Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Action 11 – Evaluate Risk Communication Processes and Develop a Comprehensive Education Program
EPA and state waste programs have the important responsibility of communicating and explaining the scientific understanding of the hazard of environmental problems to affected communities and the general public. OSWER programs and EPA Regions work to establish consistent processes and methods for communicating the risk of environmental hazards to the public, while understanding other factors that affect the public’s perception of risk. The Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (OSRTI) and Office of Emergency Response (OEM) will lead a cross-OSWER/Region Workgroup to:
- Evaluate risk communication processes and methods, and develop recommendations for revised or new guidance identifying elements of good "risk" communication processes.
- Seek input from stakeholders to understand their concerns about how EPA conducts risk assessments and communicates related information.
- Examine the aspects of risk communication that a comprehensive training program should cover.
- Review and analyze "gaps" in current risk communication training options offered by OSWER programs and Regions.
- Identify resources and key partners to implement a risk communication education program, develop a strategy to ensure appropriate EPA personnel are trained and design a risk communication education program.