16 December 2010

More scepticism about the value of HIA

"In the absence of more information and public policy debate, it is difficult to image how the HIA process can add any value beyond the current environmental process. As currently proposed the methodology and results are likely subjective, qualitative, and ultimately speculative. Neither is it likely that the HIA process will result in any additional mitigation beyond what the ports already provide given the extensive list of regulatory requirements and port adopted mitigation programs, such as the SPBCAAP (San Pedro Bay Clean Air Action Plan), and the WRAP (Water Resources Action Plan)."

A quote from the Vice President, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association in a news item in The Cunningham Report about the US Environmental protection Agency's work on considering whether HIA should also become part of the set of assessments undertaken by developers.

Click here to go to the news item.

While understanding his underlying frustration at onerous and burdensome regulations (as he sees them) particularly in its potential to block further development, given the earlier post on shipping and its emissions I guess I would have to agree to disagree on the value of HIA in such contexts as those listed above. Plus HIA looks for both the positives and negatives and in this context would show both the benefits and costs to human health of port developments e.g. employment, wider economic regeneration and development, air pollution, noise, etc.

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