Moscow Seminars Proceedings
GA Ref. No.: GA/205024-95/6
Design and lay-out: Litangen & Kuvaas
Front cover map: Philippe Rekacewicz
at Le Monde Diplomatique in Paris
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* "Applications for permission to reproduce and translate all or part of this publication should be made to UNEP".
- to achieve the highest sustainable economic growth and employment
rising standard of living in Member countries, while maintaining
stability, and thus to contribute to the development of the world
- to contribute to sound economic expansion in Member as well as non-member countries in the process of economic development; and
- to contribute to the expansion of world trade on a multilateral, non-discriminatory basis in accordance with international obligations.
The original Member countries of the OECD are Austria, Belgium,
Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,
Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey,
United Kingdom and the United States.
The following countries became Members subsequently through accession at the dates indicated hereafter:
Japan (28th April 1964), Finland (28th January 1969), Australia (7th June 1971), New Zealand (29th May 1973) and Mexico (18th May 1994). The
Commission of the European Communities takes part in the work of the OECD (Article 13 of the OECD Convention).
Environment and Natural Resource Information Networks in Countries with Economies in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe
Information for sustainable development planning and management is of major concern for the global community. As a follow up to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, UNEP is helping to develop environment and natural resource information networks (ENRIN) worldwide. These networks consist of key institutions active in environmental information management at national and regional levels whose main aim is to generate environmental information needed by various users ranging from decision-makers to the general public.
Table of Contents
- the need to establish and integrate existing monitoring/research
and to select representative
parameters for monitoring;
- the importance of establishing linkages with national, regional and local information networks to identify opportunities for co-operation and collaboration;
- the benefits of using a broad range of analytical and communication tools to enhance the accessibility of information by different audiences; and
- the role of strengthening local capacity in environmental information management through training and skills development programmes.
This volume is jointly published by the OECD/CCET and UNEP (Environment
Assessment Programme). The co-operation of the Russian Ministry
Environmental Protection and NaturalResources and the Centre for
International Projects (Moscow) in organising the seminar is gratefully
The views expressed represent those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their organisations, OECD or UNEP. This report is published on the responsibility of the Secretary-General of the OECD.
Assistant Executive Director, UNEP
OECD Assistant Secretary-General,
Director of the CCET
For organizing the workshop, the Russian Ministry for Environmental
Protection and Natural Resources, the Centre for International
the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Bo Libert at OECD was the main driving force in the organization
of this event.
To all of the participants and observers at the seminar(s).
For co-ordinating the publication and maintaining communication between the authors, the editors, the lay-out persons and others, Dawn Freund of GRID-Arendal.
For making the publication fully UNEP compatible and providing us with practical input, Danielle Mitchell of UNEP/DEA Nairobi.
For making the publication fully OECD compatible, Carla Bertuzzi of OECD, Paris.
The proceedings was edited by Solfrid Tj¯rhom of Fevik, Norway;
Per Harald Stabell of Litangen & Kuvaas (Arendal, Norway) was responsible for the lay-out;
the front cover map was designed by Philippe Rekacewicz of Le Monde Diplomatique in Paris.
Constructive advice and practical support was provided by various individuals within the UNEP system, namely ENRIN co-ordinator Dan Claasen of UNEP/DEA in Nairobi, Andrea Matte-Baker of UNEP/ROE in Geneva and Director Svein Tveitdal of GRID-Arendal.
Arendal, September 9, 1995
Otto G. Simonett
Programme Manager Eastern Europe
and Developing Countries
OECD Work in Economies in Transition
The Centre for Co-operation with the Economies in Transition (CCET) formulates, co-ordinates and monitors the OECD policy-oriented assistance strategy in favour of the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) and the New Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union. It has been entrusted with this task since its creation in 1990, when OECD countries recognised that the Organisation's experience in analysing macroeconomics and sectoral policies could be usefully extended and adapted to meet the needs of transition economies.
The CCET programme is wide-ranging and implemented by the individual Directorates of the OECD. It provides policy analysis at the macro and sectoral levels, including activities to support the introduction of sound environmental practices and policies. Other areas covered by the programme include institution building, enterprise restructuring (together with related labour marked and social policy issues), and the development of meaningful statistics for market-oriented policy making. To respond to the changing and increasingly diverse needs of the transition economies, the CCET programme is constantly evolving. Following the signing of the Declaration of Co-operation between the Russian Federation and the OECD on 8 June 1994, a Special Country Programme for the Russian Federation was developed. It is in the framework of this programme that the seminars on information systems were organised by the OECD Environment Directorate.
OECD Environment Directorate
The OECD approach to environmental issues is grounded in the philosophy that a firm alliance must be forged between economic growth and environmental management. In today's world, both the quality and quantity of growth have become important considerations. The Environment Directorate of the OECD has a staff of about 70, most of whom are working on issues related to the interaction of the environment with economy, industry and energy.
In this work, environmental information plays an important role. Monitoring the state of the environment and developing environmental indicators within a comparable international framework supports national and international environmental decision-making. In the OECD work programme on the state of the environment, three main areas should be mentioned:
1. Collection, treatment and harmonisation of environmental data
promoted by the collection of data in member and partner countries
through the OECD questionnaire on the state of the environment;
2. Work to develop environmental indicators that would help to measure and compare environmental performance and to integrate environmental concerns into sectorial policies; and
3. Systematic, independent and periodic environmental performance country reviews to help Member countries to improve their performances in environmental management.
The OECD Environment Directorate also plays a central role in the Environment- for- Europe- process, as it serves as the Secretariat for the Task Force for the Implementation of the Environmental Action Plan for Central and Eastern Europe.
Reviews of Environmental Information Systems in Economies in Transition Over the last few years, the OECD has performed reviews of the environmental information systems in non-member countries such as Poland, Hungary, the Czech and Slovak Republics, and in 1993 in the Republic of Belarus. The primary objective of these reviews has been to support the development and implementation of environmental policies nationally and in a region-wide international context.
The reviews have been organised around five major themes:
1. Relevance of environmental information
2. Technical design of environmental information systems;
3. Institutional and financial arrangements;
4. Adequacy of environmental information for international needs; and
5. Better diffusion of environmental data.
The reviews are published and have served to support the development of environmental information systems in the respective countries. The Review of the Environmental Systems of the Russian Federation About a year ago, the OECD agreed with the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of the Russian Federation to proceed with a review of the environmental information system in Russia. A first mission visited Moscow in April last year. One of the preliminary conclusions of this first mission was that: "Work should continue on developing integrated environmental information systems at the oblast (regional) level to support policy and decision-making. Pilot projects provide a useful way to test systems and to facilitate improved co-operation among regional offices of federal ministries and local authorities." The mission further commended the general direction of the development of USEMS and recommended among other things that: "The Unified State Environmental Monitoring System (USEMS) should be strengthened by:
- limiting the system to a general structure and
a small core set of data;
- linking regional environmental information programmes to the USEMS;
- the development of environmental indicators through aggregation of relevant data;
- establishment of budgets for each contributing organisation and the creation of a joint national- subnational programme to monitor expenditures."
During the first mission the OECD experts were impressed by the expertise of specialists in the field and also by some of the initiatives and pilot projects that were presented to them. The second part of the review involves inviting Russian specialists to present their proposals with regard to these two more specific subjects: Integrated Environmental Information Systems in Support of Decision Making at the Oblast Level, which is the subject of this seminar, and the Unified State Environmental Monitoring System of the Russian Federation, which will be discussed 26 January in a workshop in Moscow.
The two meetings of this week will serve the purpose of giving our consultants the input needed to draft chapters for the OECD review on these two specific issues. The entire review will be published in the summer after it has been discussed in a workshop in Paris.
The Aim of this Seminar The focus of this seminar is a very important aspect of environmental information systems in the Russian Federation-integrated information systems for decision-making in the regions. The regional administrations are now faced with a situation quite different than that during Soviet times. First, the introduction of a market economy and privatisation add new demands to the regional environmental administration. Further, the regions now have a considerably higher level of independence. There is a whole range of issues earlier decided in Moscow, that are now being decided in the regional capitals. During this seminar there will be an opportunity to examine a number of Russian initiatives, pilot projects in different sectors and regions in the light of the changing reality. Experience from other countries will also be presented and discussed. The aim of the seminar is to give relevant input to decision-makers and experts on how to design and implement new integrated environmental information systems in the regions of the Russian Federation. The seminar will not give the solutions for each and everyone of the regional representatives participating. Hopefully, however, the seminar will be successful in raising the issues that are important to consider when designing the information systems for the different regions. The demand-side of environmental information systems will be discussed thoroughly. The reason is that so much of the discussion on environmental information in other fora is focused on technology and technicalities. Before developing the sophisticated systems of the future, the purpose and goals of these systems should be defined very clearly. A second important consideration is the need for precision on their cost-effectiveness, as, in the end, it is likely that the regions themselves will finance environmental informational systems.
The Environmental Information System in Support of Decision-Making (The Case of the Kurgan Oblast)
International Academy of Information Technology
State Institute of Applied Ecology
The Russian Federation
An efficient system of decision-making, or management system based
information on the state of the environment, sources of environmental
impacts, and effects of such impacts, needs to be put in place
in order to
implement the government policy of environmental protection and
environmental safety at the regional level. To obtain this kind
information, territorial systems of environmental monitoring are
up, their forms and composition essentially depending on their
place in the overall system of environmental protection and safety
management. In this case, several important questions have to
first, what is the structure of the object of management; second,
the underlying principles of controlling its condition, given
of anthropogenic impacts; third, what are the requirements for
providing information support for management procedures.
While determining the structure of the object of management, one should remember, first and foremost, that the environment in which human beings live, and in which a multitude of phenomena and processes are going on, is an extremely complex dynamic system, of which many processes and phenomena are still known but little, if known at all. This fact creates major difficulties in taking decisions concerning environment management, since decisions here will be taken in a situation where information on thestate of the object of management is uncertain. Dealing with a dynamic complex system, we need a scheme for correlating the variables characteristic of the system, which is its model. Apparently, models can take various forms and reflect the real system to various degrees of detail. The degree of detail of a model that makes it useful is determined, first of all, by the intended use of the model. It should be observed that any model, no matter how complex and detailed it may be, will only partially reflect such a complex object as the human environment. We can only compare certain features of the real system and models thereof, but we will never be able to guarantee their exact and complete correspondence. A pragmatic concept of a model's authenticity should assume that the acceptability of a model should be judged by its utility, rather than by its verity. Speaking about environmental management, we mean, first of all, management of anthropogenic impacts on the environment and its components in order to achieve certain qualities or properties thereof. Hence, a model should include elements enabling it to describe the transfer of anthropogenic impacts from their origin to human beings or a natural object through the whole of the complex dynamic system, and to determine possible means of controlling this transfer in all the components of the object of management. The structure of the human environment model should also be based on the law of systemic separatism, according to which the system components of heterogeneous quality are always independent structurally.
There is a functional relation between the system components, or they can even penetrate into each other, but this does not prevent the entities forming part of the system from being structurally independent, though their purpose is common. Thus, the implementation of a model of human environment must correspond to the purpose of the model and to the quality of its components, so that the purpose could be successfully achieved. Based on the requirements above, a pragmatic model of the human environment has been proposed to control its state under anthropogenic effects. The model proposed consists of a series of the following components:
- sources of anthropogenic impacts;
- abiotic environment including atmospheric air, surface waters and geological environment;
- geosystems and ecosystems;
- social environment.
This model makes it possible to develop a multi-circuit plan of environmental management with feedback (see Fig. 1) in order to ensure environmental protection and safety, wherein management measures are designed on the basis of decisions taken by the respective government officials. The corner-stone of this management plan is the fact that only one structural element of the model proposed is amenable to institutional management, i.e. management based on decisions taken by a government official, and that element is the sources of anthropogenic impacts. It is the fulfillment of these management functions that the first management circuit is related to. It includes:
- a system of monitoring the state of sources of
- a system of controlling the condition of sources of anthropogenic impacts;
- a system of preparing and taking institutional decisions.
Here, control of the condition of sources is performed by comparing their actual current condition to a pre-set standard, the latter, in turn, serving as a management criterion which is set externally for the management circuit in question. A deviation of the current condition from the pre-set standard generates a signal to activate the system of preparing and taking institutional decisions. This system performs the following functions:
- determines the causes of the deviation;
- assesses the effects of the deviation from the standard requirements;
- determines institutional, technological, economic and other measures to bring the sources back to their standard condition;
- develops scenarios of achieving the objectives, including evaluation of efficiency of various management decisions and costs of their implementation.
The system of decision-making performs the following functions:
- develops an action plan to achieve the standard
condition of sources of impacts;
- implements management measures to influence the sources;
- monitors the implementation of management measures.
The second circuit of management provides for the adjustment of the state of abiotic environments affected by anthropogenic impacts. This circuit includes:
- a system of monitoring abiotic environments;
- a system of controlling the condition of abiotic environments;
- a system of preparation of decision-making.
This management circuit does not directly include a system of decision-making, as abiotic environments do not lend themselves immediately to institutional management. In this circuit, the condition of abiotic environments is controlled in the same way as in the first circuit, by comparing their current condition to a pre-set standard. Here, too, the pre-set standard serves as a management criterion set externally. The connection with the first management circuit, which implements the procedures of direct institutional decision-making, is provided by the system of preparing decisions in the second management circuit. This system selects management criteria for the first circuit, i.e. it sets standard requirements for sources of anthropogenic impacts, at which management criteria of the second circuit are met, the latter being standard requirements for the condition of abiotic environments. In this instance, the cycle of management measures will be completed as soon as the current condition of sources of anthropogenic impacts and abiotic environments meet the pre-set standards.
The third and fourth management circuits have a similar structure. They are responsible for the adjustment of geo and ecosystems and the social environment in proportion to its dependence on the quality of the abiotic environment and the state of nature. Thus, one may conclude from the human environment management plan described above, that the proposed multi-circuit principle of management provides feedback between the condition of the components of the environment and decisions taken to control this condition, implementing a steady algorithm of achieving the objectives. It should be stressed that it is only sources of anthropogenic impacts that are subjected to direct institutional management, with management criteria for these sources set on the basis of analysis and monitoring the current condition of all other components of the human environment, including the social sphere. The system of environmental monitoring plays a key role in the above environment management plan. Here, environmental monitoring implies regular observations of natural environments, natural resources, vegetation and animal life carried out according to a pre-determined Program, making it possible to identify changes in their condition and processes going on in them as a result of anthropogenic impacts. Thus, the system of environmental monitoring means an organized monitoring of the human environment which, firstly, ensures an on-going assessment of environmental conditions of the habitat of human beings and biological objects (plants, animals, microorganisms, etc.), and of the functional integrity of ecosystems, and, secondly, provides conditions for identifying adjustment measures where the desired parameters of ecological conditions are not achieved. Therefore, the ecological aspect of observing the human environment shows itself in a systematic organization of such observations. The objective of this systematic organization is to provide environmental protection and safety activities with timely and reliable information, making it possible:
- to evaluate indicators of the condition and functional integrity
ecosystems and the human habitat;
- to identify causes of changes and to assess implications of such changes, as well as to determine adjustment measures where the desired parameters of environmental conditions are not achieved;
- to create prerequisites for identifying measures aimed at correcting unfavorable situations before any damage has been done.
Based on the above, the principal objective of the environmental monitoring system is to obtain three main types of indicators:
- compliance indicators;
- diagnostic indicators;
- early-warning indicators.
The main functions of the environmental monitoring system include:
- identification of the object of observation;
- surveying the identified object of observation;
- developing the informationmodel of the object under observation;
- planning measurements;
- taking measurements;
- measurement data management;
- assessing the condition of the object of observation and identifying its information model;
- projection of changes in the condition of the object of observation;
- presenting information in a user-friendly mode.
The territorial environmental monitoring system is formed by integrating thematic systems and subsystems, information and measuring complexes and data-processing complexes, etc., that are interlinked with each other by common objectives, requirements for observation organization and performance, generalization and integration of data obtained, possible use of the data for mathematical modeling and simulation, institutional and targeted application, etc. Thus, we are dealing with a complex multi-purpose and multi-component information system whose performance efficiency and further development largely depend on the correct logical and organizational structure.
Functionally, the environmental monitoring system includes:
- emission monitoring systems;
- impact monitoring systems, or systems of monitoring the impacts of concrete sources on the human environment;
- background monitoring systems.
By the objects of observation, the environmental monitoring includes:
- an emission monitoring system;
- an abiotic environment monitoring system;
- a biotic environment monitoring system;
- a geosystem monitoring system;
- a social environment monitoring system.
By the thematic application, the environmental monitoring system consists of software systems designed to resolve specific environmental protection and safety problems. The set of such software systems for a given area or oblast depends on the environmental situation there, on the causes of negative changes in the human environment and on priorities in measures to stabilize and further improve the environment. Thus, the block of software systems is specific for each territory or oblast in the Russian Federation determining the structure of the territorial environmental monitoring system and, therefore, acting as a system-generating element in the territorial system. An important role in building an efficient information system in support of decision-making procedures belongs to a logical structure of software systems of environmental monitoring. Research has shown that four hierarchic logical levels should be identified: strategic level, target level, task level, functional level. The strategic level determines the general form of the software system block and should answer the question of what to do and in what areas. This level is formed directly by thematic programs of monitoring. In the case of the Kurgan oblast, the following main programs were developed:
- monitoring to implement the ecosystem approach
to the air quality protection;
- monitoring to implement the ecosystem approach to water management in the oblast;
- monitoring to limit radiation exposure of the residents in areas contaminated with radioactive elements and in areas with increased levels of natural radiation;
- monitoring to restrict exposure of people in urban areas and rural settlements to atmospheric pollution;
- monitoring to ensure the ecosystem approach and environmental safety of handling hazardous domestic and industrial wastes;
- monitoring to ensure environmental safety in emergencies of technogenic, natural/technogenic or natural character.
The target level refers to each specific thematic program of monitoring, indicating realistic and ideal directions of implementing its strategy, and answering the question: why take action? The specific relation of the environmental monitoring directly to the system of decision-making is determined at this logical level.
The task level specifies and differentiates the targets of each thematic program, answering the questions as to how to act, and how much action to take. At this level, objects of observation and methods of describing them are defined more precisely, i.e. information models of objects of observation are selected, including the list of parameters to be determined. The functional level determines for each thematic program the types of action and list of activities to be carried out, answering, accordingly, the question as to what kind of action and what work need to be undertaken. At this level, concrete methods for obtaining and evaluating the necessary indicators are determined, hardware and methods are defined for taking measurements, and relations are established between the measurements and mathematical models. The organization of integrated observations within the framework of a territorial system of environmental monitoring is a complex multi-factor task that should be dealt with taking into account the guidelines for assessing the impacts on the human environment, the guidelines for the ecosystem approach to various activities and nature management, and the identification of the condition of the object of observation, i.e. the human environment. The choice of an information model for the object of observation and the process of data acquisition for this model play a major role in terms of identifying the object of observation. While making this choice, one should bear in mind the spatial distribution characteristic of virtually all the values observed. This makes it possible to suggest for the information model the information portrait of the ecological situation as a multitude of spatially distributed data on the ecological situation in a graphic form together with the map of the area. The most important feature of the information portrait of the ecological situation is its resolution, i.e. spatial detail of the information contained in the portrait. The resolution is deter mined by the scale of the map used in the portrait. As the ecological information "moves" across the hierarchic levels of the administrative management system (enterprise>city>district>oblast), it is generalized in accordance with the scale of the map used at a given hierarchic level to analyze the situation and take decisions. At higher levels of decision-making, therefore, some information is lost for generalization, although the loss is justifiable, as what is lost is the detail unnecessary for a given level of management. The above information technology is based on electronic mapping and geoinformation systems. In choosing the information acquisition process to draw a portrait of the ecological situation, the assumption should be that, realistically, one can only achieve the best estimate of the condition of the human environment and impacts to which it is exposed. An efficient technique for obtaining such best estimates is the use of measurement results and mathematical modeling in a single process. This hybrid observation technique is implemented by solving primal and inverse problems, as well as problems of optimal spatial/temporal interpolation or objective analysis of fields of various values. The primal problems are oriented towards knowing a priori the condition of sources of impact, i.e. emissions, namely:
- the power of the source and its changeability
- the location of the source (geographic co-ordinates);
- physico-chemical properties and parameters of the aggregate state of emissions.
Solving the tasks of monitoring by the primal problem method implies a possibility of direct observation of emission sources. This method is used:
- to draw an information portrait of emission sources;
- to draw an information portrait of the current spatial distribution of pollutants and other factors of impact based on numeric simulation of their transport and dispersal in abiotic environments from known sources.
Inverse problems are oriented towards knowing a posterior pollution characteristics of abiotic environments. The main purpose of these problems is:
- to identify unknown sources of emissions;
- to make more precise data on the condition of the emission sources known a priori.
Objective analysis focuses on spatially and temporally discrete measurements of environment pollution (air, surface and ground waters, soil, etc.). Building the pollutant concentration fields to solve this type of tasks is based on mathematical methods of multi-dimensional objective analysis using interpolation techniques, correlative and empirical relations. Planning observations and an optimal location of measurement points in observation grids have an import ant role to play. The process of hybrid observation is implemented with two independent information and measurement paths. The first path realizes the method of pri mal problem solving using data of source monitoring. The mathematical models used for the simulation of pollutant spreading must provide an adequate description of transport and dispersal processes and be susceptible to changing hydrometeorological conditions. The second information and measurement path operates to implement the method of objective analysis based on the measurements of environment pollution parameters at individual spatial points at cer tain moments in time. The operation of the two information and measurement paths results in two information portraits of one and the same ecological situations. Since the information used to obtain these portraits was different for each one, it could be assumed that they are independent with respect to possible distortions. This enables an algorithm for data validation to be built, involving the comparison of two independent information portraits using pre-selected coincidence criteria. If the coincidence has been achieved, then the information portraits are validated within limits of error corresponding to the coincidence criteria adopted. Otherwise, causes of divergence are analyzed and additional information is acquired by the two independent information and measurement paths. In doing this, one should remember that distortions of the information portrait obtained by the method of primal problem solving may be due to the fact that:
- not all of the actual emission sources have been
taken into account in drawing the portrait;
- the mathematical models used did not provide an adequate description of the processes of emission transport and dispersal in natural environments, or are poorly adapted to the actual hydrometeorological conditions.
Distortions of the information portrait obtained by objective analysis may be due to interpolation errors caused by a low spatial and temporal resolution of the measurement grid. At the same time, this portrait contains data on environment pollution from all the actual sources of emissions, the said data being independent of the quality of the mathematical models used to build the first information portrait. This makes it possible to build an algorithm for verifying several hypotheses on the causes of divergence of the information portraits of the situation:
- not all of the actual sources have been taken into account in drawing the first information portrait in the simulation of emission distribution;
- mathematical models of poor quality have been used in drawing the first information portrait in the simulation;
- data from a measurement grid of low resolution, both spatial and temporal, have been used in the objective analysis to build the second information portrait.
The first hypothesis is verified by solving inverse problems for which source information is presented by the differential information portrait. This differential information portrait should come as fields of emissions from unknown sources. The program of observation grids' operation is adjusted in accordance with the data provided by solving inverse problems. To this end, the observation hardware includes mobile observation stations that can be moved around quite promptly and concentrated in certain parts of the area under observation. This hardware is used to obtain new data both on the emission sources and on parameters of environment pollution at new points in space. New information portraits are built on these data using the method of primal problem solving and objective analysis. The procedure of validation of these portraits is further iterated until their coincidence is achieved.
The second and third hypotheses are verified by methods of mathematical models' susceptibility to changes in the programs of the observation hard ware operation, mostly for mobile measurement complexes. If the verification of all hypotheses does not yield a coincidence of information portraits, the coincidence criteria are changed from "rigid" to "softer" ones. With new criteria, the validity of the information portrait becomes lower. The organization of a territorial environmental monitoring system now adays runs into serious problems with the legal base that should provide for its uninterrupted operation. This legal base includes:
- Regulations of the territorial environmental monitoring system defining the legal status of the information acquired, establishing special authorities to implement certain components of the system at the oblast level with due regard for the terms of reference of federal authorities (the Committee for Hydrometeorology, the Committee for Geology, the Committee for Water Management, the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Inspectorate, the Ministry for Emergencies, etc.) and their local branches;
- Procedures for data communication between various components of the system at the oblast level and the structure of information to be transmitted;
- Regulations of methodological support for the environmental monitoring system at the oblast level;
- The list of recommended observation procedures to ensure the functioning of both target-oriented and thematic systems.
The territorial environmental monitoring system is funded from:
- the federal budget to provide for monitoring programs of national importance or programs implemented for the federal authorities;
- the local budget to provide for monitoring programs of regional importance.
There seems to be a future for a special extrabudgetary fund of environmental monitoring. At present, the principles of operation of such a fund are being tested in a pilot project in the Kurgan oblast. The architecture of the territorial environmental monitoring system in the Kurgan oblast A considerable amount of information needed for the programs of environmental monitoring is provided by measuring various values and parameters at a large number of points throughout the oblast, as well as by sampling natural environments and natural sites, followed by laboratory analysis of samples. Most of these activities can be made automatic by setting up a special information and telecommunication system to collect measurement data obtained at a large number of points all over the oblast, to control the measurement process in a multi-point system, and to control sampling devices. The information and telecommunication system (ITS) includes:
- instrument stations of various purposes;
- information terminals;
- several specialized and one regional data-processing and analytical center interconnected by data communication links.
The core of the ITS is the regional data-processing and analytical center (see the diagram). Grouped in a radial telecommunication network around the regional data-processing and analytical center (RDAC) are specialized data-processing and analytical centers (SDAC) belonging to the Committee for Hydrometeorology, the Committee for Water Management, the Committee for Geology, the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Inspectorate, the State Committee for Forestry, etc. at the oblast level, and the information terminals of the local-area information and telecommunication systems (LITS). A LITS includes:
- instrument stations of various types and purposes;
- information terminals;
- a system of communication between the instrument stations and information terminals.
The local-area information and telecommunication systems are built in a radial circuit to provide for direct communication of information terminals with each instrument station.
An information terminal performs the following functions:
- collection and preliminary analysis of measurement data;
- control of transducers in accordance with the programs of environmental monitoring;
- control of automatic sampling devices in accordance with the programmes of environmental monitoring;
- communication between specialized and regional information and analytical centers and instruments throughout the oblast;
- identification of abnormal and hazardous situations in the human environment, and warning of such situations.
Instrument stations are the key element of information and measurement systems, as they obtain primary information required to fulfil environmental monitoring programs. Such stations can operate in the on-line and off-line modes and are divided into:
- stationary instrument sites;
- mobile or portable instrument stations;
- moving instrument stations.
By the object of observation, the instrument stations are divided into specialized stations for hydrometeorological/hydrological observations, air observations, water observations, vegetation observations, observation and monitoring of radiation. Instrument stations can be integrated into complexes to fulfill several functions, e.g. observation of air quality and vegetation. Information on remote sensing of the earth obtained with equipment installed on board earth satellites plays an important role. An analysis of the use of this kind of information in the system of environmental decision-making and for the purpose of ensuring environmental safety has shown its low efficiency due to the fact that it takes a long time before remote-sensing information obtained on board an earth satellite is delivered to a decision-maker at the oblast level. To eliminate this disadvantage, an off-line satellite data receiving station has been included in the territorial environmental monitoring system of the Kurgan oblast. A dedicated data processing system has been developed to handle remote-sensing data, which makes it possible not only to carry out data processing, but also to transform it into a mapping format in the form of thematic layers of the geoinformation system. To illustrate the actual operation of the territorial environmental monitoring system of the Kurgan oblast, we would like to present demonstration versions of the software that allow the following problems to be solved:
- distribution of various admixtures in the boundary layer of the atmosphere, taking into account the actually observed meteorological conditions;
- distribution of various admixtures in the geosystem of the Kurgan oblast and in the formation of a distributed source of surface water pollution in the case of the Tobol and Miass river basins;
- setting up an information system to monitor air emission in the city of Kurgan. On the whole, the first stage of establishing a territorial environmental monitoring system in the Kurgan oblast has been completed, which includes setting up a legal base for the system to operate, installing hardware and soft ware for the RDAC using hybrid technology, a telecommunication system to exchange data and messages at the federal and inter-oblast levels, as well as a telecommunication system to exchange data within the oblast.
Organization of a System of Impact Monitoring
Alina Fedorovskaya Urals State Institute of Regional Ecological Problems
The Russian Federation
Objective information is required on the current and projected
and quality of the environment, so that effective measures can
aiming to protect the environment and use natural resources in
The basis for this information is provided by environmental monitoring,
which should be understood as a permanently operating system of
of changes in the condition of natural environments, natural resources,
ecosystems; observation of anthropogenic sources and their impacts;
a system of assessment of the condition of the objects of observation
mentioned above, and projection of their changes.
A special place amongst subsystems included in this system belongs
monitoring related to the observation of industrial sites or individual
sources and their impacts, i.e. a system of impact monitoring
Such systems need to be established and developed, because environmental
protection measures often happen to be ineffective due to their
local scope and the lack of relevant information about specific
Also, the modern concept of investment policy requires that industrial enterprises be "environmentally attractive" to investors, whereas SIM should be regarded as a tool or method of environment management. SIM is a system of observation and evaluation of the current and projected technogenic impacts of anthropogenic sources on the condition of ecosystems and human health. SIM operates and develops to ensure reliable and early detection of deviations from allowable levels of pollution in the vicinity of an industrial site, so that management decisions can be taken thereafter to contain these deviations and mitigate, fully or to the maximum extent possible, their effects on the humans, the environment and the economy. Given the objective above, the principal tasks of SIM are as follows:
- observation of anthropogenic sources and levels of pollution of the natural environment in the area of technogenic impacts of industrial enterprises;
- detecting sources of pollution and areas of technogenic impact;
- quantitative and qualitative determination of the composition of the pollution in emissions (discharges) and natural environments in the area around an industrial site;
- assessment of the levels and scale of pollution of the objects of observation;
- monitoring changes in the levels of pollution of the objects of observation;
- assessment of the environmental and toxicological hazards resulting from pollution;
- determining the order of toxic agents forming part of the pollution in terms of the hazards they create;
- collecting, generalizing and passing on to interested authorities and agencies data on emissions (discharges) and on the condition of the environment and projection of its changes in the area where a particular enterprise is located.
To implement these tasks, SIM should include:
1. A measurement and observation network operating to collect primary information:
- on the sources of pollution;
- on the levels of pollution of the atmospheric air, soil, surface water, food products and drinking water;
- on the level of pollution and condition of ecosystems;
- on the state of health of human beings.
2. An information and analytical division operating to transmit, collect, store, generalize and present information. It should include:
- communication links;
- centers for collecting, processing, generalizing, storing and presenting information.
Information and analytical centers should be furnished with application software packages to create databases needed to solve various environmental problems, as well as with mathematical models to compute proliferation, migration and transformation of pollutants.
3. A control division operating to take prompt decisions in emergencies (such as adverse hydrometeorological conditions, accidents) and in long- term situations.
The proposed conceptual plan of monitoring provides for the upwards-going information flow, i.e. from sources of the environmental and hygienic conditions in the area of a technogenic impact, with the chain of subordination from top to bottom, i.e. the task of acquiring exhaustive information on the environmental and hygienic condition in the area of a technogenic impact of an industrial site dictates the need to organize observation of sources, levels of pollution, etc. in an appropriate manner. The tasks demand elaboration of adequate methodological approaches and criteria for their realization.
The top-priority task in identifying the pollution resulting from technogenic impacts of enterprises and assessing its scale is to find out and study the actual and potential sources of pollution. To standardize accounting, questionnaires need to be elaborated, with all the necessary data included, starting with the characteristics of the source, the type of pollutants, their qualitative and quantitative composition, details of migration and transformation in the environment. After all the documents necessary for making an inventory have been collected, software is developed.
The next stage involves surveying the area of the technogenic impact. The size of the area to be surveyed is determined approximately, based on the estimates of the possible distance of spreading of polluting air masses and waste water. Also surveyed is the degree of pollution of the soil, first and foremost around waste storage facilities. Samples are collected and analyzed to assess the quantitative and qualitative composition of the pollution of soil, water and air. The results of the analysis are used to evaluate the scale of pollution caused by the technogenic impact of enterprises. Evaluation of the scale of the pollution identified in the area around the source includes determining the size of the area with the established level of pollution, the intensity of the pollution and the speed with which the polluted area expands. The most difficult stage in setting up a monitoring system and the determinant factor in management decisions is the projection of changes in the state of the environment resulting from technogenic impacts. The projection of migration and transformation of pollutants in the air, soil and water is the most important part of the projection of quantitative changes in the environment in local areas. It depends both on the natural properties of the environment and on the physico-chemical properties of the pollutants. The models must be easy to use, without the need for large amounts of input data, they must include the main factors determining the environmental quality and yield sufficiently reliable results. The difficulty of choosing them is not due to the complexity of calculations, but rather to the lack of the required information. It is also import ant to include the assessment and projection of pollution in an emergency in the monitoring programs.
The ultimate objective of SIM is to assess the effects of emissions of harmful substances on humans and ecosystems. In this country, maximum allowable concentrations (MAC) and maximum allowable emissions (MAE) serve as environmental standards and criteria for assessing the effects on human health. The shortcomings of the MAC as a criterion are well-known. The MACs do not take into account the combined effects of several toxic agents and are only applied with respect to human beings (even when a maximum allowable concentration is applied to soil or a fish pond, it is oriented towards the human food chain). An assessment of impacts based on determining maximum allowable loadings deserves much attention. It is a set of values of environmental factors that do not cause valid changes in the human health indicators from the norm. The maximum allowable loadings are unique for each existing pollution complex and for each area of survey. In fact, Russia still does not have a system of monitoring the conditions of ecosystems, and the principles upon which it should be organized are largely to be the subject of future studies. Initially it seems expedient to build it on the basis of monitoring the diversity of species and the movement of seasonal succession, necessarily combined with information on dose loadings on the ecosystems, so that statistics could be used to obtain dose-effect relations. Certain components of the system have been developed for a concrete industrial site, the LuckoilPermnefteorgsintez Joint Stock Company. It is not "convenient" to test methodology on this enterprise as it is part of a conglomeration of enterprises concentrated within a limited area. It has been selected mostly because this facility is causing more problems than others, with its emissions accounting for some 50 percent of the total emissions in town. Besides, experimental materials have been accumulated after many years of observation of the environment in the area of technogenic impacts of the enterprise and assessment of effects on human health. The main steps included:
- a comprehensive survey of the sources and the area, including settlements located far away from the enterprise but affected by emissions;
- an inventory of the sources of pollution;
- development of the information base of monitoring;
- adaptation and development of software for simulation of migration and transformation of pollution;
- assessment of effects of pollution emissions on human health.
Actual and potential sources of pollution have been identified during the survey. The area and linear dimensions of sources of pollution, regime of emissions (discharges), the time the source began to function, the condition of the sewer system, and the time and number of emergency leakages have been determined. The qualitative and quantitative composition of emissions has been determined using calculations and experimental measurements. A computerized environmental information system called EIS Enterprise has been designed at the institute to standardize, systematize and process the primary data collected. All the key functions of environmental activities of the enterprise have been computerized, from collecting and accumulating initial data to producing reports, enterprise standards, on-line data and recommendations. During the development of the system, specifications have been elaborated, which include requirements for the system's structure and functions, types of support (mathematical and linguistic support, dataware, software). The EIS Enterprise includes the following functional subsystems with sets of standard computerization functions for activity packages: Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Wastes and Land, Economics. The key functions of the EIS Enterprise are:
- maintenance of data on the inventory of sources of air and water pollution;
- keeping records of wastes and their disposal sites;
- keeping records of monitoring environment pollution by the enterprise by primary accounting forms;
- producing documents of statistical reporting on emissions, discharges and wastes based on primary accounting data;
- producing standard documents (in- house draft standards for maximum allowable emissions, the enterprise's environmental passport);
- recording and checking the implementation of environmental measures;
- recording and monitoring violations of environmental standards;
- bookkeeping and calculating payments;
- presenting on-line data.
The technical assignment for the EIS Enterprise has been elaborated. Functions have been determined for each subsystem. The technical assignment contains requirements for the software and hardware. Further development of the system will involve:
- adding on new subsystems and expanding functions;
- developing a software package for the simulation of dissemination, migration and transformation of pollutants;
- a multi-user version of the system using network architecture;
- connection with sources of pollution using transducers, which is a pre requisite for a computerized monitoring system to be established at the enterprise level.
The comprehensive surveys have shown that:
- the level of pollution depends on a number of factors, such as particular production processes, design solutions, process equipment, the quality and culture of operating the installed plants;
- the qualitative and quantitative composition of emissions of pollutants is characterized by a significant contribution of organic compounds (up to 70 percent of the volume of emissions), followed by sulphur, carbon and nitrogen oxides, ammonia, hydrochloric acid, phenols, and others.
Data on total emissions and concentrations of organic compounds have been obtained by analyzing representative samples from sources of emissions, and by calculation.
Volatile organic compounds (VOC) account for a major part of the organic compounds. In view of the important role played by VOCs in the chemical processes in the atmosphere (production of ozone and peroxides, formation of acid rain), we have studied the activity of hydrocarbons - components of VOCs - which makes it possible to predict possible photochemical reactions of the VOCs. Later on, data on the volumes of the emissions, their qualitative and quantitative composition and VOC activity could be used in regional simulation of various photochemical processes. Determining the activity of hydrocarbons and their role in the production of ozone and in other photochemical processes through an experiment is a fairly complex task. This kind of research requires sophisticated equipment, samples of pure individual hydrocarbons, and instruments to determine the composition of the reaction mass. We have developed a qualitative approach to the evaluation of relative hydrocarbon activity in photochemical processes which requires no chemical experiment. The approach is based on the quantum chemical simulation method which consists in calculating hydrocarbon molecules. Calculations allowing projection of the geometry, energy and other properties of known and unknown molecules are often referred to as a new important technique of chemical research. The informative value of calculation techniques is much higher than that of experiments, as there is hardly any experimental technique that allows data to be obtained on the molecules' geometry, dipole moment, heat of formation, ionization potential, etc., all at one go. Of course, there is a certain limit to the validity of calculation results, yet the strong and the weak points of the common methods are known well enough to give a realistic estimate of their accuracy in determining various characteristics of molecules. Based on calculations, activity groups have been identified with respect to the HO- radical and, consequently, their ozone production potential. The activity series includes 25 of the more active hydrocarbons and is of the form 1- heptene > 1- butene > 1- octene > propene > ethene > 1- hexene > 1- pentene > butadiene- 1,3 > isobutane > styrene > cis- 2- pentene > pentadiene- 1,3 > methyl cyclopentane > cis- 2- butene > trans- 2- pentene > 2- methyl- 2- butene > isopentane > trans- 2- butene > butane > propane > ethylbenzene > toluene > m- xylene > p- xylene > o- xylene. The most active in the photochemical transformations are terminal alkenes whose contribution to the change of the ozone balance is, perhaps, the largest. The results we have obtained regarding the hydrocarbon activity in reactions with the HO- radical have been compared to the experimental data disclosed in the Note that has been presented by the U.K. delegation to the Executive Body of the Convention on Long- Range Transboundary Air Pollution. According to the Note, 10 hydrocarbons - toluene, ethene, m- xylene, p- xylene, 1,2,4- trimethylbenzene, n- butane, 2- butene, o- xylene, propene and isobutane - account for up to 50 percent of the ozone produced. The same study provides a calculation of the photochemical ozone production potential (POPP) for 58 compounds (of which 18 are hydrocarbons) according to the following formula:
According to calculations, the ten most active hydrocarbons include 4 polyalkylbenzenes (1,2,4- trimethylbenzene, 1,2,3- trimethylbenzene, m- xylene); 4 terminal alkenes (pentene- 1, propene, ethene, butene- 1); 2 alkenes with a double bond in the center of the molecule (butene- 2, pentene- 2). By the POPP value, hydrocarbons may be divided into groups: aromatic hydrocarbons (POPP ranging between 49.2 and 120.3), alkenes (64.0 to 105.3), alkanes (0.7 to 52.9). The POPP values change significantly with the geographical position of the source of emissions and with the insulation regime. Therefore, even an average POPP value may only characterize the activity of hydrocarbons as ozone producers in a quantitative way. Research has been conducted to assess the effects of the identified factors on human health in the area of the enterprise's technogenic impact. The findings of this research are the subject of a separate paper. Thus, the main objectives, tasks, and organizational principles of the system of impact monitoring were determined in the course of the studies. The following main stages could be identified:
- development of the SIM concept and strategy, as well as methodology of surveys;
- the survey of the industrial site and the area of its technogenic impacts;
- the development of dataware to provide for data processing and the storage and presentation of data in a usable form for decision-making and creating databases;
- the development of software to simulate the proliferation, migration and transformation of pollutants;
- assessment of technogenic effects on human health.
More research is needed to test all the elements of the concept, so that a technical assignment for a standard SIM design could be elaborated.
The paper describes the conceptual plan of developing a system of impact monitoring (SIM) as a system of observations and assessment of both current and projected technogenic impacts of anthropogenic sources on ecosystems and human health. The main objectives and tasks are determined as follows: observation of anthropogenic sources and levels of pollution of the natural environment in the area of the technogenic impacts; identification of the sources of pollution and the area of impacts; assessment of the level and scale of pollution; assessment of the environmental and toxicological hazards resulting from the pollution; setting up information systems and databases. Certain elements of the proposed concept have been tested at a concrete industrial site (a petrochemical concern) with a view to elaborating a technical assignment to develop a standard SIM design.
Last updated September 30, 1996 by Lorant Czaran