March 24, 2005
Slide Show 7
Environmental Impact Assessment. (Sometimes called EA’s)
Environmental Impact Report
Draft of… (as opposed to final)
The first meeting of the principals involved with the EIA. Head of the group
that will do the EIA, etc. People that control the funds. For many years, we didn’t have
scoping in the U.S. This is important because you find out your budget and how
extensive your report will be, based on funding and area you will be conducting it.
Study done of pollution in the Antarctic: by the 13 countries that theoretically own parts
of the Antarctic.
History of the EIA: In the 1960’s 1) The Vietnam war was going on. Many protests,
especially by college students. 2) Those same students became interested in the
environment and they began exploring the impacts of pollution on the environment. The
EPA (environmental protection agency) was established in 1969, and this in turn led to
the beginning of the EIA studies. They were conducted by large engineering companies,
and the studies usually took about 3-6 months. Over time, The EIAs grew longer and
longer, so the EPA had to step in and say that they couldn’t be longer than 150 pages.
Different people paid for the studies- oil companies, governments, etc. The bad thing is
that for the first 6ish years, it was engineers that were doing all of the studies, so the
reports were very poor in quality, except for the engineering parts. Finally as time went
on, they hired more people and built up groups of experts. PURPOSE of EIAs: Permit
development in an environmentally sound manner. Minimize environmental, social, and
economic impacts. EIAs are still sometimes done by large engineering companies. They
do projects like.
. helping to plan the building of a dam.
Steps involved in Producing an EIA:
1) Identify the Environmental, economic and social changes that are likely to occur
because of the development. Engineering plans, biology of area, etc. Take
everything into account. This takes a long time to do.
2) See Slides 32 & 33 for sub-categories of 3 impacts (economic, social,
Nitrogen oxides of different kinds. No2, etc. More than 50% of these come from
cars. Also come from industries, etc.
Sulfer Dioxide, SO2:
Most comes from power-generating plants. Comes from the coal—
lots on the East coast. ‘Clean coal’ has about 2% sulfur, but ‘dirty coal’ has about 10%.
If the sulfur is in the air and it mixes with water, it forms sulfuric acid, which is one of
the most powerful acids known. The result of this is acid rain, which is a big problem in
the Northeastern U.S. The acid rain changes te PH of lakes over many decades. Natural
rainfall has a Ph of about 5—slightly acidic, not neutral. But with acid rain, you can get