Integrating health impact assessment with legally required environmental impact assessment processes: An analysis of effectiveness considerations

Ann Al-Bahish, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

This case comparison study analyzed twenty-eight (28) health impact assessments (HIAs) of oil and gas, mining, transportation, land use, pollution remediation and other major projects performed in conjunction with legally mandated environmental impact assessments to determine which factors contributed to agencies’ adoption of public health mitigation measures. Fifteen HIA cases with demonstrated agency decision impact were compared qualitatively with thirteen cases demonstrating no such impact. Additionally, judicial cases involving public health related legal challenges to environmental impact assessments were also analyzed to identify factors predictive of agency decision impact. ^ Five factors were predictive: (1) the nature of the project assessed, (2) early integration of the HIA in the environmental impact assessment process, (3) the presence of environmental justice and/or tribal impacts, (4) stakeholder input and support, and (5) supportive controlling law. Legal constraints and an unclear causal relationship between the project impacts and the assessed health effects negatively impacted the adoption of HIA recommendations by an assessing agency. Broad public health measures, like living wage ordinances, job training programs, and various types of public health monitoring plans, were not typically adopted by agencies.^

Subject Area

Environmental health|Public health|Public policy

Recommended Citation

Al-Bahish, Ann, "Integrating health impact assessment with legally required environmental impact assessment processes: An analysis of effectiveness considerations" (2016). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10126674.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI10126674

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