Developing a specific matrix for the project, plan, program, or policy being analyzed is better than using a generic matrix. The following steps can be used in preparing a simple interaction matrix:
1. List all anticipated project actions and group via temporal phases a. Construction b. Operation c. Postoperation
2. List pertinent environmental factors from environmental setting and group according to physical-chemical, biological, cultural, and socioeconomic categories; and spatial considerations such as site and region or upstream, site, and downstream
3. Discuss preliminary matrix with study team members and advisors to team or study manager
4. Decide on impact rating scheme (such as numbers, letters, or colors) to be used
5. Talk through the matrix as a team and make ratings and notes to identify impacts and summarize impacts (documentation)
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