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Common sense in environmental impact assessment: It is not as common as it should be

Ross, W.A., Morrison-Saunders, A. and Marshall, R. (2006) Common sense in environmental impact assessment: It is not as common as it should be. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 24 (1). pp. 3-22.

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Reviews of environmental impact assessment (EIA) practice, particularly by industrial proponents, have highlighted common shortfalls. EIA would benefit from more 'common sense', which is not very common. For example, issue scoping usually includes too many inconsequential factors, and issues not directly affecting project decisions. Consideration of significance is often vague, misleading or inconsistent. Quality of environmental impact statements (EISs) leaves much to be desired, with EIS documents of little use to stakeholders. EIA guidance is a possible solution but is not always focused or applied sensibly. While we suggest more effective signals from government EIA regulators to project proponents to overcome these difficulties, our primary intention is to evoke discussion and provoke practitioners to take up the fight to improve the quality and integrity of EIAs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Beech Tree Publishing
Copyright: © IAIA 2006
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