Module 7


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Problems with the Environmental Impact
Assessment Process

Source: Adapted from Brown, L. and McDonald, G. (1995) From Environmental Impact Assessment to Environmental Design and Planning, Australian Journal of Environmental Management, 2 (2).

  • Ineffective in terms of the net improvements to environmental outcomes

  • Procedurally inefficient with excessive costs and delays

  • Based on inadequate scientific validity, particularly in terms of prediction and evaluation of project-induced changes

  • Reactive, rather than being anticipatory, preventive and proactive on proposals

  • Unsuited to dealing with cumulative effects of activities and decisions

  • Often inadequate in terms of public involvement in the process and not seen to be independent

  • The focus of the process on one EIS precludes consideration of the cumulative effect of past and future planning decisions.