Social Impact Assessment

Social Impact Assessment

Our team prepares Social Impact Assessments as either standalone documents or as part of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) refers to the human environment as “the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment.” 

The human environment includes social conditions (e.g. number of people, population characteristics, ethnicity, education, health, lifestyles); economic conditions (e.g. employment, major employers, cost of living, income, poverty statistics); and community health conditions (e.g. birth and death rates and infectious and non-communicable illnesses).  We have extensive experience with international Social Impact Assessments and Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessments, and the Human Environment section of EIS documents throughout the United States.

Areas of Expertise:

Preparing accurate and complete Human Environment baseline and impact analyses

Our staff has prepared social, economic, and health baseline and impact analysis for projects involving mining, oil and gas development, water diversions, well field development, rights-of-way transfer, land withdrawals, wastewater treatment facilities, airports, and scientific laboratory facilities.

Determining economic impacts

We have determined the economic impacts of a gold mine development on a rural agricultural community, examining the impact of the changes in land use and the impact of moving to a “money” economy in the local community and the region as well as refining existing economic multiplier to determine the impact of mine development on a state and national economy while incorporating input from local employment to the tax and royalty structure.

Examining impacts on minority and low income populations

Our team has identified environmental justice populations (minority and low-income populations) that may be affected by an action and determined mitigations if the populations would be adversely impacted. Our staff has worked all over the western US in communities with significant Hispanic and Native American/Alaska Native populations.

Identifying health risks for local residents

We have identified health risks for residents of communities adjacent to major oil and gas developments, including assessing the human health impacts of decreased availability of subsistence foods due to increased traffic and activity.

Involving community groups in decision making

We have developed and implemented a stakeholder working group process that allowed small groups of stakeholders with unique interests such as grazing, mining, and wildlife advocacy to work together to develop stakeholder preferred alternatives to a land withdrawal, thereby reducing the amount of potential controversy caused by the project.