Environmental Impact Assessment

Speeches Shim

international treaties, conventions, etc.

  • Minamata Convention on Mercury
    Adopted in 2013, the Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury by placing a ban on new mercury mines, phasing out existing mines, reducing mercury use in a number of products and processes, controlling emissions to air and releases to land and water, and regulating the informal sector of artisanal and small-scale gold mining.

U.S. National Laws

  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), signed in 1970, requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions and provide opportunities for public review and comment prior to making decisions.
  • Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA)
    The Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA), enacted in 1998, offers eligible developing countries options to relieve certain official debt owed the United States while at the same time generating funds to support local tropical forest conservation activities. TFCA is implemented through bilateral agreements with eligible countries. USAID/E3 maintains a TFCA Secretariat and USAID missions often are members of the Boards of Directors of these conservation funds.

U.S. National Regulations

  • USAID Environmental Procedures (22 CFR 216)
    Reg. 216 lays out the procedures to be used by USAID staff and their implementing partners to ensure that environmental factors and values are integrated into the Agency decision-making and project implementation processes.

Executive Actions

Agency Policy

  • USAID ADS Chapter 204 - Environmental Procedures
    ADS Chapter 204 provides policy directives and required procedures on how to apply Reg. 216 to the USAID assistance process to ensure that all programs, activities, and substantive amendments are in full compliance and their environmental and social consequences adequately assessed.
  • USAID ADS Chapter 201 - Acquisition and Assistance Design Process
    ADS 201 requires an Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) to be completed during the design of every activity that USAID undertakes. The IEE makes a recommendation as to whether a proposed activity will have a significant impact on the environment. For projects that may have environmental impacts, conditions are included to mitigate those impacts. For projects without a foreseeable impact and meeting the threshold established under Reg. 216, a Categorical Exclusion is granted.

Implementation Guidelines, Tools, and Other Resources

  • USAID Sector Environmental Guidelines
    The purpose of the Sector Environmental Guidelines is to support environmentally sound design and management of common USAID development activities in each sector. This includes addressing adverse impacts of activities through either prevention or mitigation, both in the form of general activity design guidance and specific design, construction and operating measures, and minimizing vulnerability of activities to climate change. Sectors include agriculture, natural resource management, construction, ecotourism, energy, fisheries, forestry, health care facilities, health care waste, housing, humanitarian response, integrated pest management, livestock, micro and small enterprises, mining, rural roads, schools, solid waste, and water and sanitation.
  • USAID Environmental Compliance Database
    This searchable database contains copies of the environmental impact assessments prepared and approved by USAID Regional and Global Bureaus. The database is updated as new documents are approved.
  • Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Guidelines and Reference Series Applying Strategic Environmental Assessment: Good Practice Guidance for Development Cooperation (OECD, 2006)
    This Good Practice Guidance was written by the OECD's Network on Environment and Development Co-operation's (ENVIRONET) Task Team on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in response to the demand for guidance on the most efficient and effective application of SEA in the context of development cooperation. It is the product of a comprehensive consultation process with bilateral and multilateral development cooperation agencies, as well as representatives from partner countries and individual experts and practitioners from a wide range of developing and developed countries.
  • Recommendation of the Council on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence (OECD, 2012)
    The Recommendation advises OECD Members, before making decisions on officially supported export credits, to apply these common approaches for addressing environmental and social issues relating to exports of capital goods and/or services and the locations to which these are destined.
  • Coherence in Environmental Assessment: Practical Guidance on Development Cooperation Projects (OECD, 1996)" with the following summary
    This report presents the results and recommendations to achieve greater coherence among the environmental assessment procedures that DAC Member countries apply to their development cooperation programs. Special emphasis has been placed on the development of guidelines and operational reference materials of direct use to program officers and environmental advisors in development agencies.
  • Non‐Metal and Metal Mining (English and Spanish)
    Tourism-Related Projects (English and Spanish)
    Energy Generation and Transmission (English and Spanish)
    Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Technical Review Guidelines developed for the energy, mining and tourism sectors.The Guidelines were developed with the support of USAID, coordination of EPA, and collaboration of Central America and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) partners.
  • World Bank Group Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines
    Sector-specific World Bank Group Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines (“EHS Guidelines”) are technical reference documents with general and industry-specific examples of Good International Industry Practice (GIIP). Relevant sectors for this section include: airlines, airports, crude oil and petroleum product terminals, gas distribution systems, health care facilities, ports, harbors and terminals, railways, retail petroleum networks, shipping, telecommunications, toll roads, tourism and hospitality, waste management facilities, water and sanitation, mining, liquefied natural gas facilities, onshore and offshore oil and gas development, electric power transmission and distribution, geothermal power generation, thermal power, and wind energy.
  • Green Infrastructure Resource Guide (USAID, 2017)
    Green infrastructure can play a critical role in sustaining ecosystem services such as water resource conservation, flood and storm water management, groundwater recharge, water supply, and disaster resilience.  The guide is designed to help USAID practitioners find the resources they need to plan, design, contract, implement, monitor and evaluate effective green infrastructure projects that support the agency's development objectives.
  • EPA's Public Participation Guide,
    EPA’s Public Participation Guide provides tools for public participation and public outreach in environmental decision-making. It will help you identify some of the best practices for planning, skills and behaviors that government agencies can use to design and implement a meaningful public participation program.
  • Principles of Effective Environmental Enforcement Handbook (EPA, 2009)
    This handbook outlines some of the important considerations in designing, implementing and evaluating effective environmental enforcement and compliance programs. It serves as background reading for the training course on the Principles of Environmental Enforcement and Compliance.

Number of USAID Missions implementing

  • All

Related Issue Areas

  • Economic Growth
  • Energy & Infrastructure
  • Water
  • Agriculture (inc. pesticide use)
  • Health
  • DRG (esp. resettlement)
  • Forestry and Biodiversity (Endangered or threatened species)

Related studies and analyses

Agency POC

Related Sectors of Work