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EPA Issues New Guidance and Database for Research Models

Release Date: 01/29/2004
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Environmental News

Suzanne Ackerman, 202-564-7819 /

(01/29/2004) - To increase public understanding of the science behind EPA policy, Acting Deputy Administrator Steve Johnson and Science Advisor Paul Gilman today announced new draft guidance on the use of research models at EPA and a web-accessible database, the Models Knowledge Base. An environmental model is a representation of the real environment, which is used for studying the current environmental status or for predicting future conditions. At EPA, models are used to show the transport of pollutants through the atmosphere, estimate pollution’s impacts on human health and the environment, and to evaluate the costs and benefits of alternative policies for environmental protection.

The “Draft Guidance on the Development, Evaluation, and Application of Regulatory Environmental Models” recommends best practices to determine when a model can best be employed to inform environmental decision making. The Models Knowledge Base is a web-accessible database containing the Agency’s frequently used models, and information on each model’s use, development, validation and assessment. The database also has three tools for model selection (complete listing, keyword search, and browse by environmental indicators) and a web-based chat room for the user community.

“These complementary products will work in tandem to describe and document good modeling practices. By providing access to our tools and methods, we can improve the public’s understanding of how sound science is used to make environmental decisions, ” said Steve Johnson.

“These products help to foster a culture of transparency and openness by making EPA’s research process more visible to the public,” said Paul Gilman.

These products were developed in response to requests by former EPA Administrator Whitman in Feb. 2003 and are scheduled for review by an independent panel of experts established by EPA’s Science Advisory Board. Following this review, EPA intends to make any necessary changes and to ask for public comments on the resulting final products through a Federal Register Notice.

Both products are available from EPA’s Council for Regulatory Environmental Modeling (CREM) Internet site at: For more information on these products or the CREM, please contact Pasky Pascual at 202-564-1566 or .