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Glossary

Ice-cap
A perennial cover of ice and snow over an extensive portion of the earth’s surface. The largest ice caps are those in Antarctica and Greenland. Arctic Ocean ice is seasonal and in motion, and is not considered an ice cap.

Immission
The reception of material, such as pollutants, by the environment and from any source.

Impact factor
Factor having power to produce alteration in an environmental system.

Impermeability
The property of a material or soil that does not allow, or allows only with great difficulty, the movement or passage of water.

Incineration
Incineration is the process of high-temperature combustion (between 850°C and 1200°C) in the presence of oxygen. Incineration is utilized to destroy waste and the hazardous constituents thereof. Combustion of waste facilitates: – Conversion of waste into energy: 1 kg of municipal waste produces 600 Wh – Reduction of the volume of waste (by 90% of the initial volume) Incineration allows the complete destruction of hazardous organic substances (ex. PCBs, dioxins, halogenated organic compounds, solvents, etc.). Combustion exhaust gases are then treated and purified in a special section of the kiln itself (See also: flue gas purification).

Incinerator
A furnace, boiler, kiln, etc., for burning waste under controlled conditions.

Independent
As used in the oil industry, usually refers to a nonintegrated producing company. The integrated company usually operates production, transportation, refining, and marketing facilities. Generally, the independent producer has operations only in the field of petroleum production.

Index fossil
Index fossils are commonly found fossils that are limited in time span. They help in dating other fossils. For example: trilobites were common during the Paleozoic, but not found before the Cambrian period. Ammonites were common during the Mesozoic Era, but not found after the Cretaceous period. Another example: the oldest-known ostracods (tiny freshwater and marine crustaceans (see)) are from the Cambrian period; they became widespread during the Ordovician and remain so.

Indoor air pollution
Chemical, biological and physical contamination of indoor air. It may result in adverse health effects. In developing countries, the main source of indoor air pollution is biomass smoke which contains suspended particulate matter (SPM), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In industrialized countries, in addition to NO2, CO, and formaldehyde, radon, asbestos, mercury, human-made mineral fibres, volatile organic compounds, allergens, tobacco smoke, bacteria and viruses are the main contributors to indoor air pollution. (source: United Nations Statistics Division)

Industrial discharge
Materials discharged from industrial operations or derived from manufacturing processes. Such unwanted materials are categorized under a variety of headings, such as liquid wastes, sludge, solid wastes, and hazardous wastes.

Industrial gas customer
The industrial customer is generally defined as manufacturing, construction, mining, agriculture, fishing and forestry establishments, Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes 01-39. The utility may classify industrial service using the SIC codes, or based on demand or annual usage exceeding some specified limit. The limit may be set by the utility based on the rate schedule of the utility.

Inert
A material having no biological action.

Infiltration
Movement of water from the ground surface into the soil or rock through joints and pores.

Injection well
A well into which fluids have been pumped, and from which fluids have been injected into an underground stratum to increase or maintain reservoir pressure.

Inorganic substance
Substances in which carbon-to-carbon bonds are absent. Mineral matter.

Insecticides
Pesticides (see) toxic used to destroy or repel insects.

Insulator
Insulators sit between the conductor and the pole to prevent electricity ‘leaking’ to the ground, or to other power lines. They are made of glass, porcelain or polymers.

Integral reserve
Area generally subject to specific environmental disposals in order to preserve plant and animal species living therein.

Intensive farming
Farming characterised by high input use and that strives for maximum production, often at the expense of environmental considerations. (Source: European Environment Agency)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) established in 1957 as an autonomous organization under the United Nations, serves as the world’s foremost intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology.

International convention on civil liability for oil pollution damage (1969)
The objectives of the Convention are to “ensure that adequate compensation is available to persons who suffer damage caused by pollution resulting from the escape or discharge of oil from ships” and to “standardize international rules and procedures for determining questions of liability and adequate compensation in such areas.”

International Energy Agency (IEA)
The International Energy Agency (IEA), based in Paris, is an autonomous agency linked with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The IEA is the energy forum for 25 member countries whose governments have agreed to share energy information, coordinate their energy policies, and cooperate in the development of rational energy programmes.

International Maritime Organization (IMO)
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations’ specialized agency responsible for improving maritime safety and preventing pollution from ships.

Interruptible demand customer
The magnitude of customer demand that, in accordance with contractual arrangements, can be interrupted by direct control of the system operator, remote tripping, or by action of the customer at the direct request of the system operator.

Interruptible gas
Gas sold to customers with a provision that permits curtailment or cessation of service at the discretion of the supplier under certain circumstances, as specified in the service contract.

Interstices
The openings or pore spaces in a rock, soil, and other such material. In the Zone of Saturation they are filled with water. Synonymous with Void or Pore.

Interstitial
Referring to the Interstices (see) or pore spaces in rock, soil, or other material subject to filling by water.

Invertebrates
Usually defined as animals without backbones, invertebrates make up the vast majority of all animal species. Only fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals are not invertebrates. Insects, spiders, worms, slaters and many marine creatures such as corals, sponges and jellyfish are examples of invertebrates.

Ionizing radiation
Ionizing radiation is radiation with enough energy so that during an interaction with an atom, it can remove tightly bound electrons from their orbits, causing the atom to become charged or ionized. Examples are gamma rays and neutrons.

Ions
Atom with an unbalanced electrical charge caused by the loss or gain of one or more electrons.

Iron metallurgy or steel industry
Branch of metallurgy which deals with the industrial production and manufacturing of iron and its metallic products (as steel and cast iron) from minerals.

ISO (International Standards Organization)
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from more than 140 countries, one from each country. ISO is a non-governmental organization established in 1947. The mission of ISO is to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity. ISO’s work results in international agreements which are published as International Standards.

ISO 14000
ISO 14000 The ISO 14000 series is a family of environmental management standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The ISO 14000 standards are designed to provide an internationally-recognized framework for environmental management, measurement, evaluation and auditing. They do not prescribe environmental performance targets, but instead provide organizations with the tools to assess and control the environmental impact of their activities, products or services. The standards address the following subjects: environmental management systems; environmental auditing; environmental labels and declarations; environmental performance evaluation; and life cycle assessment.

Isomerization
In the production of gasoline, a process by which straight chain hydrocarbons are converted into branched chain hydrocarbons.

Isomers
A chemical species with the same number and types of atoms as another chemical species, but possessing different properties. There are structural isomers, geometric isomers, optical isomers, and stereoisomers.

Isopentane
A hydrocarbon of the paraffin series having a chemical formula of C5H12 and having its carbon atoms branched.

Isopleth
General term for a line connecting points of equal value of some quantity. Isobars, isotherms, etc. all are examples of isopleths.

Isoprene (UNIT)
Isoprene (2-methylbutane) is a five-carbon saturated hydrocarbon that forms the basic building block for many plant products (e.g., natural rubber, resin). It is the fundamental unit for the synthesis of many of the biological markers including isoprenoids, terpanes and steranes.

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