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Principles for Guiding Action

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  Organizational Charts

Based on the contribution of participants in the Futures: 2025 Project, EPA has identified seven principles as a guide for selecting actions and fostering innovation.

The seven principles for guiding action are a powerful tool. EPA can use the principles to solve problems, seize opportunities, and find greater agreement in areas where disagreements have blocked progress. Over time, these principles can bridge the historical separation between radiation protection and the larger area of environmental protection that EPA oversees.

  1. Whole System Thinking
    Strive to understand issues from a perspective broad enough to see the larger context from which the issues arise. This requires multidisciplinary teamwork to look beyond specialties and organizational stovepipes. It entails striving to understand longer-term implications of actions and interconnects between issues.

  2. Transparency
    Operate in an open and accountable manner, providing the public with accurate, understandable information it can use to make decision and evaluate the performance of organizations. Assure easy public access to up to date information on the state of chemicals and radiation in the environment. Avoid unnecessary secrecy, carefully balancing any risks to security that open access to information may pose with the social advantages of greater transparency.

  3. Inclusive Science and Policy
    Maintain a balanced approach that insists on the importance of sound science but also acknowledges the importance of inclusiveness. Engage a variety of disciplines, viewpoints and stakeholders, involve younger scientists, and bring to the table people with non-mainstream views as long as their approach is evidence-oriented. Employ alternative dispute resolution techniques to reach greater agreement on especially contentious issues.

  4. Pollution and Exposure Prevention
    Adopt practices to reduce at the source the amount of any hazardous substance or pollutant being released into the environment. Whenever feasible, eliminate the use of hazardous materials. Adopt practices that reduce exposures to hazardous substances and pollutants whose presence cannot be eliminated.

  5. Cumulative Risk
    Devote greater effort to understanding risks posed by cumulative exposures and by interactions between hazardous agents, including combined exposures to chemicals and radiation. Harmonize radiation and chemical regulatory approaches, based on a careful crosswalk between chemical and radiation models, parameters, risk calculations, and measurement techniques.

  6. Place-Based Tailoring
    In developing protection strategies, take full advantage of the human resources and capabilities of local areas. Where uniform policies are not necessary, avoid "one size fits all" approaches, tailor policies to local or regional circumstances and encourage experimentation.

  7. Stewardship
    Are responsible for providing the expertise and resources to maintain an adequate level of protection to human health and the environment across generations. Promote product stewardship as a major strategy in radiation and environmental protection.

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