Legislation

A number of states and some local jurisdictions have proposed legislation requiring or supporting health impact assessment. Please contact us, if you have updates on the legislation listed here or if you are aware of any additional proposed, pending or passed legislation.

California

Suspended in Appropriations Committee, August 2007
Estimated $2.8 million/year through FY 2009-2010

Official Summary

"The bill would require the State Public Health Officer to form an interagency working group (IWG)...to, among other things, identify, evaluate, and disseminate available evidence, information, programs, and best practices on environmental health, and establish environmental health goals, as provided. The bill would also…establish a program within the State Department of Public Health to guide and support cities and counties in conducting health impact assessments, as provided. The program would, among other things, provide funding, technical assistance, and training to eligible local entities, as defined, to prepare health impact assessments, as provided….The bill would also require the State Public Health Officer, in collaboration with the IWG…to develop guidelines relating to the creation of a local entity's health impact assessments of land use, housing, and transportation policy and plans, as provided."

Maryland

Inactive?
$80,000-$100,000 annually

Official Summary

"…establish a pilot program that provides funding and technical assistance to prepare health impact assessments. The purpose of the public health impact assessments is to:

  1. facilitate State and local health official involvement in community planning and land use decisions to identify any potential health concern relating to an activity or proposed activity;
  2. provide for an investigation of any health-related issue addressed in an environmental impact statement or policy appraisal relating to an activity or a proposed activity;
  3. describe and compare alternatives to an activity or proposed activity; and
  4. contribute to the findings of an environmental impact statement with respect to the terms and conditions of implementing an activity or proposed activity, as necessary.

"The Secretary may collaborate with specified State departments, or any other State agency the Secretary deems appropriate, in developing the guidance for the assessment of potential health effects of land use, housing, and transportation policy and plans.  Program grants will be awarded to a unit of local government with jurisdiction of individuals or populations whose health will be affected by an activity or proposed activity. The assessments conducted must evaluate the effect of modifications of the physical or social environment on public health and social and economic development."

Massachusetts

In Ways and Means Committee (inactive?)
not stated

Summary

Section 6 of the proposed bill would require health impact assessment of proposed projects if such projects are in or might affect vulnerable communities.  Even if a proposed project does not require "environmental notification," a petition of 10 or more persons could request an HIA.  The bill specifies required content of HIAs and procedures, including public comment and participation.  It also requires mitigation measures to minimize the potential negative health impacts.

Minnesota

Did not pass
Annual tobacco settlement payment funds

The overall goals of this legislation are to:

  • improve health of all Minnesota communities, 
  • invest in prevention,
  • strengthen communities through collective engagement, and
  • create greater accountability around decision-making for our future health. 

This bill would create a public health improvement fund to provide sustained, permanent support for public health improvement programs, including MHCA prevention and community engagement programs. The annual tobacco settlement payment funds will provide the finances for this fund.The MHCA will create a grant program to support community efforts to engage in the policy decision-making process. The program will provide support for communities to conduct timely health impact assessments to investigate the health implications of a project, program, or policy identified by the community. Communities can use this health impact assessment to work with public officials to create and influence policy decisions that affect community health. 

Washington

Passed
None

Summary

This bill requires the replacement of the state route 520 bridge to include a health impact assessment to determine the project's impact on public health issues.

Passed
None

Official summary

"The State Board of Health (Board) in collaboration with the Governor's Interagency Council on Health Disparities (Council) creates health impact assessments. The Council was created to promote and facilitate communication and collaboration among state agencies, communities of color, and the public and private sector, to address health disparities.  A health impact assessment is defined as a systematic review of a legislative or budgetary proposal or other public policy, program, or practice to determine the extent to which such proposal, policy, program, or practice improves or exacerbates health disparities."

West Virginia

Stalled in committee
Unknown

Summary

Would require the state Bureau of Environmental Protection to conduct health impact assessments whenever the DEP proposes changes to air or water pollution standards.