Environmental Impact Assessment: Process and Procedures
This course provides an overview of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and the processes and procedures that guide environmental impact assessments in New York State, New York City, and other jurisdictions. Environmental impact assessment has become an important environmental planning tool and aids decision-makers with regard to mitigating the environmental impact of projects and policies and provides critical information to guide decisions about whether some projects and policies should be rejected. Examples of ways in which the EIA process can aid decision-makers include providing quantitative estimates or qualitative descriptions of the impact of a highway expansion project on air quality, the impact of constructing a dam on an endangered species, the impact of a construction project on noise pollution, and the implications of siting a waste management facility for minority communities and vulnerable populations.
As part of this course students will obtain essential skills to understand, critically read and evaluate, review and begin to conduct impact assessments and to balance and integrate environmental, social and economic needs. Elements of existing EISs are evaluated in major substantive areas such as water, natural resources, energy, transportation, noise, air pollution, and environmental and social justice.