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Workgroup Formation and Process Abstract

Ecological Committee on FIFRA Risk Assessment Methods

I. Sunzenauer, Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Fate and Effects Division

The Ecological Committee on FIFRA Risk Assessment Methods (ECOFRAM) was formed in June 1997. The purpose is to develop tools and processes within the FIFRA framework for predicting the magnitude and probabilities of adverse effects to nontarget aquatic and terrestrial species resulting from the introduction of pesticides into their environment. ECOFRAM was convened in response to a review of the Office of Pesticide Program's (OPP) ecological risk assessments and guidelines in May of 1996 by the FIFRA Science Advisory Panel (SAP). While recognizing and generally affirming the utility of the current assessment process and methods, the SAP indicated that OPP has relied on deterministic methods of assessing the ecological effects of pesticides and strongly encouraged OPP to develop and validate tools and methodologies to conduct probabilistic assessments of ecological effects. This resulted in the formation of ECOFRAM, which is made up of Aquatic and Terrestrial Workgroups. Each is comprised of approximately 25 scientists with expertise in the areas of ecology, toxicology, chemistry, soil and plant sciences, statistics and environmental modeling. Experts were drawn from government agencies, academia, contract laboratories, environmental advocacy groups, and industry. To ensure an open process with maximum scientific exchange and discussion, preliminary Workgroup results are being presented at meetings of various scientific societies.

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