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Testing an ex-ante framework for the evaluation of impact assessment laws: Lessons from Canada and Brazil
Environmental Impact Assessment Review ( IF 3.749 ) Pub Date : 2019-12-15 , DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2019.106355
Alberto Fonseca; Robert B. Gibson

Scholars have been increasingly investigating legislative changes in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). However, most of the existing evaluation frameworks have been applied to ex-post scenarios, after EIA laws and respective policies and regulations had been implemented for some time. This article has a twofold objective: first, to propose an ex-ante framework for the evaluation of proposed EIA laws and, second, to test the application of the framework to bills C-69 and PL-3729, which target federal-level EIA reform in Canada and Brazil, respectively. The proposed framework is meant to indicate the extent to which proposed legislative changes meet 50 good practice criteria, thus providing a more balanced and transparent account of the issues that should be addressed effectively in the legislative process and in future regulations and guidelines. Results indicate very contrasting scope and potential effects of proposed legislative changes in the two countries. Brazil's bill is essentially intended to integrate existing regulations into a law that would make EIA faster, simpler and less frequent. Canada's bill, recently approved by Parliament, includes a new Impact Assessment Act that is expected to deliver more comprehensive and credible assessments. The ex-ante framework, by exposing how close or distant proposed EIA regimes are from good practices, can be particularly helpful in lawmaking and regulatory design. The article finally discusses limitations and highlights future avenues of research.
更新日期:2019-12-17

 

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