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The science of assessment : identifying and predicting environmental impacts

Baker, Douglas C. & Rapaport, Eric (2005) The science of assessment : identifying and predicting environmental impacts. In Hanna, Kevin S. (Ed.) Environmental Impact Assessment : Practice and Participation. Oxford University Press, Ontario, pp. 33-52.

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Abstract

The historical challenge of environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been to predict project-based impacts accurately. Both EIA legislation and the practice of EIA have evolved over the last three decades in Canada, and the development of the discipline and science of environmental assessment has improved how we apply environmental assessment to complex projects. The practice of environmental assessment integrates the social and natural sciences and relies on an eclectic knowledge base from a wide range of sources. EIA methods and tools provide a means to structure and integrate knowledge in order to evaluate and predict environmental impacts.-----

This Chapter will provide a brief overview of how impacts are identified and predicted. How do we determine what aspect of the natural and social environment will be affected when a mine is excavated? How does the practitioner determine the range of potential impacts, assess whether they are significant, and predict the consequences? There are no standard answers to these questions, but there are established methods to provide a foundation for scoping and predicting the potential impacts of a project.-----

Of course, the community and publics play an important role in this process, and this will be discussed in subsequent chapters. In the first part of this chapter, we will deal with impact identification, which involves appplying scoping to critical issues and determining impact significance, baseline ecosystem evaluation techniques, and how to communicate environmental impacts. In the second part of the chapter, we discuss the prediction of impacts in relation to the complexity of the environment, ecological risk assessment, and modelling.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 25807
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
ISBN: 9780195419283
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Impact Assessment (050204)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Oxford University Press
Deposited On: 18 Jun 2009 15:16
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:11

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