Environmental Evaluation of Development Proposals:

Case Study: the Adani Project ~ A Need for Review?

After almost nine years, nine legal reviews and $3.7 billion in “start-up” costs, the ‘Adani Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project’ was finally approved by the Queensland Government in June 2019. It will be one of the largest coal mines in the world.

Why have the planning and evaluation processes taken so long before approval was granted?

Some form of objective review of the environmental evaluation and approval processes for Adani is warranted to offset this concern.

In a series of articles that follow, the scientific and public interest concerns that ignited the conflict, litigation and delays will be reviewed in a conflict resolution framework.

Must history repeat?


1.  Environmental Impacts Statements  & Scientific Uncertainty:

A Decision-Making Aid or the Decision End Point?

Tags: Adani; coal mine; evaluation; EIS; environmental impact audit; US 40 C.F.R. Section 1502.22; US National Environmental Policy Act 1969; incomplete information; Black-throated Finch; scientific uncertainty; scientific roundtable (Posted 03 August 2019)

1.0   The origin of environmental impact assessment  was 1969. Yet this issue became a log-in-the road for almost 9 years for the Adani project causing inordinate delays.

2.0   Any review and reform of the environmental evaluation and approval process for major development projects needs to be directed at a primary source of the problems encountered by Adani: The need to effectively address scientific uncertainty in the EIS which would, in turn, confound the integrity of the decision-making process.

3.0   It would be prudent for Government to be aware of the US experience:

That “no other strategy offers a more telling acknowledgement of the legitimacy of local concerns” than where those who have to live with a decision that has potential adverse environmental impacts, know they can trust the environmental monitoring and management plans.

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2. Scientific Uncertainty, the Politicization of Science

and Public Interest Environmental Conflicts

Tags: Adani; coal mine; information conflict; science; politics; public interest; community consultation; silo science; Daubert v Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc.  (Posted 23 July 2019)

Politicization of science means that the interpretation of scientific information

is shaped for political gain in a way that distorts its true meaning.

Politicization of science emerged as an issue for the public interest environmental conflict created by the Adani coal mine project. This article reviews why public interest environmental conflicts, like the Adani project, can lead to politicization. And an understanding of what politicization of science means: How it arises and how it may be offset.

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3. Acceptance of Scientific Findings:

Best Available Science ~v~ Relevant and Reliable Science

Tags: Adani; coal mine; conflict; best available science; relevant and reliable science;

Daubert v Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Posted 14 July 2019)

The focus of this article is on a source of information conflict that created scientific uncertainty for Adani: Different interpretations of the scientific information base as to what is “the best available science”.

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