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Title: Does size matter? An evaluation of length and proportion of information in environmental impact statements.
Authors: Rivera Fernández, Germán Marino
Brito, Ludmila Ladeira Alves de
Fonseca, Alberto de Freitas Castro
Keywords: EIS length
EIS quality
Information management
Environmental impact assessment
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: FERNÁNDEZ, G. M. R.; BRITO, L. L. A. de.; FONSECA, A. de F. C. Does size matter? An evaluation of length and proportion of information in environmental impact statements. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, v. 73, p. 114-121, 2018. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 11 fev. 2019.
Abstract: For decades, authors and institutions have argued that the quality of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) is somehow affected by the volume of information they contain. Both too little and too much information can be a problem. However, very few academic studies have addressed the issue of EIS length in detail. The objective of this article was to systematically analyze the volume of information presented in EISs, using Brazil as the empirical context. More specifically, this study evaluated the volume and proportion of information disclosed in 49 Brazilian EISs. This study also tried to identify sectorial variations and whether variables such as project size and number of pages in Terms of References are likely determinants of information volume.>146 thousand pages of EIS information were scrutinized in two rounds of content analysis. Data were organized in spreadsheets and then coded and analyzed through various descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. Overall, findings corroborate the fact that EISs are now significantly longer than the early ones, and still heavily loaded with baseline information. The average number of pages in EISs and in Non-technical Summaries was found to be 2993 and 94, respectively. Kruskal-Wallis and linear regression tests indicated that EIS length is likely affected by a combination of variables, including project size, territorial and sectorial characteristics. Such findings suggest that the historical approach of setting page limits to EISs through regulations and Terms of References is no longer appropriate for EIA practice in connection with large enterprises in Brazil, and arguably elsewhere. The article discusses its practical and academic implications, and highlights the need to further investigate the actual impacts of EIS length on decision-making.
ISSN: 01959255
Appears in Collections:DEAMB - Artigos publicados em periódicos

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