Earth Link and Advanced Resources Development s a. r L. (Elard) Submitted to: Council for Development and Reconstruction

Potential Impacts on Archeology and Cultural Heritage

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7.7Potential Impacts on Archeology and Cultural Heritage

In reference to the local archeology along in the Assessment Area, previous studies have been carried out to assess the archeological sensitivity in the Project affected areas via literature review and field surveys (Samir Rebeiz, 1997). Particular concern has been given to the Khalde and Shuweifat areas.

With the exception of the Khan Khlade ruins (Tell – archeological mound) located outside the Assessment Area, no archeological sensitivities are known to exist in the Project affected areas, whether rural or urban (Matgomery Watson, 1998). It is noted that Joun, Ouardaniyeh, Damour River, Hadath and Hazmieh lack archeological or historical interests.

Generally, direct and indirect impacts during Construction associated with the project on cultural heritage and archeological sites include construction works which require the physical excavation (blasting, site clearance, trenching etc.) causing potentially the demolition, alteration of or damage to archaeological resources, whether on surface or below-ground.

Given the absence of archeological evidence in the Assessment Area, Project-related impacts on the local archeology are considered Negligible (1A) of insignificant effect.

Due to the nature of the archeological evidence in Khalde, which could potentially indicate the existence of archeological ruins along the coastal strip, the following preventive measures are proposed:

  • Prepare a brochure to help crew members recognize any discovery of buried antiquities;

  • Direct reporting to local authorities in case of new findings during Construction and proper documentation of historic sites; ensure close coordination with the Directorate General of Antiquities (DGA).

7.8Potential Socio-Economic Impacts

Given the nature of the project which will improve the water supply across the Greater Beirut Area, it is generally envisaged that the overall social and economic impacts will be positive.

However, the project is likely to generate social and economic alterations during both construction and operational phases. These are estimated to be both of adverse and beneficial nature.

      1. Impacts From Construction Phase

During the construction phase, the major negative impacts on the socio-economic characteristics of the area would arise from:

  • Expropriation of land (land take);

  • Temporary nuisance from construction noise;

  • Temporary dust emissions; and

  • Temporary traffic and severance / disturbance of public rights-of-way and access to community resources and services.

Impacts from Land Expropriation

Expropriation for the project falls under two categories, 1) Full expropriation of land whereby surface structures are to be constructed and 2) establishment of right of way along lots whereby the tunnel is passing underneath.

With respect to the first category, major expropriation procedures have been completed by CDR to acquire the required surface areas and most of sites related to the surface structures have been taken over and land owners have been compensated for their land following the Lebanese expropriation law as illustrated in Appendix J.

Cadastral survey and lots identification are being carried out to prepare expropriation Decree files for the remaining lands with surface structures and those falling under categories 2.

The main impacts expected to arise from future expropriations of land falling under category 1 include permanent and irreversible loss of land and some loss of agricultural greenhouses (agricultural business).

Apart from minor agriculture businesses, there will be no loss of any kind of other businesses nor physical resettlement of people as was checked during the social field survey.

With respect to land falling under category 2, there will not be actual land take or disturbance of the surface land use. However, there will be restrictions applied to their lots depending on depth of tunnel beneath such as prohibition of placing deep foundation and prohibition of drilling wells.

The impact from land expropriation is considered Significant with a high likelihood of occurrence (4C).

Recommended mitigation measures to minimize the impacts include the following:

  • Consultation with potentially affected communities prior to expropriation procedures;

  • Fair and full compensation for land and other assets expropriated for the project in the public interest as stated in the Lebanese expropriation law.

  • Compensation to local farmers who lost their agricultural lands (loss of livelihood);

  • Preparation of a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) (ongoing) as per the World Bank standards. This aims at identifying the mitigation measures to be taken and specifies the legal and institutional framework responsibilities that, together, will ensure that all losses incurred by the taking of land are fully compensated and do not face any kind of diminution of livelihoods or assets.

By applying the above recommended measures, the impacts are reduced to a Medium likelihood of Moderate effect (3B).

Impacts from construction noise

Noise is generated by different sources during Construction. The most important sources are machinery, transport vehicles, and earthmoving equipment. Blasting activities (e.g. explosives) are also considered point sources for noise generation for this project due to the predominantly rocky ground features of the sites. Noise is considered an issue because of the impact that noise emissions have on the quality of life for members of the public living or working nearby.

The main sources of noise associated with the transportation activities include the delivery of primarily material. Typical noise levels associated with trucks are reported at 74 dB(A) according to the British Standard for Noise and Vibration Control on Construction and Operation Sites (BS5228:1997). These levels are normal in general construction sites (that can go up to 85-90 dB(A).

The noise impacts are considered temporary in nature. Typical sound level pressures recorded from various equipments at a construction site are illustrated in Table 7 -61 for indicative purposes.

Table 7 61 Typical Sound Pressure Levels Reported from Construction Equipment (BS5228:1997)




Earth Moving



Front Loaders / Bull Dozers








Caterpillar Graders




Dump Trucks




Material Handling

Concrete Mixer


Concrete Pumps











Noise levels of 85 to 90 dB(A) Leq would not be unusual close to the main activity areas. These levels would however fall to between 50 to 56 dB(A) at 500 meters from the work area based on previous experiences. Construction activities are likely to be confined to daytime and noise and the noise levels will only affect potential receptors for a relatively short time.

Noise impacts will arise through either noise and/or vibration changes or through exceeding allowable noise levels/limits. Different impacts may arise at the different resources and receptors, the impacts will therefore be considered on an individual basis.

Potential noise and vibration impacts during construction include:

  • Noise and vibration from activities carried out on the surface (including station works); and

  • Noise associated with off-site heavy vehicle and other type of heavy moving equipment that will be used to transport materials to construction sites and remove or relocate excess excavated material;

The likelihood for noise impacts to occur is High (C). With no control measures in place, the impacts associated with this activity will be of short-term duration and of Minor effect (2C) and will require mitigation.

The following measures can be considered in order to control and or minimize the noise impacts:

  • Fitting all machinery and vehicles effective exhaust silencers;

  • Maintaining all machinery and vehicles in good repair and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Limit the working hours when near sensitive sites (schools, residential units, , etc.);
  • Proper selection of equipment for the specific task considering the lowest sound power level;

  • Maintenance of equipment as not to create unnecessary noise owing to mechanical problems;

  • Operation of equipment in a manner considerate to the ambient noise background;

  • Avoidance of leaving equipment idling unnecessary;

  • Elimination of tonal, impulsive or low frequency noise through noise control engineering techniques where feasible (e.g. dampers, fitting of mufflers, etc.);

  • Provision of alternative methods if necessary (substituting hammering actions with hydraulics);

  • Provision by the Contractor of adequate buffer zone with sensitive populations in the Assessment Area; and

  • Mandatory use of noise plugs during noisy activities.

By adopting the above proposed mitigation measures (buffer zones), the noise impact is predicted to become Negligible and reversible (shutdown and elimination of noise sources). Accordingly the impact is foreseen to be Negligible (1B).

Impacts from dust emissions

The primary sources of dust generation would be related to construction and project handover activities. These sources include a combination of on-site excavation and civil works such as compaction, trenching and backfilling activities, contact of construction machinery with uncovered soil and exposure of bare soil and soil piles to wind. These activities are expected to result in the disturbance of surface soil hence increasing the atmospheric dust levels. Other sources of emissions may consist of exhaust from diesel engines of earth moving equipment, as well as from open burning of solid waste on-site. Impact from dust emissions were discussed in Section 1.1.3.

Impacts from Traffic during construction

Construction of the surface structure sites as well as the tunneling activities will require involvement of heavy traffic including machinery, labor transport buses and cars. These are expected to cause increase in traffic towards and from proposed sites of construction. This will have definitely an adverse impact on the local community living nearby the construction sites.

Having a measurable effect on the livelihood during the anticipated three years of construction and a High likelihood to occur, the impact from traffic during construction is rated as Significant (4C).

The following measures can be put in place in order to minimize the adverse effects:

  • Liaising with community and government by a dedicated resource in the field throughout the duration of the project (i.e. establishing a complaint register to document potential public complaints. The register should include 1) A description of the complaint; 2)Time and date; 3) Name, address and contact details of the person complained and 4) Actions taken to address the complaint with assigned timeframe for completion

  • Clearly identify the project footprint to avoid accidents during further development of the area particularly in the designated and construction sites.

  • Having a Traffic Management Plan (TMP);

  • Allowing only certified and trained drivers to carry out transportation related activities;

  • Having an Emergency Response Procedures in place; and

  • Having a maintenance program to all vehicles associated with construction activities.

By applying the above recommended measures, the impacts are reduced to a Medium likelihood of Moderate effect (3B).

Moreover during the construction phase, direct positive impacts are anticipated and include:

  • Creation of new job opportunities, purchasing of goods and supplies to serve the camp and logistic support could have indirect positive impacts on neighboring villages.

  • Support for development and growth in the region and Lebanon’s economy by creating opportunities for local businesses in the supply of goods and services; and

  • Creation of opportunities for local businesses in the supply of goods and services.

By creating job opportunities for locals during civil works, providing rental lodgings for laborers and catering services (selling of local products), anticipated impacts would be considered short-term yet Beneficial.
      1. Impacts From Operational Phase

The project is expected to bring overall benefits to the public through provision of sustainable water supply and proper distribution network. Villages along the tunnels will also benefit from the supplied water through designated points for connection to local distribution networks.

The existing wastewater infrastructure in Greater Beirut will be rehabilitated and improved to absorb the increased supply in water. About 187 km of network pipelines are to be installed and rehabilitated across Greater Beirut. Moreover, the additional supply expected to meet the City’s demand for the future will limit the exploitation and distribution of brackish water that was causing corrosion of deterioration of pipelines in regions suffering from seawater intrusion.

Other direct positive impacts can also be anticipated and these include creation of job opportunities for operational purposes such as the treatment plant and maintenance of the chambers and tunnel.

One of the main potential long-term negative impacts arising from the operational phase is related to noise generation at the Ouardaniye treatment plant and the designated pumping stations associated with the distribution network ion Greater Beirut.

The average noise level in the Ouardaniye WTW is 52dB(A), with maximum reaching up to 72dB(A) and minimum being 43dB(A). High values are mainly due to passing traffic, mosques' call for prayer, air traffic and the local Sibline Cement Factory which is nearby on the opposite side of the valley.

As for the pumping stations to be associated with water reservoirs, they are generally located in highly urbanized areas whereby baseline noise levels can reach up to 70 dB(A) or more depending on the type of on-going activities.

Being of high noise levels at baseline conditions, the above described areas are not expected to suffer from significant impact from noise generation. The impact is rather rated as Moderate (3C) with high Likelihood to occur.

To minimize additional noise generation at the mentioned sites, the following measures are proposed:

  • Fitting all equipment and pumps with effective exhaust silencers

  • Proper selection of pumps for the specific task considering the lowest sound power level; and,

  • Maintenance of pumping stations as not to create unnecessary noise owing to mechanical problems

  • Insulating generator rooms and engines.

By adopting the above proposed mitigation measures, the noise impact during operation is predicted to become Negligible (1B).

Another potential adverse impact is that of the retrieval of 3m3/s of water between Joun Lake and Joun HEP, which possibly affect other water uses and users in the area. This has been discussed earlier in Section 1.1.10

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