Health Impact Assessment of an oil drilling project in California
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University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences)
Intrinsik Environmental Sciences, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Intrinsik Environmental Sciences, Venice, California, USA
Intrinsik Environmental Sciences, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Corresponding author
Lindsay C. McCallum   

Intrinsik Environmental Sciences, 500-6605 Hurontario Street, Mississauga, Ontario, L5T 0A3 Canada
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2016;29(2):229-53
Objectives: The Health Impact Assessment (HIA) was conducted to evaluate the potential community health implications of a proposed oil drilling and production project in Hermosa Beach, California. The HIA considered 17 determinants of health that fell under 6 major categories (i.e., air quality, water and soil quality, upset conditions, noise and light emissions, traffic, and community livability). Material and Methods: This paper attempts to address some of the gaps within the HIA practice by presenting the methodological approach and results of this transparent, comprehensive HIA; specifically, the evaluation matrix and decision-making framework that have been developed for this HIA and form the basis of the evaluation and allow for a clear conclusion to be reached in respect of any given health determinant (i.e., positive, negative, neutral). Results: There is a number of aspects of the project that may positively influence health (e.g., increased education funding, ability to enhance green space), and at the same time there have been potential negative effects identified (e.g., odor, blowouts, property values). Except for upset conditions, the negative health outcomes have been largely nuisance-related (e.g., odor, aesthetics) without irreversible health impacts. The majority of the health determinants, that had been examined, have revealed that the project would have no substantial effect on the health of the community. Conclusions: Using the newly developed methodology and based on established mitigation measures and additional recommendations provided in the HIA, the authors have concluded that the project will have no substantial effect on community health. This approach and methodology will assist practitioners, stakeholders and decision-makers in advancing the HIA as a useful, reproducible, and informative tool.
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