Qualitative risk assessment schemes using selected parameters for hillslope developments: A case study of Penang Island


Development of hilly areas requiring deforestation and increased human activities has raised many environmental issues in the world. This paper presents the results of investigation to assess the parameters that contribute to the risk to environment by reviewing available reports from Penang Island and surrounding areas. Nine parameters were identified that mostly contribute to the environmental risk. These are casualties of people, soil properties, earth coverage, soil grading characteristics, land use suitability, factor of safety, blasting area, distance between proposed structure to slope and geometry of slope. From these parameters, the rated risk approaches were proposed based on the prediction of occurrences of environmental issues. The rated risks were categorised from very high (5) to very low (1) with high, medium and low in between. The assessments were reviewed and evaluated based on rated risk for the chosen parameters. A map was developed identifying areas of environmental risk. The map can be used to quantify risk to the environment based on the parameters due to the proposed development. The overall result shows that areas PD3 of Tanjung Bungah and PD3, PD8 and PD9 of Paya Terubong have high-rated risk. No development area is classified as very high risk and very low-risk areas. These rating approaches can be used to develop potential risk zoning of proposed development areas. From this zoning guideline or standard, the viability of any proposed development can be measured. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

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