How to Write an Environmental Impact Report

Written by george lawrence
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How to Write an Environmental Impact Report
Environmental impact reports help the public understand the purpose of a project. (business report image by Christopher Hall from

Construction projects, both large and small in scale, have the potential to affect the environment in good or bad ways. A new company can add jobs and money to the community. But if its built on the city's waterfront, the pollution could destroy the native environment and beauty of the surrounding area. According to the Ohio State University Extension, the public should be informed of these impacts and their extent. An environmental impact statement sets these details out and informs the public about the project and its potential impact on the environment.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Describe what the project is intended for and the reasons why it is necessary in section 1 of the report. A project to build a park in a vacant lot, for example, might be initiated to provide citizens with a place to gather and to improve the overall area.

  2. 2

    Explain how the project is to be completed and give details about any proposed alternative plans.

  3. 3

    Discuss how the environment will be affected by the proposed action in the third section. Factors to consider include impacts to air quality, land use, health and safety concerns, and surrounding vegetation and wildlife. Be objective in your discussion. List only the facts, whether the facts are good or bad.

  4. 4

    Explain the dangers of the project and how you intend to avoid them or minimise the risks. If the project involves heavy machinery, for instance, explain what barriers you will use to separate the public from the work zone. Additionally, discuss what training or experience the work crew has, or will be given.

  5. 5

    Address whether activity in the community will be affected by the project. Loud noise from machines near a church, for example, could deter people from attending services. You might offer not to work on days of worship or religious holidays.

Tips and warnings

  • According to the University of New Hampshire, the purpose of an environmental impact statement is to disclose the facts about a project. As you complete each of the three main sections, avoid making recommendations, conclusions or opinions. Stick to the facts, and be neutral.

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