Health Impact Assessment Technical Guidance Document

Health Impact Assessment cover with photoHealth Impact Assessment (HIA) is one tool that can be used to identify and mitigate the community health impacts of natural resource development projects. This document is intended to provide guidance about HIA to stakeholders who may be involved or affected, including North Slope Borough (NSB) residents and community organizations; project proponents; people who will conduct an HIA; and personnel in the NSB Department of Health & Social Services and other organizations who may need to commission or review an HIA. This guide will help these stakeholder groups understand what they need to know to ensure that community health concerns are adequately addressed.

These reports describe climate impacts observed in Alaska communities and rely upon the observations, data and traditional ecological knowledge provided by local partners. Additionally, scientific data on environment, health and climate is provided where available. The purpose is to describe changes that are occuring so as to help in the development of adaptive strategies that encourage community health and resilience.


Climate Change in Atqasuk, Alaska Strategies for Community Health July 2014

This report describes an assessment of climate change related health effects in Atqasuk, Alaska a traditional Inupiat community located on the west bank of the Meade River, 60 miles south of Barrow. Atqasuk residents report changes in the timing of the seasons, weather, land, and river conditions. Potential health effects include injury related to unusual travel conditions, damage to health infrastructure related to erosion and permafrost thaw and food insecurity related to changes in wildlife health and harvest success.(view 5.32 MB pdf click here)


Climate Change in Nuiqsut, Alaska Strategies for Community Health July 2014

This report describes an assessment of climate change related health effects in Nuiqsut, Alaska a traditional Inupiat community located on the West bank of the Colville River, 18 miles south from the inlet to the Beaufort Sea. Nuiqsut residents report changes in the timing of the seasons, weather, land, river and sea conditions. Potential health effects include injury related to unusual travel conditions, damage to health infrastructure related to erosion and permafrost thaw, and food insecurity related to changes in wildlife health, harvest success, and thawing of traditional underground ice cellars. (view 5.19 MB pdf click here)


Climate Change in Wainwright, Alaska Strategies for Community Health June 2014

This report describes an assessment of climate change related health effects in Wainwright a traditional Inupiat community located on the Chukchi Sea coast. Wainwright residents report changes in the timing of the seasons, weather, land, and sea conditions. The season for ice-based hunting is decreasing and the community is adapting harvest practices. Potential health effects include injury related to unusual travel conditions, damage to health infrastructure related to erosion and permafrost thaw, food insecurity related to changes in wildlife health, harvest success and thawing of traditional underground food cellars, and water insecurity related to infrastructure damage and loss of underground ice cellars. (view 4.83 MB click here)

This report documents observed climate-related change in one community and evaluates potential effects on health. What occurred in the past is reported based on the record, and the recollection of Point Hope residents. What will happen in the future is unknown, and the reader is reminded that all predictions included in this report are subject to inherent uncertainty, and limited by the quality of data and the state of the science in this developing field of health impact assessment. Although there is good regional climate and general health data for the Maniilaq Area, local data is limited. Weather archives are incomplete, coastal erosion rates are outdated, permafrost measures are unavailable, and estimates of sea level change have not been performed ( view 5.96 MB pdf click here)