beneficial method of mitigation (i.e. offset).