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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Scoping a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

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As the US economy has become increasingly more global, trade through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has grown. Both globalization and trade through the Ports are expected to increase. In order to meet future demand, the Ports plan to increase their capacity. Over the past decade, several port capacity-building projects have gone through the approval process, including the public review of Environmental Impact Statements/Environmental Impact Reports (EIS/EIR). It is expected that additional capacity-building projects will be proposed at the Ports over the coming years.

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are making concerted efforts to address health-related concerns regarding their operations and they are leading ports across the nation in their attention to such concerns. Despite these efforts, there remain several reasons to explore the use of a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to address health related concerns associated with port operations, such as the continued existence of health inequities in communities impacted by port operations, the benefits that the HIA process offers the Ports, and the opportunity HIA presents to collaboratively understand project benefits and develop mitigations for adverse health impacts.

In discussions with, and comment letters to the Ports regarding recent EISs, EPA asked the Ports to include HIA to comprehensively analyze potential health impacts and inform mitigation options. With the goals of increasing understanding of and support for the concept of conducting HIA as part of the EIS process, the EPA offered to develop a model of a HIA Scope with public input.

On February 10, 2010, U.S. EPA Region 9, with support from Human Impact Partners and an independent facilitator (both EPA contractors), convened a meeting to begin the process of identifying the need for, benefits of, and scope of work for a Ports-wide HIA. This websites hosts the meeting materials, notes, and other outcomes of that meeting, including the Draft Scoping Document (PDF) (111pp, 3M). Additional materials will be posted here as they become available.


Many land-use and transportation decisions affect health, even ones that may not seem to be specifically about health. For example, a decision to widen roadways will have impacts on noise, air quality for adjacent residents and the safety of pedestrians along the street; noise, air quality, and pedestrian safety can affect health by leading to increased rates of asthma, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, injury and mortality. A Health Impact Assessment is a straightforward and cost effective tool that can be used to assess planning and policy proposals and to develop recommendations to improve the health outcomes associated with those proposals.

The International Association for Impact Assessment Exiting EPA (disclaimer) defines a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) as a combination of procedures, methods and tools that systematically judges the potential, and sometimes unintended, effects of a proposed project, plan, or policy on the health of a population and the distribution of those effects within the population. HIA identifies appropriate actions to manage those effects.

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Materials Provided by Human Impact Partners at or before the Meeting

Materials Provided by EPA at or before the Meeting

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Adobe Reader.

Products of the Meeting

Post Meeting Feedback

Comments on the Scoping Document

EPA hosted a conference call on September 7, 2010 to discuss the draft Los Angeles and Long Beach Maritime Port HIA Scope. . EPA received comments from the following individuals and organizations:

EPA will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available.

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