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Environmental Impact Statement

Environmental Effects Monitoring

Once an environmental assessment has been completed, and federal projects have filed an approved EIS, the project or policy may proceed. When the development is completed, the associated environmental stresses begin to affect species, ecosystems, and socioeconomic systems. The actual effects of a project must then be monitored to ensure compliance with environmental regulations, to observe and mitigate any unforeseen consequences, and to compare real damages to predicted ones. Monitoring might include measuring levels of chemical emissions into the air, water, or soil, observing the response of plants and animals at the site, or surveying the health of employees and nearby residents of the site. Socioeconomic impacts, like increased traffic congestion, or water availability for surrounding agricultural and municipal interests, are also including in appropriate monitoring schemes. Predictions set out in the pre-development environmental impact assessment usually determine the structure of monitoring programs. Monitoring programs must be flexible and adaptive, because "surprises," or unpredicted environmental changes, often occur. In this sense, environmental impact assessment is an ongoing process that extends over the lifetime of a development.



Canter, L.W. Environmental Impact Assessment. 2nd ed. Amsterdam: Kluwer, 1993.

Freedman, B. Environmental Ecology. 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Press, 1994.

Wathern, P., ed. Environmental Impact Assessment: Theory and Practice. London: Unwin Hyman, 1998.


United States Environmental Protection Agency. "Environmental Management." November 7, 2002 [cited November 8, 2002]. <http://www.epa.gov/ebtpages/environmentalman agement.html>.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. "National Center for Environmental Assessment." September 19, 2001 [cited November 8, 2002]. <http://cfpub1.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/nceahome.cfm>.

Laurie Duncan


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Environmental impact assessment

—A process by which the potential environmental consequences of proposed activities or policies are presented and considered.


—This is a strategy intended to reduce the intensity of environmental damages associated with a stressor. Mitigations are the most common mechanisms by which conflicts between stressors and valued ecosystem components are resolved during environmental impact assessments.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Electrophoresis (cataphoresis) to EphemeralEnvironmental Impact Statement - Environmental Impact Assessment, Conducting An Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Effects Monitoring