Networks There are organizations and publications throughout the world dealing with problems related to environmental impact assessment. One of the o...

307KB Sizes 1 Downloads 6 Views


There are organizations and publications throughout the world dealing with problems related to environmental impact assessment. One of the objectives of the Review is to call attention to these.

Following a planning conference in May 1978, attended by experts from nine nations, the project initiated the following collaborative research activities dealing generally with the assessment process:

Organizations East-West Environment and Policy Institute The East-West Environment and Policy Institute (EAPI) was organized in October, 1977, to increase understanding about the vital relationship between the policies that direct a society's activities and the physical environment within which these activities take place and upon which they depend. EAPI contributes to the required international understanding of these issues through the study and synthesis of environmental knowledge from a perspective of policy concerns. Its efforts are undertaken through the co" operation of competent and experienced scholars and professionals from many societies in the independent institutional setting provided by the East-West Center. One of EAPI's projects is "Natural Systems Assessment for Development," coordinated by Richard A. Carpenter, a Research Associate in the Institute. This five-year project will produce adaptive assessment methods, training and educational materials on natural resource and environmental assessment, and increased understanding among participants from the United States, Asia, and the Pacific of the role of n.atural systems in economic development in different national and cultural contexts.

9 A cross-country comparison o f assessment with respect to policies, legislation, regulations, institutions, organizations, methods, and implementation of assessment results.

9 Extension o f economic benefit~cost analysis to include more off-site and long-term aspects of natural resources and the environment, to deal with intergenerational issues and the validity Of using market-derived discount rates, to evaluate common property resources and the environmental services provided by natural systems, and to measure the economic justification of ecological and health-based constraints on developments.

9 Assembly, comparison, and synthesis Of various methods f o r performing assessments in order to enable adaptation to developingcountry situations and to assist managers in choosing the most appropriate approach for each particular development activity. The following specific development sectors are being studied to bring actual project data and case studies into the general research areas and to gain insights into the practical usefulness of assessment: I) Tropical forests and forest lands axe important to all nations as a continuing source of lumber and other products, plant genetic materials, wildlife

EnvironmentalImpactAssessmentReview,Vol. 1, No. 1 . . . . . . ~+,~ot~nnO~tNqD010


habitat, watershed and soft protection, and climate stabilization. Forest management practice has long been based on technical information. However, the consideration of products and services other than lumber has generated the need for a much broader information base and analysis of trade-offs. Fundamental to planning the future use of forest lands is an ecologically based land classification and assessment system designed for tile tropical and subtropical regions. As part of its work in this area, EAPI conducted a meeting of experts in classification methods in J u n e 1979, chaired by Drs. Ata Qureshi and Lawrence Hamilton, Visiting Fellows. A report, "Assessing Tropical Forest Lands: Their Suitability for Sustainable Uses" is in preparation. 2) There are e n v i r o n m e n t a l d i m e n sions o f energy policies which have major implications for trade-offs involved in meeting diverse goals at the same time. In March 1979, Dr. Toufiq Siddiqi chaired a conference on how present or potential impacts of energy activities on the environment affect and are affected by the formulation of national and international policies for energy and other sectors. Other areas that may be explored in the future are: F u e l w o o d Plantations -- environmental consequences of traditional forestry practices and of experiments to grow fuelwood on a sustainable basis; oil p r o d u c t i o n a n d shipm e n t in t h e ocean e n v i r o n m e n t -- implications for energy policy and for transportation routes of varying environmental standards in territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zones; and e n v i r o n m e n t a l standards a n d t h e choices o f electricity sources -- effects of differing environmental standards on the cost of producing electricity from different sources, particularly coal and nuclear fission reactors. For more information contact: Richard A. Carpenter Project Coordinator The East-West Center 96


1777 East-West Koad Honolulu, Hawaii 96848 Phone (808) 948-6595 The Institute of Ecology T h e I n s t i t u t e o f E c o l o g y (TIE), a nonadvocacy, international consortium of universities, research institutions, and individuals involved in ecological studies, has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), subcontracted through North Carolina State University, to synthesize EPA's contracted-studies program on acid rain. According to the Winter 1980 issue of TIE Report (the Institute's newsletter), the objectives of the acid rain synthesis project are to: "(1) review and assess the scientific results from various programs on acid rain deposition so as to achieve optimal use of the resuits for EPA and (2) conduct workshops on geographically focussed, topicarea, or policy questions so as to summarize research, identify gaps, and develop consensus in a national acid-rain effects program. TIE will undertake three initiatives: first, conduct a continuing review of relevant data bases and models (using small workshops as needed), so as to evaluate response simulations and propose options for meeting regulatory needs; second, develop a strategy for definitive studies o f effects on soils; and third, evluate the quantitative methods for assessing the long-term effects of acid rain on regional ecosystems through the use of watershed nutrient-flux simulation models." Wayne Williams, the Co-Principal Invest!gator of the Acid Rain Program, reports that TIE has now held a conference, attended by sixteen experts, on the effects of acid rain deposition.

Wayne Williams Senior Research Scientist The Institute of Ecology ttolcomb Research Building Butler University Indianapolis, Indiana 46209 Phone (317) 283-9551

International Institute for Environment and Society The International Institute for Environment and Society (IIES) is one of three institutes established within the framework of the Science Center Berlin, a nonprofit corporation founded in 1969 to serve as a parent institution for institutes conducting social science research in areas of significant social concern. Established in 1975, the Institute's central goal is to contribute to the body of knowledge on the relations between social systems and tbe environment through interdisciplinary social science research. The approach to environmental research includes learning from the experience of other countries' environmental policy through cross cultural comparative research as well as bringing the perspectives of different cultures into the process of developing hypotheses. The Institute's research has a specific policy orientation: it shouid provide information to all those involved in the development and implementation of environmental policies -- be they members of parliamentary commissions, of national or supranational administrations, of business and unions, or concerned citizens. In 1976 the Institute prepared a five year research plan that included three research areas: 9 Attitudes and Reactions to Environmental Policy The central task in this area is to study problem awareness, attitudes to environmental policies, reactions to political measures, and the willingness of various groups to actively support environmental protection. 9 Environmental Policies: Goals, Measures, and Effects The main task in this area is the systematic analysis of environmental policy measures. The experiences of different countries with the application of alternative measures is being studied. In addition, the effects of environmental policies on other

societal goals, particularly economic ones, are being analyzed. 9 Environmental Policies: Technological Aspects and International Development In this area the international aspects of environmental policy problems are being considered. Among these are the reduction of transnational pollution through bilateral or multilateral efforts, the environmental problems of developing countries, and the effects of national governmental policies on the national productive capacity of other countries through international trade and relocation of industry. Reports are available on many aspects of the IIES's work. For more information contact: International Institute for Environment and Society Potsdamer Strasse 58 1000 Berlin 30 (Federal Republic of Germany) Visibility Research Center The Visibility Research Center (VRC) was formed in May 1978 to conduct research on the nature of visibility, its relationship to other air quality variables, its perception by people, its dependence on people-made air pollution sources, and approaches to its protection. The ~rRC is part of the Air Quality Program of the J o h n Muir Institute for Environmental Studies, Inc., headquartered in Napa, California. The VRC is located at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in collaboration with the Department of Physics, which re'presents the basic discipline behind the atmospheric optics of visibility. The V R C i s in the process of measuring visibility throughout the southwest at fourteen national parks (and monuments) under a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant with joint National Park Service support. The Center is developing a visibility model and air pollution imaging facility with EIA REVIEW 1/I


the support of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory of the University of California. (For more on this see "Making Visibility Degradation Visible" in this issue.) This air pollution imaging technology may become important in evaluating the visibility impacts of proposed sources of air pollution and the visibility benefits of applying improved air pollution control technology to existing sources. Other projects include a study of the human perception of visibility, a review of the literature on air quality modeling, and a survey of new proposed sources of air pollution that may affect Class I areas of the National Park Servic~ Future work will include simultaneous analysis of visibility aerosol and meteorological measurements in order to separate and quantify the different natural and people-made contributions to visibility degradation. For more information contact Eric G. Walther Director Visibility Research Center Physics Department University of Nevada Los Vegas, Nevada 89154 Phone (702) 739-3844 An Invitation Alan Porter and Fred Rossini recently sent the following bwitation with a request that it be shared with the Review's readers. IVe wish to extend an invitation to you and your colleagues to join us in the formation o f a professional association dedicated to the advancement o f the practice o f impact assessment. This venture arises from the interaction o f a number o f us at sessions on "Integrated Impact Assessment" at the 1980 meetings o f the American Association f o r the Advancement o f Science ( A A A S ) in San Francisco. Over 100 people took part and expressed interest in promotbag such an effort. In particular, key persons from the former International Society f o r Technology 98


Assessment (Joe and Vary Coates, Ed Edelson, lValter tIahn, Ralph Sullivan) offered their guidance and support f o r the venture. The discussions drew strongly or, Larry Susskind and Charlie Wolf, editors o f the EIA Review and SIA newsletter, respectively; and on the perspectives o f IVillis tIarman, Don Michael, and Ken IIammond. Following the formal program, discussions continued through a dinner meeting and a late-night session, and cuhnbmted at an organizing hmch the next day attended by Greg Daneke, Ed Edelson, Joanna Garver, Nancy Lindas, Lewis Perelman, Tom IVilbanks, Charlie Wolf, and ourselves. A t that meeting, it was decided to proceed along the lbzes indicated here. Our vision is o f an open, public, non-profit association to foster interchange o f information among all those concerned with m, ticipating the consequences o f development - i.e., impact, assessment. IVe see this organization as starting with as simple a structure as possible and with democratic governance and process. The views o f those participating in the sessions indicated areas both o f agreemet, t and debate. We agreed on the need f o r a practical thrust to help those professionals and nonprofessionals engaged in impact assessment to perform better. IVe see an umbrella organization attempting to bring together practitioners o f EI~I, risk assessment, SIA and TA, while avoiding premature closure (e.g., in forming a separate, specialized discipline). lVe see underlying common concerns in our attempts to anticipate (future-oriented) the effects (indirect as well as direc 0 o f developments on society in a comprehensive, interdisciplinary way as contributing to policy formation and implementation. IVe also see differences over the desirable balance between professional activity and community participation; on dealing with values; in the tension between improving the state o f the art through research and its pragmatic application;

and on varying methodological approaches and data requirements. Resolving these differences will involve an ongoing dialogue -- one intet, ded function o f the proposed orgar, ization. The Impact Assessment Association will pursue these professional aims by providing specific services and activities. We request your guidance on their content, format and emphasis. IVe sincerely look forward to hearing f r o m you in the ~,ear future. If you are interested in participating in this venture contact: Alan Porter Industrial and Systems Engineering Georgia Tech Atlanta, Georgia 30332 Phone (404) 894-2330

PUBLICATIONS Battelle Today is published by Battelle M~morial Institute, 505 King Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201. Tiffs newsletter presents articles about many of the research, development, and demonstration programs in which Battelle is involved. The January 1980 issue included a special report, "Domestic Technology Transfer in the U.S. -- tIelping State and Local Governments." This report considers how state and local governments can draw upon technical resources to address problems in service delivery, policy planning and evaluation, and basic operations. Citizen Participation, published bimonthly by the Lincoln Filene Center for Citizenship and Public Affairs, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155, is a magazine devoted to reporting and analyzing issues and trends in citizen participation. The editorial position is based on the belief that during the 1980s, "citizen groups will seek greater power, networking among groups will grow, electoral and political party reform will be attempted, new political parties may arise, and government administrative agencies will strengthen

their commitment to citizen involvement." The first issue (September/ October 1979) included an article, ("Public Participation: Now It's Required, But Is It Important?") that examined the efforts of federal agencies to involve citizens directly in programs, and a profile of the citizen group that opposed the Pittston Oil Refinery in Eastport, Maine. In addition, the issue included other feature articles, editorials, book reviews, interviews, announcements about organizational activities and conferences, and a variety of short items. The Conservation Foundation Letter is a monthly report on environmental issues. Each Letter concentrates on one topic. The titles of two recent issue., were "Can Technology Avert the Error., o f the Past?" and "Energy Haste May Make Political, Ecological Waste." OveJ the years the Conservation Foundation Letter has dealt with a wide range oJ subjects, including: energy, pollution control, wildlife, water resources, tech. nology assessment, land use, the coasta zone, agriculture, population, transpor. tation, weather modification, economic., and the environment, and environmen tal management. For more informatior write The Conservation Foundation Let. ter. 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20036.