Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

Living Edition
| Editors: Peter Bobrowsky, Brian Marker

Environmental Assessment

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-12127-7_111-1

Definition

A process for considering the environmental effects of a project on a par with the projects’ technical and economic feasibility (Scheuer 2005; EPA 2016)

Characteristics

The environmental assessment process was explicit in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) enacted by the US Congress in 1969 and signed into law on January 1, 1970. The purposes of NEPA were declared to include:

To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and the biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and the natural resources important to the Nation…. Sec. 2 [42USC § 4321] (EPA 2016)

Similar provisions to assess developmental measures for their impact on the environment have since been adopted in many other countries. In 1973, the European Union initiated efforts to provide a framework...

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References

  1. AEP (2014) California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) statues and guidelines. Association of Environmental Professionals, Palm Springs. http://resources.ca.gov/ceqa/docs/2014_CEQA_Statutes_and_Guidelines.pdf. Accessed 31 Aug 2017
  2. Caltrans (2014a) Ferguson slide permanent restoration project. Final environmental impact report/Environmental impact statement. California Department of Transportation Project ID 10-0000—0198. Available http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist10/environmental/projects/fergusonslide/doc/Ferguson Jan2014.pdf. Accessed 31 Aug 2017
  3. Caltrans (2014b) Ferguson slide permanent restoration project. Record of decision. California Department of Transportation. Available http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist10/environmental/projects/fergusonslide/doc/ROD.pdf. Accessed 31 Aug 2017
  4. CEQ (2007) A citizen’s guide to NEPA. Council on Environmental Council on Environmental Quality, Washington, DC. https://ceq.doe.gov/get-involved/citizens_guide_to_nepa.html. Accessed 31 Aug 2017
  5. CNRA (2016) Frequently asked questions about CEQA. California Natural Resources Agency, Sacramento. http://resources.ca.gov/ceqa/more/faq.html. Accessed 31 Aug 2017
  6. De Graff JV, Gallegos AJ, Reid ME, LaHusen RG, Denlinger RP (2015) Using modeling and monitoring to define the hazard posed by the reactivated Ferguson rock slide, Merced Canyon, California. Nat Hazards 76(2):769–789CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. EPA (2016) National environmental policy act. Council on Environmental Quality with Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-national-environmental-policy-act. Accessed 31 Aug 2017
  8. Harp EL, Reid ME, Godt JW, DeGraff JV, Gallegos AJ (2008) Ferguson rock slide buries California Highway near Yosemite National Park. Landslides 5:331–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Milner AMA, Malmsheimer RW, Keele DM, Mortimer RJ (2010) Twenty years of forest service National Environmental Policy Act litigation. Environ Pract 12:116–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. NEPA (2017) Legal, Jamaica matters. National Environment and Planning Agency, Kingston, Jamaica. http://nepa.gov.jm/new/legal_matters/legal_framework/laws_regs.php. Accessed 31 Aug 2017
  11. Scheuer S (2005) Executive summary. In: EU environmental policy handbook. A critical analysis of EU environmental legislation. Making it accessible to environmentalists and decision makers. European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Brussels. http://www.wecf.eu/cms/download/2004-2005/EEB_Book.pdf. Accessed 31 Aug 2017
  12. Scottish Government (2017) Environmental assessment. In: Scottish government. http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Environment. Accessed 31 Aug 2017

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Science and Mathematics, Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesCalifornia State UniversityFresnoUSA