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Introduction to Environmental Assessments and Role for Public Health

What: Online
When: October 24, 2018
Time: 12:00 pm

Public Health and Environmental Assessments 101

The Environmental Assessment process is an opportunity for Public Health to influence infrastructure projects for positive health outcomes. However, in a survey conducted by the OPHA Built Environment Workgroup in 2017, many health units in Ontario identified low levels of knowledge about how the EA process works and how to effectively contribute, while also expressing interest in increasing their involvement.

This 4-part webinar series is intended to provide public health professionals with an introduction to the function of EAs, how the process works, why public health should contribute, and how to provide effective input. The content will speak to both Class and Individual EAs and will provide case studies that illustrate successful public health participation in the EA process. Time for questions and answers will be included in each webinar.

Webinar #1 – Introduction to Environmental Assessments and Role for Public Health

October 24, 2018, 12 – 1 pm

  • Build awareness and understanding of why public health should be participating in the EA process and what we can contribute
  • Provide orientation to EAs and EA process (both Individual and Class)


  • Lorenzo Mele, Advisor – Healthy Design, Peel Region Health Services
  • Greg Jenish, Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks

Presentations can be downloaded here. 

Webinar #2 – Building Effective Public Health Participation in Environmental Assessments

December 11 2018, 12 – 1 pm

  • Identify steps for public health to engage in the EA process
  • Build understanding of how to effectively frame/position public health input
  • Introduce Health Impact Assessments as a framework for public health input

Webinar #3 – Case Studies – Transportation

February 28, 2019, 12 – 1 pm

  • Appreciate the merits of public health’s participation with the review of terms of reference for the EA, providing input to the scope of the work at the beginning and during key stages of the study
  • Learn how conducting a physical walk route with members of the community enhances public engagement
  • Understand how the use of a Walking Audit (assessment tool) developed by Peel Public Health is helping with decision-making by identifying areas of concern and opportunities from a public health perspective


  • Kayle McMillen, Health Promoter, Active Living, Health Services, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Region of Peel
  • Sonya Bubas, MCIP, RPP Project Manager, Transportation, Infrastructure Programming and Studies, Region of Peel

Webinar #4 – Putting Health in Environmental Assessments: The ‘how-to’ of Health Assessments

June 13, 2019, 12 – 1 pm

  • Learn – how using a health assessment approach can help to address psychosocial aspects of a project like a landfill, e.g., negativity about proximity, etc.
  • Understand – the ‘Checklist of Steps’ needed to advance the use of health assessments in EAs, including screening, as a pre-step to determining how a health unit decides whether a health assessment is required as part of the EA process.
  • Introduction – to a list of resources that a health unit can access when conducting a health assessment as part of the EA process.


  • Faiza Waheed, PhD, M.Env.Sc. HIA Specialist | Environmental Risk Analyst