Environmental Assessment Requirements

When large projects are proposed or when small projects are proposed in or adjacent to sensitive natural resources, some communities require applicants to submit an environmental assessment, which details the impact of the proposed development on natural resources. Communities that have plans and zoning regulations based on a solid environmental inventory are able to set the threshold for future environmental assessments at a defensible level. Without such a basis, an environmental assessment may be considered arbitrary, as there is little context for the requirement. An environmental assessment can be a valuable source of information, and in some cases an important tool for ensuring that new development is designed in such a way that unavoidable environmental impacts are properly mitigated. Environmental assessment can also be viewed as an affirmative tool for helping a local government meet its responsibility for preventing pollution, impairment or destruction of the environment.

For more information on this topic, see Appendix P – Environmental Assessment Requirements.

Credit: Filling the Gaps