March 24, 2005
Slide Show 7
Environmental Impact Assessment.
Environmental Impact Report
Draft of… (as opposed to final)
The first meeting of the principals involved with the EIA(head of group,
funding people, etc) New to U.S. Is important because you find out your budget and how
extensive your report will be.
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
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
(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 said 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.
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%.
Sulfur in air + water = sulfuric acid, powerful acid =
acid rain = problem in the NE U.S.
Acid rain changes the 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 Phs down to 4 or 3.
rain goes into soil and lakes- has great affect on plants and animals.