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Commentary
July 15, 2009

Health Impact AssessmentA Step Toward Health in All Policies

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia (Dr Collins); and Emory Global Health Institute, Emory University, Atlanta (Dr Koplan).

JAMA. 2009;302(3):315-317. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1050

For the past 4 decades, the environmental impact statement (EIS) process has been used to assess the environmental effects of major projects and policies that involve federal funds, such as designing highways, altering waterways, extracting resources on federal lands, and setting Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. Created under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, EISs do not determine policy but rather ensure that stakeholders have full information about unintended environmental impacts before reaching a decision.1 By evaluating alternative proposals and their relative risks and benefits, an EIS helps decision makers choose options that promote favorable outcomes and mitigate adverse environmental consequences.

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