Term of Award

Summer 2015

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Engineering (M.S.A.E.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Anoop Desai

Committee Member 1

Barry Balleck

Committee Member 2

Aniruddha Mitra


In recent years, sustainable development has gained acceptance among scholars, businesses, governments and civil society. Sustainable development is seen as the convergence between the three pillars of economic development, social equity, and environmental protection. One instrument used to advance sustainable practices and advocate sound environmental management is an environmental impact assessment. In the oil and gas industry, a carbon extensive industry, sound environmental practices are paramount to its growth and success. The environmental impact assessment process is relatively new to Trinidad and Tobago with the oil and gas industry accounting for over 60 percent of submitted project proposals. Instead of the ‘develop now, minimize associated costs, and if forced to, clean up later’ model, this paper makes the case for an improved environmental impact assessment process in the oil and gas industry in Trinidad and Tobago. As a reaffirmation of Trinidad and Tobago’s commitment to sustainable development, loopholes in the environmental impact assessment process must be identified and closed. It is hoped that by addressing the issues plaguing the environmental impact assessment process in the oil and gas industry such as a lack of baseline data, the ease of access to data, conflicting environmental policies and a greater need for enforcement, that major gains will be attained for environmental management in the country.