MAFP Supports Health Impact Assessments in Environmental Review Process

Our Executive Vice President Maria Huntley, CAE, MAM, testified to the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board, last week, regarding inclusion of Health Impact Assessments in the environmental review process. 
She shared the following statement on behalf of the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP):

The MAFP believes that the health and well-being of the citizens of Minnesota is promoted with a thorough, comprehensive and broadly-scoped evaluation, during the environmental review process, using a Health Impact Assessment (HIA).

To that end, the MAFP supports the appointment of an independent panel of unbiased experts and civic-minded citizens to conduct a thorough “performance review” of the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act process and make recommendations for reforms.

It is our hope that this oversight committee will be an opportunity for citizens to highlight health concerns in the environmental review process and further consider the inclusion of HIA’s in that process.

Leaders from the MAFP’s Lake Superior Chapter have been instrumental in our work over the last three years to provide input and rationale on the importance of the inclusion of HIAs in the environmental review process. We are grateful for their time, efforts and expertise.

In 2017, the MAFP House of Delegates passed a resolution about HIAs, which spearheaded these advocacy efforts. The resolution follows:

BE IT RESOLVED that the MAFP supports the completion of a Health Impact Assessment for all projects proposed in Minnesota which require the completion of an environmental assessment worksheet or an environmental impact statement and will propose this to the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MAFP supports the requirement that all federal environmental impact statements be required to include a comprehensive and independently produced Health Impact Assessment. The MAFP will submit this to the American Academy of Family Physicians for its consideration.

Interested in how you can help with this or other MAFP resolutions? Email Jami Burbidge, MAM, our director of advocacy and engagement. 

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