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Science & Technology

Modeling at EPA

EPA uses a wide variety of computational models to support the scientific analyses that inform our decisions and policies. These models increase the level of understanding about natural systems and the way in which they react to varying conditions, including the spread of toxic substances in various media, the short- and long-term effects of exposure to hazardous substances, and other forms of prediction and risk assessment. They estimate the environmental fate of pollutants, their impacts on human health and the environment, and the costs and benefits of alternative policies. Frequently, these models become the basis for environmental cleanup, protection, or regulation. Models therefore underlie how the Agency chooses to address a multitude of environmental questions.

EPA offices, labs and centers maintain a number of websites that provide information about modeling activities that support research and regulatory programs:

Models Knowledge Base

The best place to search for and learn about the models upon which EPA relies is in the Models Knowledge Base, a central repository developed by EPA's Council for Regulatory Environmental Modeling (CREM).

For each model included in the Models Knowledge Base, information is provided on:

  • its development;
  • its conceptual basis, scientific detail and evaluation;
  • technical requirements and how to use it;
  • information on the its inputs and outputs; and
  • directions for downloading it and links to further information.

Environmental Modeling Training

The training program in environmental modeling includes online training modules that should take approximately 45 minutes to complete, PDF versions are also available. The CREM training program provides simple and comprehensive resources on best practices and technical aspects of environmental modeling.

Integrated Environmental Modeling Hub (iemHUB)

EPA and Purdue University launched in July 2010 the Integrated Environmental Modeling Hub (iemHUB), an online community resource that supports the development, evaluation, and application of environmental models.

Council for Regulatory Environmental Modeling (CREM)

EPA established CREM in 2000 to support the development and use of high quality computational models to inform EPA decision making. The CREM council consists of senior managers from across the Agency, while CREM workgroup members include modelers and scientists from the program offices and Regional offices. CREM Web site

National Research Programs

Chemical Safety Research

Developing tools to evaluate the potential of pesticides and industrial chemicals to hurt people and wildlife.

More about the Chemical Safety  Research Program >>

Clean Air Research

Assessing the health and environmental impacts of clean air regulations. Issues include: ozone, particulate matter, and multi-pollutant approaches.

More about the Clean Air Research Program >>

Climate Change Research

Studying how global change--particularly in our climate -- affects air and water quality, ecosystems, human health, and socioeconomic systems. Providing information to decision-makers to help adapt to a changing climate.

More about the Climate Change Research Program>>

Computational Toxicology Research

Integrating innovative computing and information technologies with molecular biology to develop decision support tools for assessing chemical exposure, hazard and risk. Coordinating research on chemical screening and prioritization, informatics and systems modeling.

More about the Computational Toxicology Research Program >>

Water Research

Developing sustainable solutions to 21st century water resource problems, ensuring water quality and availability in order to protect human and ecosystem health.

More about the Water Research Program >>

Ecosystem Services Research

Investigating how to protect and restore ecosystem "services:" life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature. Examples include clean air and water, fertile soil for crop production, pollination, and flood control.

More about the Ecosystem Services Research Program >>

Homeland Security Research

Securing and sustaining water systems; characterizing contamination and determining risk; and remediating indoor and outdoor environments in the event of biological, chemical, or radiological contamination.

More about the Homeland Security Research Program >>

Human Health Research

Assessing risks to people's health from environmental pollutants. Developing biological indicators to determine how regulatory decisions affect public health.

More about the Human Health Research Program >>

Human Health Risk Assessment

Providing citizens and regulators with information about pollutants or naturally occurring compounds that are linked to respiratory illnesses, cancers, cardiac disease, birth defects, neurological impairments and other health problems.

More about the Human Health Risk Assessment Program >>

Land and Waste Management Research

Developing ways to preserve land, restore contaminated properties, and protect the public from contaminants. Issues include: contaminated sediments, groundwater contaminant transport and remediation, and mine waste technology.

More about the Land and Waste Management Research Program >>

Nanotechnology Research

Studying the unique properties of nanomaterials, determining their potential impacts, and developing approaches to evaluate any risks. Exploring how nanomaterials can be used effectively to clean up contaminants released into the environment.

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Making sustainability the next level of environmental protection by drawing on advances in science and technology, applying government regulations and policies to protect public health and welfare, and promoting green business practices.

More about the Sustainability Program >>


Science Advisory Organizations

Advisory Council on Clean Air Compliance Analysis

Provides advice on technical and economic aspects of reports EPA prepares on the Clean Air Act's effects.

More about the Advisory Council on Clean Air Compliance Analysis >>

Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee

Provides advice on the technical bases for EPA's national ambient air quality standards program.

More about the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee >>

Environmental Technology Council

Enhances communication and coordination of all EPA technology activities.

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Nat'l Advisory Council for Env. Policy and Technology

Advises the EPA Administrator on a broad range of environmental policy, technology and management issues.

More about the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology >>

Office of Science Policy

Coordinates and shares information among EPA's laboratories and centers, and provides expert advice on the use of scientific information.

More about the Office of Science Policy >>

Office of the Science Advisor

Leads cross-Agency science and science policy development and implementation to ensure the best possible use of science.

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Science Advisory Board

Provides peer review and other types of expert advice on a wide range of topics in science and technology.

More about the Science Advisory Board >>

Science and Technology Policy Council

Addresses EPA's significant science policy issues that go beyond regional and program boundaries. Contributes guidance for selected EPA regulatory and enforcement policies and decisions.

More about the Science and Technology Policy Council >>

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