Environmental assessment is a specific approach aiming at integrating environment in project preparation: it helps the decision-maker make the right choices in terms of environmental issues. The environment is apprehended in a holistic manner, taking into account population, fauna, flora, natural habitats, sites and landscapes, material goods, climatic factors, ecological continuities, biological equilibrium, natural resources, soil, water, air, noise, natural spaces, agricultural, forestry, maritime and recreational areas, as well as interactions between these elements.
Environmental issues are part of the project design data, just as any other technical element. This approach consists in minimizing environmental impact, also in terms of basic project-related choices (project type, location, or even opportunities). This stage is essential and a prerequisite for any further action aiming at minimizing the environmental impact of our projects.
Environmental assessment involves numerous actors, in particular :
Water tables are protected in a redundant way: several steel and concrete protection structures isolate aquifers and water tables geologic layers from each other. The soil-protection technique used is the same as the one used when drilling groundwater wells. This is a mature process that has already been used for many years for boreholes, for whatever purposes.
A team of specialists is available to help us on a day-to-day basis. The hard work and know-how of our teams in terms of boreholes and drilling equipment, test and maintenance has made it possible to ensure the best possible conditions for the parts of the well drilled into aquifers, the protection of which is one of our main priorities.
In order to ascertain cement quality, we also use acoustic imaging to produce an image of the well.
The pressure in the coal seam has to be reduced in order for the gas to move away from the surface of coals: consequently, without pumping, no gas could be produced and forced toward the surface without control.
During test phases, the produced gas is burnt out of flares: However, the test phase is limited to the acquisition of the productivity data required for the development phase.
For prevention purposes, a gas detection system is implemented.
In collaboration with the georesources laboratory of Université de Lorraine (Géoressources de l’Université de Lorraine), we are going to experiment extremely accurate tools for the real-time detection and monitoring of the possible presence of methane in the subsoil, on the surface and in the atmosphere.