Effects and Drawbacks of Environmental Impact Assessment in Avoiding NIMBY

Dimin Zhu

Ekoloji, 2018, Issue 106, Pages: 149-154, Article No: e106014


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With the development of urbanization, a number of public service facilities are needed to meet the demand of urban residents’ livelihood. However, some of these facilities, such as kitchen waste treatment station and waste incineration power plant, can cause negative effects on the surrounding environment, and harm the health of the residents. Therefore, resistance and conflicts are generated during the establishment of these public facilities between the surrounding residents and local authorities. Based on several NIMBY cases (Xi’erqi kitchen waste treatment station, Taiyuan waste incineration power plant and the Keystone XL pipeline) this paper focus on the effects and relevant issues of environmental impact assessment (EIA) in avoiding “Not in my back yard” (NIMBY). Through analyzing the causes, process of environmental NIMBY conflicts and the measures taken by the local government, we found that EIA can promote the freedom of the project related information and public participation. By this way, local authority can safe guard the legal rights of citizens, maintain the justness and promote higher scientific level of planning during the construction of polluting NIMBY facilities. However, the EIA system in China is not yet mature, there still exist several issues in the practice: the low level of public participation, the low citizen confidence in government, the weak system and standards, and the technical imperfections. The drawbacks above that EIA can offer against NIMBY have attenuated greatly. In this paper, we put forward some suggestions to perfecting EIA system in avoiding NIMBY: increase government supervision over the work of information disclosure, improve the effectiveness of public participation, perfect the laws and institutions system, advance the research of the relevant technologies, and establish the demonstrating project.


environmental impact assessment (EIA), NIMBY, kitchen waste, public participation, environmental law


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