With the operator’s decision to develop in your area, the uncertainty surrounding the project has been resolved. While the company might have previously been hesitant to invest in the local community, it might feel more comfortable in making longer-term commitments. The challenge for the community and local planners will be to take advantage of any economic benefits to invest in building a diverse local economy and focus on long-term needs.
The population growth that begins in the exploration phase typically expands as the site is developed and then drops again when the temporary workforce departs. The community will likely experience the most significant health impacts at this stage as development activities peak; these impacts tend to taper off and change in nature as the site moves into the post-development phase of production.