Environmental impact assessment: Between bureaucratic process and social learning

Yaakov Garb, Miriam Manon, Deike Peters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a relatively new tool for decision making involving a standardized set of procedures designed to evaluate the prospective impacts a planned measure will have on the natural environment, and by extension, on human health. An EIA does not, however, relieve public policy and lawmakers from the duty of (pre-)determining at which point prospective impacts should be deemed too great to justify a particular project. EIA processes are typically located at the center of the most contentious public policy decisions, involving diffi cult trade offs between nature, society and economy. For example, do the projected time savings from a new highway justify routing it through a nature preserve where it will disrupt the habitat of several rare and endangered species? What are the cumulative traffi c and pertaining pollution impacts from a new shopping mall, and do the people in the immediate vicinity have to tolerate these negative effects for the economic benefi t of the city as a whole? What kind of preventive measures are needed before the new airport runway becomes acceptable to the surrounding neighborhoods? The results of EIAs are often challenged in court and, even if this is not the case, EIAs still often provide starting points rather than fi nal answers or solutions to contentious public policy debates.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Public Policy Analysis
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Politics, and Methods
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781351564373
ISBN (Print)1574445618, 9781574445619
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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