Leopold Matrix and Risk Matrix Used in the Management of Environmental Impact

By Neacsu, Gabriela; Daneci-Patrau, Daniel | Economics, Management and Financial Markets, December 2014 | Go to article overview

Leopold Matrix and Risk Matrix Used in the Management of Environmental Impact


Neacsu, Gabriela, Daneci-Patrau, Daniel, Economics, Management and Financial Markets


1. Introduction

The study aims to provide a method for analyzing the impact of the industrial activity on the environment. The Leopold Matrix is one of the most known interaction matrices. The advantage of the method is that it globally presents the action of the anthropogenic factors on the environmental factors. The effectiveness of this method is better highlighted in combination with other methods that study the impact on the environment such as: the analysis of the pollutants' dispersion in the atmosphere and of the maximum soil concentration, the Rojanschi method for determining the degree of pollution in an area by calculating the global index of pollution.

Popescu (2007, 72) shows that generally "the impact matrix represents a double entry corresponding table which allows the unitary graphical view of the relations between the different categories of elements which interfere in an assessment process of the impact on the environment." The environmental components, analyzed and grouped into categories will be represented in rows, and the activities that have been decomposed into elementary actions will be represented in columns. The vertical axis which represents a checklist contains ambient elements which highlight the environmental components and describe the concerned territory.

At the intersection of the rows and columns, the potential impacts must be noted. If there is a possibility for an impact to emerge, graphic or alphanumeric symbols that indicate its presence, its intensity or its importance, or the index of probability for an impact to occur, are written in the respective cell. The symbols significance depends on the character of the method used and on the nature of the desired results.

One of the most known interaction matrices is the Leopold Matrix, which identifies 100 horizontally arranged actions with 88 vertically indicated effects, thus resulting 8.800 cells which include the possible interactions between the actions and the effects observed in each of the cases. The method suggests that in each of the cells corresponding to these positions, a diagonal must be drawn, so that different information could be presented, concerning: the observed interaction amplitude and the importance of this interaction. In any case, this information can be quantified from 1 to 10 so that it should provide from the very beginning a first quantitative evaluation, followed by the qualitative one.

The text that accompanies the matrix must take up the signification of the actions that generate the most significant impacts, their causes and the measures for reducing the effects. One of the shortcomings of this matrix is the absence of a structural parallelism and of a balance between the factors involved, as well as the fact that it is not selective and not orientated to the interests of the users.

In the present study, a form of the Leopold matrix was conducted, where the main types of activities specific to each industrial agent and their common actions resulting from environmental effects have been registered in columns (Neacçu, 2012a, 217). Those environmental elements which have a direct connection with the agents involved in the study and who they influence are selected in rows.

Increasing the contribution of each economic agent, of each working group the general economic development depends both on the knowledge of natural resources and on the promotion of programs for a more efficient use of these resources. For this purpose, the elements that determine the natural factor quality should be mentioned and analyzed, independently and in correlation: the physical and mental characteristics of the performers, labour protection and safety, working conditions, time of effort and social relations (Däneci-Patrau, 2014).

2. Materials and Methods

The activities that followed and, at the same time, made the application of these two matrices possible can be summed as follows:

- The demarcation of the studied area, stage in which a map of the area of South-East Dobrogea was realized. …

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