1st Edition

Environmental Impact Assessment
A Guide to Best Professional Practices





ISBN 9781439828731
Published March 2, 2011 by CRC Press
290 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations

USD $230.00

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Book Description

Under the best of circumstances, preparing an environmental impact assessment (EIA) can be a complex and challenging task. Experience indicates that the scope and quality of such analyses varies widely throughout the U.S. as well as internationally. Written to help practitioners and decision-makers apply best professional practices in the development of EIAs, Environmental Impact Assessment: A Guide to Best Professional Practices provides an in depth, yet practical direction for developing a defensible analysis that meets best professional practices.

The book describes preparation of five distinct types of assessments:

  • Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA)
  • Preparing Greenhouse Emission Assessments
  • Preparing Risk Assessments and Accident Analyses
  • Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and Environmental Justice
  • The International Environmental Impact Assessment Process Guiding Principles

To date, there is significant variation and disagreement about how such analyses should be prepared. The author introduces best professional practices (BPP) for preparing such EIAs that is intended to meet decision-making and regulatory expectations. He supplies a comprehensive and balanced skill set of tools, techniques, concepts, principles, and practices for preparing these assessments. He also includes directions for developing a comprehensive Environmental Management Systems which can be used to monitor and implement final decisions for such analyses. While the book references the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), most of this guidance is generally applicable to any international EIA process consistent with NEPA.

With thorough coverage of all aspects of assessments, the book presents a theoretical introduction to the subject as well as practical guidance. It delivers state-of-the-art tools, techniques, and approaches for resolving EIA problems.  

Table of Contents

Cumulative impact assessment
Definition of cumulative impact
Types of cumulative impacts
The scale problem: defining spatial and temporal boundaries
Determining the scoping of actions to evaluate
A five-step procedure for accessing cumulative impacts
Managing and performing a cumulative impact analysis
Resolving Eccleston’s cumulative impact paradox
Preparing NEPA programmatic analyses and tiering
Litigation and judicial review
Endnotes

Preparing greenhouse emission assessments: A synopsis of guidance and best professional practices
Brief summary of the science behind greenhouse warming
Summary of key NEPA court decisions involving climate change
Regulatory direction on considering greenhouse emissions
NEPA and GHG impacts considerations
Criteria useful in determining the need to evaluate
Best professional practices for performing GHG assessments
Method for evaluating climate change impacts
Considering cumulative GHG impacts
The cumulative impact paradox
Comparative summary of the SDP process
Summary
Endnotes

Preparing risk assessments and accident analyses
Definitions of risk
Risk assessment
Risk in decision making
Risk communications
Accident analyses
Endnotes

Social impact assessment and environmental justice
Defining SIA
Problems, authority, and conflicts in SIA
Preparing the SIA
Environmental justice
Summary
Endnotes

The international environmental impact assessment process
Comparison of NEPA with other EIA processes
Programmatic and strategic
Guidance for preparing programmatic NEPA assessments
Problems and limitations
Endnotes

Environmental management systems
The ISO 14000 standards
The environmental management system
The complementary benefits of integrating sustainability with a consolidated EIA/EMS
Constructing an integrated EIA/EMS/sustainable development process
Summary
Endnotes
Acronym List
Index

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Author(s)

Biography

Charles H. Eccleston is associated with the Nuclear Regulatory Agency and National Association of Environmental Professionals.