Integrating Health Impact Assessments into the Federal Environmental Impact Process with a Focus on Alaska Native Communities

The federal environmental impact statement (EIS) process applies to large projects such as mines and oil and gas development. And, more broadly, the process applies to any federal agency decision with potentially significant environmental impacts. Historically, despite frequent public concerns, EISs rarely included substantial analysis of health effects. This project successfully integrated public health considerations into environmental impact statements for several natural resource development proposals, using the methodology of Health Impact Assessment (HIA.) The project involved a partnership between tribes, regulatory agencies and health professionals to incorporate HIA into the EIS process that applied to oil and gas development and mining in Alaska. This document focuses on integrating HIA into the EIS process as a tool to protect and promote public health.