FORTY MOST ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Index and Keyword Index in EISs


26a. How detailed must an EIS index be?

Answer:

The EIS index should have a level of detail sufficient to focus on areas of the EIS of reasonable interest to any reader. It cannot be restricted to the most important topics. On the other hand, it need not identify every conceivable term or phrase in the EIS. If an agency believes that a reader is reasonably likely to be interested in a topic, it should be included.

26b. Is a keyword index required?

Answer:

No. A keyword index is a relatively short list of descriptive terms that identifies the key concepts or subject areas in a document. For example, it could consist of 20 terms which describe-the most significant aspects of an EIS that a future researcher would need: type of proposal, type of impacts, type of environment, geographical area, sampling or modelling methodologies used. This technique permits the compilation of EIS data banks, by facilitating quick and inexpensive access to stored materials. While a keyword index is not required by the regulations, it could be a useful addition for several reasons. First, it can be useful as a quick index for reviewers of the EIS, helping to focus on areas of interest. Second, if an agency keeps a listing of the y word indexes of the EISs it produces, the EIS preparers themselves will have quick access to similar research data and methodologies to aid their future EIS work. Third, a keyword index will be needed to make an EIS available to future researchers using EIS data banks that are being developed. Preparation of such an index now when the document is produced will save a later effort when the data banks become operational.

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