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This paper distinguishes between Social Impact Assessment (S1A) and the Public Involvement (PI) process and makes a case for PI as an integral part of SlA. PI is seen as activity within the SIA process that provides the social impact assessor with a means to obtain quantitative information regarding social impact assessment variables. In North America during the 1970s SIA began to evolve both separately and as a component of environmental impact assessments. However, the utilization and implementation of SIA procedures have moved forward in an uneven manner among federal agencies. Furthermore, the practice of SIA at the federal or ministerial level has been hindered by the unfortunate equating of SlA with public...