Tuesday, 17 May 2011

EU Environmental Liability Directive: How FIND Maps can help you

For UK businesses and environmental companies, recently introduced laws present challenges and opportunities; are you aware of how these could impact you?

EU Environmental Liability Directive into the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009 creates a code of strict liability for pollution incidents and means that the concept of the ‘polluter pays’ is enshrined in UK Law. Unlike other EU countries Environmental Insurance is not compulsory under UK legislation.

One leading Environmental insurance professional likened this situation to a ‘business wandering blind into a potential minefield, with potential catastrophic exposure of the company’s Balance Sheet’; many companies are simply not aware or closing their eyes to the potential liability.

The legislation places new burdens on businesses to report environmental incidents, damage or potential damage and places burdens on any company that conduct activities that could impact on the ecosystem. Various headings of ‘environmental damage’ have been created, such as:
  • Damage to Land, Surface or Groundwater
  • Impact on Sites of Special Scientific Interest
  • Impact on Protected Species
  • Impact on Natural Habitats
Each heading applies different methodologies for assessing the level of damage and hence the amount the polluter must pay. The unfortunate news for both industry and the authorities is that the determination of environmental damage will involve extensive testing by qualified technicians, requirements for extensive datasets, which will come at a financial cost.

Therefore the requirement for many businesses, environmental responders and consultants to have available the most up to date and readily available geo-information is imperative.

The more rapidly the information can be compiled, the more effective the containment plan and the more the damage or impacts can be limited.

FIND Maps is ideally placed to assist a range of organisations fulfil and be fully aware of their potential liabilities under this new legislation:
  1. Environmental Contractors
  2. Businesses required to prepare environmental response plans
  3. Environmental lawyers
  4. Environmental Insurance Adjusters, Underwriters
Our extensive array of Environmental, Land Use, Hydrological and Geological datasets are instantly available online for either viewing or printing.

They can be quickly relayed to response crews, aiding the formulation of the containment plan. The data can then be used to formulate the Remediation plan.

New options are being developed by our in-house team to provide increasingly cost effective solutions to aid our clients and business partners to address their Geo-data requirements.

FIND Maps is a leading provider of Online Environment Agency, BGS, OS and other data sources. We are the only company that has an extensive array of BGS and Environmental Agency datasets immediately available.

In a spill response situation this information is invaluable and has the potential to save our clients many £ ‘000’s by being able to compile Geo-Data in a rapid manner.

Contained below is a montage of some of the datasets available from our website that can be compiled into a rapid response report.

More information on above maps and data

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Unleashing the potential of the PSMA

For fans of acronyms, the PSMA (Public Sector Mapping Agreement) replaces the old PGA, MSA and GLA. This initiative gives public bodies access to Ordnance Survey maps and address data for free.

Annotate maps with text and drawn areas.  Such as, clearly showing the impact of a new supermarket development on local residents
Over 750 organisations will benefit, including community, parish and local councils, the emergency services, health authorities, development agencies, environmental organisations, local authorities and government departments.

Use arrows to highlight important areas and features or mark roads over OS maps.
Such as, show areas most effected by a fire and roads that may need closing
PSMA maps and data can be used for a vast array of purposes including mapping and managing assets, strategic decision making and much more. Ten different OS products are available under the scheme. Importantly, this list features the OS MasterMap® Topography Layer which is the most detailed mapping available for Great Britain. To get started qualifying organisations just need to fill in a form on the Ordnance Survey website.

However, in order to put this free data to work you will need technical services and tools – and that’s where FIND comes in. We can manage all updates and deliver data via a customised web portal, including a set of high quality mapping tools or provide WMS/WFS feeds to your own applications.

Find out more about the PSMA and FIND
Use a demonstration of FIND’s technology on our free mapping portal for the general public