chapter  4
30 Pages

Social impact assessment and environmental justice

By the 1960s it was becoming increasingly evident that altering the environment of the natural ecosystem can also affect society at large. Many early projects such as road construction had little or no social planning. Not surprisingly, many social disasters have occurred, resulting in profound social as well as ecological repercussions. For example, in 1973, following the decision to build the Alaskan pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, local Inuit tribal leaders began to ask questions about how the pipeline would change their customs and culture.1 For instance, how would the in¥ux of construction workers affect the lifestyle of the local culture?