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What is the relationship of HIA to Environmental Impact Assessment?

What is the relationship of HIA to Environmental Impact Assessment?

HIA is procedurally similar and complementary to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and equivalent state statutes, such as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). NEPA requires that Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) include consideration and analysis of health effects of specified federal agency actions. NEPA does not refer by name to "HIA" as a separate requirement per se, and the current practice of health analysis in the EIS has been limited. Given the legal mandate to consider health in the EIA, however, the HIA is an appropriate way to meet statutory requirements for health effects analysis, when conducted within the context of an inter-disciplinary EIA.

What is the difference between HIA, community health assessment, and health risk assessment?

HIA should be distinguished from other forms of stand-alone assessment or forecasting methodologies, even though these other forms may be used within an HIA. For example, community health assessment is the ongoing process of regular and systematic collection, assembly, analysis, and distribution of information on the health needs of the community. Generally, community health assessments gather statistics on health status as well as data on community health needs/gaps/problems and assets. Within HIA, community health assessments support both policy analysis and development and existing conditions analysis. Health risk assessment (HRA) is a quantitative analytic method used for characterizing the nature and magnitude of health risks associated with exposures to chemical contaminants and other environmental substances and processes. HRA is not comprehensive, but HRA conclusions can be used within the HIA to forecast effects of specific exposures.

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