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Building Effective Public Health Participation in Environmental Assessments

Building Effective Public Health Participation in Environmental Assessments

What: Webinar
When: December 11, 2018
Time: 12:00 PM
Where: Online

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 #2 – Building Effective Public Health Participation in Environmental Assessments

December 11, 2018, 12 – 1 pm

This webinar will be focusing on the legislative structure of EAs and will identify areas for public health engagement in the process as well as describing the steps for making public health input most useful. Health Impact Assessments as a framework will also be discussed.

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


  • Sabbir Saiyed, Ph.D., P.Eng., Manager, Transportation System Planning, Transportation Division, Region of Peel
  • Faiza Waheed, Ph.D., Environmental Risk Analyst and Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Specialist

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 #3 – Case Studies – Transportation

February 28, 2019

Examples of Public Health contributions to transportation-related EAs

In this session we’ll explore the Region of Peel – Public Health approach for participating in EA’s through a road improvement project – case study – to illustrate how collaboration with Public Works and Traffic Engineering is setting a new standard for incorporating health priorities into the planning and design of the built environment.

This webinar will enable you to:
  • 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

Webinar #4 – Case Studies – Other

June 13, 2019
This short presentation will focus on the steps of how to conduct or participate in a health assessment as part of an EA (or as a standalone). The aim is to highlight some of the questions that should be asked when deciding whether to get involved in an EA, and how to effectively participate once health is at the table.