This paper considers how a multi-disciplinary research community can build upon these efforts to further enhance online access to EIA documents and make it easier for the public to use the information contained in those documents. Part I lays the groundwork for this inquiry: it describes the types of information contained in EIA documents and the extent to which existing online databases provide an effective means of locating and searching through these documents. Part II discusses the potential applications of the information contained in these documents, and how this might inform priorities related to online database development. Part III contemplates how we can enhance the accessibility and utility of EIA documents through four complementary measures:
- Connect the existing EIA databases, preferably through the creation of a centralized database.
- Expand the scope of the documents that are accessible through the centralized database (or existing databases) to include older documents, documents from other jurisdictions, and documents other than EISs.
- Add searching, sorting, and filtering features that make it easier for users to find specific documents as well as specific types of data contained in those documents.
- Prepare new EIA documents in a manner that will streamline the process of adding these to the database(s) and make it easier for users to find relevant information within the documents.
Appendix A of this paper contains a user guide with detailed instructions on how to use each of the EIA databases. The guide includes hyperlinks to each of the relevant databases, a description of the scope of documents and search features, and screenshots to help people navigate the websites. Appendix B contains a list of the people who attended the workshop and their contact information.
Environmental Law | Law
Jessica A. Wentz,
Using Online Databasing to Unlock the Full Value of Environmental Impact Assessments,
Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School, November 2016
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/sabin_climate_change/108