The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies' (TES)
Volume 8, Number 1, 2009

ISSN 1602-2297

Lessons Learned from Environmental Impact Assessments: A Look at Two Widely Different Approaches – The USA and Thailand

John W. Stampe
51/30 Srichomchun Road, Udonthani 41000 Thailand.

Abstract: Environmental impact assessments (EIA’s) are an important part of environmental regulations. However, they differ in what projects are covered, what aspects they need to include, the amount of public involvement, etc. Studying these differences can be very instructive. As examples of these differences, this paper compares EIA’s in Thailand and the USA. Both countries’s assessments have the strong and weak points, and we can learn from both. The US law only covers public projects, a small percentage of the total. Thailand uses a listing method which is only as good as the list is. The most important lessons are that alternatives and scoping must be made and should begin early in the process, and that the public must be involved in the process. In all countries, there is a desire to avoid the EIA procedure; therefore enforcement of the laws and regulations is a must. Conflict resolution methods can also be incorporated.

Keywords: EIA, Thailand, USA, Impact, Assessment

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