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Environment statement aims for balance

A PROJECT which started out to provide engineers with briefing notes on aspects of the environment has developed into a growing suite of ICE environmental policy statements.

Seven have been published. Four more are currently being developed. So far the EPSs have been circulated only to a relatively small section of the membership, but now the ICE is keen to broaden this.

'We believe that they are impartial and independent, but we do need a response from the membership,' emphasised vice president David Cawthra. 'It is vital that the Institution speaks with confidence on the environment.'

Environment and sustainability board chairman Peter Braithwaite added: 'We have tried to produce balanced statements based on sound engineering.'

A response is needed to ensure that the statements accurately represent the general view of the profession, rather than simply reflect the particular enthusiasms of those active on the boards and committees that developed them. They are intended to reflect concerns within the UK but 'embody value and principles' with international relevance.

But a consensus view may not be possible.

Judging by the contrary views expressed in the letters columns of NCE over the past two issues about the use of Lottery funds to insulate Stonehenge from the A303, the environment remains a highly contentious subject.

The first seven EPSs are: civil engineers and the environment (see right); coastal management; contaminated land; energy use in buildings; transport; waste management; and water resources. ICE's energy board is developing documents on: wind energy; renewable energy; wave energy; and nuclear energy.

The environment and sustainability board has also identified as 'areas for action': urban regeneration; land use, planning and housing; post- Kyoto energy strategy; and land use planning and reducing the need to travel.

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