Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a research process that applies a variety of methods, input from local stakeholders, and knowledge from different disciplines to produce actionable recommendations about the health effects of a proposal. Read more about HIAs and browse our clearinghouse for local and state examples of HIA.

The California High-Speed Rail System will provide train transportation across the state at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour. By 2029, the first phase of the system will serve San Francisco, the Central Valley and the Los Angeles Basin.

Eventually, Sacramento and San Diego will be added. The California High-Speed Rail Authority is responsible for planning, designing, building and operating the HSR System.

HIAs add value by examining health issues outside the usual scope of the National Environmental Protection Act and the California Environmental Quality Act, using a population-centered framework to identify ways to improve health and well-being.

Our HIA examines the public health consequences of California’s High-Speed Rail System, including its construction and operation, as well as add-on projects and services, such as residential and commercial development around stations.

The HIA offers recommendations to maximize potential health benefits and minimize harms, particularly with respect to low-income residents and other populations that bear a disproportionate burden of ill health.

(1) highlight potential linkages to health based on the existing literature and stakeholder input;

(2) provide actionable recommendations by synthesizing the existing evidence and stakeholder input;

(3) conduct original analysis and provide metrics for identifying and monitoring health-related effects of the HSR System; and

(4) provide additional opportunities for affected communities to express their concerns on how the HSR System might affect health conditions and to provide their suggestions for shaping the System for improving those conditions and reducing health disparities.

A qualitative overview of the potential health-related impact of the System and an HIA of the Fresno-to-Bakersfield segment.

The segment-specific HIA will provide estimates, where possible, of the relative size and health-related characteristics of affected populations and the magnitude of changes in health risks and effects.

To start online conversations, share insights and voice perspectives about the HIA topics and HSR System, please participate in the community Forums. In-person meetings may occur through local community-based organizations or health departments. Please check our Calendar and Resources for more information.

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