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Course #3. Cumulative Effects Assessment




This course summarizes the state of professional practice regarding CEA within EIA processes, demonstrates fundamental requirements for cumulative effects assessment for a simulated industrial project in Australia, illustrates determination of significance of cumulative effects, discusses adaptive management (and monitoring) as follow-up activities for large-scale proposals (specifically for cumulative effects), and summarizes policy choices and collaboration approaches for the development of local and regional cumulative effects mitigation and management initiatives. The basic premise is that CEA should be an integral part of, and not separate from, both in-country and international EIA processes. The fundamental requirements are focused on stepwise procedures with international best practice principles. These procedures and related principles identify key valued components (VCs), focusing on those for which CEA is appropriate; delineating spatial and temporal boundaries for each of the VCs; describing historical baseline and future conditions and trends; establishing cause-effect linkages between past, present, and future actions and VCs; determining the significance of cumulative effects; and development of adaptive management and project mitigation and regional management programs, as appropriate to deal with cumulative effects. Practical processes for both preparing and reviewing CEA-related documents will be emphasized, along with presentations on selected international case studies and workshop sessions involving interactive groups. Practical discussions will be incorporated by the professional participants and presented to the entire class.

Level: Intermediate to advanced
Prerequisites: Foundation training on environmental impact assessment (EIA) or cumulative effects assessment (CEA) (professional-level short course or University-level specific course or program) and/or minimum of 2 years of professional experience in planning and conducting EIA or CEA for environmental impact studies. (Note: these prerequisites do not apply to student participants.)
Language: English
Duration: 2 days (27-28 April)
Price: US$520
Min/Max: 10-50

William Ross, Director, emeritus Professor of Environmental Design in the Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary (Canada)

Miles Scott-Brown, The Ciera Group (Canada)

Michael Smith, Senior Environmental Practice Leader, GEI Consultants (USA)


Dr. Ross is an emeritus Professor of Environmental Design in the Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary (since January 2009). He has a BSc degree from the University of Manitoba, and a PhD degree in physics from Stanford University. His main academic interests are in EIA and CEA. He has been a member of eight Canadian Environmental Assessment panels, and he has been a member and chair of the Independent Environmental Monitoring Agency for the Ekati Diamond Mine, Northwest Territories, Canada.

Dr. Ross is also the author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, including several related to CEA. Further, he was a co-author of the highly respected “Cumulative Effects Assessment Practitioners Guide” (Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, 1999). In addition, he was the Founding President of the Western and Northern Canada Affiliate of IAIA. Dr. Ross also received IAIA’s Rose-Hulman Award at the 2009 annual conference held in Accra. In 2018, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Western and Northern Canada Affiliate of IAIA.

Miles Scott-Brown has over 30 years’ experience in the environmental assessment and management of infrastructure projects around the globe. Miles has excellent problem-solving skills and specializes in developing strategies for the resolution of complex environmental and social issues associated with large infrastructure projects. His focus is on energy projects including renewables such as hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar, oil and gas development and pipelines, electrical transmission lines, refineries, ports, roads and railways. He is a Certified Assessor of the sustainability protocol and gap analysis tools for hydroelectric projects (IHA September 2018). Miles is very familiar with World Bank Group (IBRD and IFC Performance Standards), IDB, EBRD, ADB and other International Lenders safeguard standards and has worked on both sides of the project spectrum - developing ESIAs and approval strategies for clients while assessing and monitoring project compliance with Lender Standards. Miles also specializes in cumulative impact (effects) assessment. He is both and experienced practitioner and trainer in environmental assessment.

Dr. Michael D. Smith is a leading National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance practitioner with over 20 years of experience in environmental impact assessment, project and program management, technical analysis, policy development, and training/education for a wide range of public and private sector clients. He is currently a Senior Environmental Practice Leader with GEI Consultants in Sacramento, CA, one of North America’s leading geotechnical, environmental, water resources, and ecological science and engineering firms. GEI has provided consulting and engineering services on over 35,000 projects in all 50 U.S. states and internationally in over 20 countries. He has managed and provided compliance review for some of North America’s largest, most complex, and highly controversial projects, including major energy and transportation infrastructure projects, regulation of genetically engineered plants, commercial space transportation operations, and approval of new fuel economy standards for all vehicles operated in the U.S. Technical areas of expertise include cumulative impact analysis; GHG emissions and climate change analysis; socioeconomics and environmental justice analysis; and designing strategies for streamlining EIA processes and reviews. He frequently provides training and strategic advice for NEPA, CEQA, and related environmental compliance requirements as a faculty member at the UC Davis Extension Planning and Sustainability Program, the UCLA Extension Sustainability Program, the NEPA Certificate Program at the Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University, and as a Senior Consultant at The Shipley Group. He is a past recipient of a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at EPA’s Office of Water and Office of Federal Activities in Washington, DC. From 1998 to 2007, he was an Associate Professor of Environmental and Natural Resources Sciences at Humboldt State University in northern California. . He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental and Natural Resources Sociology from Utah State University, an M.A. in Geography from the University of Wyoming, and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.