Implementation of Environmental Management Systems in the Extraction of Construction Aggregates from Gravel Pit Lakes (Report)

Implementation of Environmental Management Systems in the Extraction of Construction Aggregates from Gravel Pit Lakes (Report) Summary

INTRODUCTION Mining operations are strategic and essential industrial activities on which the economy of several countries is based (19), (20); however a significant counterpart of the great socio-economical relevance of the mining sector is its often conflictual relationship with local communities and governmental bodies due to the concerns regarding its impacts upon the environment (1). Even if mining activities are not widespread as other land uses, their location on the territory is a consequence of the presence of geologically fixed mineral deposits which can be exploited and therefore the interaction with ecologically sensitive areas can often not be avoided by selecting alternative sites by means of a preventive adequate planning (1), (11); mines are usually located in sites of relatively undisturbed and close-to-nature conditions, increasing the perception of these human activities as an element of intrusion and alteration of the baseline scenario and, therefore, as a cause of relevant environmental impacts. Furthermore, mining disasters with several casualties occurred in the past have raised the perception in the public opinion of mining being an high risk activity for environment, workers and public health: Pressure groups, including some nongovernmental organizations, are drawing international attention to environmental incidents and in several sites local communities protest against and impede or even shut down mines (18).



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