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Process for design and delivery of program-specific decision support tools


A process is needed to efficiently develop and deliver dashboards and decision support tools to EPA Program Offices and Regions. This activity involves collaboration with the Programs and Regions to identify and integrate Chemical Safety for Sustainability (CSS) products into their workflow where appropriate, providing technical guidance and scientific expertise where requested, and on-going communication to identify and reduce information gaps and uncertainties in use of existing and new tools through appropriate targeted research and continued technical support. The development of dashboards will include meetings and surveys to gather information about the bottlenecks in existing Program Office and Region workflows in order to define the requirements for the development of new tools, or the customization of existing tools. Program-specific dashboards will provide “one-stop” access to not only the tools and models needed, but can also serve as a place to access all the supporting information that often represents years of scientific research accomplishments (user manuals, How-To guides, model documentation, technical support documents, QA/QC documentation, issue papers, key related scientific articles), as well as provide contact information for a specific ORD expert available for consultation. ORD will work with the Program Offices and Regions to develop a process that, when fully implemented, will demonstrate ORD’s commitment not only to development of state-of- the-science research outputs, but the delivery of those outputs as functional products to the Programs and Regions.

Rationale and Research Approach:

The ORD Dashboard Team (PALs and Task Leads across Projects 1 and 2) will work with the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) CSS Implementation and Coordination Team, and appropriate Office of Water and Regional contacts to address the following near, intermediate and long-term goals: a) develop an efficient process to gather requirements from Program Offices and Regions for specific decision support tools including, models, databases, and knowledgebases needed to ensure that the products delivered meet the Program needs, and will continued to be supported as required; b) prioritize the dashboard development based on end-user requirements, tool readiness, scientific guidance, and support for the use of the tool, and regulatory acceptance of the tool in the decision making process; c) achieve efficiencies in selecting information integration options and information serving options (i.e., on dashboards, as appropriate) by demonstrating how a series of tools and models can be integrated through a well-chosen and high-need pilot project; d) ensure continued integration of products from all 8 CSS topic areas (that address Program needs described, for example, in EDSP21, OPP21, TSCA21, OW21, ORD’s Nov 2010 Research Action Plan for OCSPP Ecological Risk Assessments, NexGen, etc.) by integrating new tools, models, datasets, databases, knowledgebases, etc. into existing or new Program-specific dashboards as appropriate. We will also communicate with Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) and the Children’s Health Office to gauge their interest in participating in dashboard development activities.

MED Scientists:

Patricia Schmieder



Expected Products:




Jun 30, 2012

Results of survey of Program Office/Region requirements for databases / decision support tools.

Patricia Schmieder

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