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How does stakeholder involvement affect environmental impact assessment?
Environmental Impact Assessment Review ( IF 3.749 ) Pub Date : 2019-09-07 , DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2019.106309
Nicola Ulibarri, Tyler A. Scott, Omar Perez-Figueroa

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) processes are grounded on the assumption that producing information about environmental impacts will yield better environmental decisions. Despite the ubiquity of EIA as a policy tool, there is scant evidence of its environmental, social, or economic impacts. Focusing on Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) prepared for water and energy-related projects under the US National Environmental Policy Act, this analysis addresses two questions: (1) What is the balance of environmental impacts associated with infrastructure decisions?; and (2) How does the content of stakeholder feedback received during the review phase differ from draft EIS content, and does this correspond to any changes in the final EIS? We demonstrate the use of automated text mining approaches to identify the distribution of impacts, measure the content of public comments, and observe whether values reflected in comments are associated with a shift in emphases between the draft and final EIS. EISs are shown to convey evenly distributed focus across multiple impact areas. However, we observe no substantive change in focal emphasis between draft and final issuances. This calls into question assumptions about the role that public participation plays in bringing new information to light or changing the course of action.
更新日期:2019-09-07

 

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