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Initiative to Revise the Ecological Assessment Process

Environmental Fate and Effects Division
Office of Pesticide Programs
Ingrid M. Sunzenauer

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  1. ECOFRAM - Structure
  2. Outreach
  3. Peer Review

May 1996 SAP Meeting


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Summary of SAP Comments

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Goals and Components of the Initiative

Goals of the Initiative

Goals are to

  1. Identify, develop, and validate tools and methodologies to conduct probabilistic assessments.

  2. Conduct the initiative within the context of the FIFRA regulatory framework.

  3. Maintain an open process with the scientific community, public, and other stakeholders.

Components of the Initiative



  2. Outreach

  3. Peer Review

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  1. ECOFRAM - Structure

    • Two workgroups (aquatic and terrestrial)

    • Sub-divided into exposure and effects

    • Experts drawn from government and non-government organizations, industry and academia

    • Selection based on expertise, affiliation, and availability

    Review of ECOFRAM Charge: Project Goals

    • Review the current ecological assessment process

    • Develop probabilistic tools and methodologies for predicting the magnitude and probability of adverse terrestrial and aquatic effects from pesticides

    • Identify data needed for support

    • Identify validation and additional developmental work

    Review of ECOFRAM Charge: Project Guidance

    • Developed within the context of the FIFRA regulatory framework

    • Consider OPP's resource constraints

    • Based on the basic elements of EPA's Framework for Ecological Risk assessment

    Review of ECOFRAM Charge: Expected Results

    • Written documents that outline recommendations for processes, tools, and methods

    • Identification of data needs

    • Identification of assumptions and rationale behind recommendations

    • Validation within a reasonable timeframe

    • Supported by the best science available


    • Limited timeframe of 6 - 8 meetings over the course of a year

    • Substantial but limited resources

    • Scientific limitations

    Project Focus

    • Initially address:

      increasing levels of biological organization, focusing on individuals and populations, and

      direct acute and chronic effects upon terrestrial vertebrates, aquatic vertebrates, and aquatic invertebrates

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  2. Outreach

    • Variety of Stakeholders - Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee

    • States - State FIFRA Issues and Evaluation Group

    • Public - Open meeting on June 23, 1997
      Web page and public docket

    • OPP risk managers - Ongoing briefings and discussions

    • Scientific community - Professional meetings

    Outreach- Professional Meetings

    • American Chemical Society (September 1997)

    • Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (November 1997 and 1998)

    • Society for Risk Analysis (December 1997)

    • American Society for Testing and Materials (April 1998)

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  3. Peer Review

    • Agency-sponsored workshop or letter review with selected experts

    • Scientific Advisory Panel

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Timeline for Initiative

Events and Dates
ECOFRAM meetingsJune '97 - Spring '98
Peer ReviewFall '98
SAP ReviewWinter '98
ImplementationSpring '99

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