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Risk Assessment Principles and Practices Staff Paper Released

Release Date: 03/24/2004
Contact Information:

Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819 /

(03/24/04) On March 25, EPA will release a staff paper, “An Examination of EPA Risk Assessment Principles and Practices” for a 90-day review and public comment period. Risk assessments provide critical data for policy decisions to protect public and environmental health, such as reference doses and concentrations, the levels of exposure to a contaminant that will not result in adverse health effects. The paper was prepared by an Agency-wide task force of risk assessment professionals, formed at the request of the Science Advisor and other senior Agency officials. The task force completed a broad examination of Agency risk assessment principles and practices, and the resulting paper: 1) addresses concerns in the public comments, 2) presents the perspectives of EPA risk assessors on how they understand risk assessment to be conducted at EPA, and 3) recommends possible EPA actions to address these concerns and to improve the transparency and consistency of its risk assessment practices. By improving transparency, the public will better understand how the Agency uses science and policy defaults in risk assessments. The paper does not represent official EPA policy; it is the first step in opening a dialogue among EPA staff and managers, as well as external parties, about the practice of risk assessment. Options for improving EPA’s risk assessment are not limited to those in the paper. The paper is available at: