Draft Framework for Human Health Risk Assessment to Inform Decision Making
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announces a 60-day public comment period for the External Review Draft of the "Framework for Human Health Risk Assessment to Inform Decision Making."
This document was developed as part of an agencywide program by the EPA's Risk Assessment Forum. EPA is releasing this draft document solely for the purpose of seeking public comment prior to external peer review. The document will undergo independent peer review during an expert peer review meeting, which will be convened, organized, and conducted by an EPA contractor in 2012. The date of the external peer review meeting will be announced in a future Federal Register notice.
The purpose of the Framework for Human Health Risk Assessment to Inform Decision Making is to describe a Framework for conducting human health risk assessments that are responsive to the needs of decision making processes at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Framework is intended to foster increased implementation of existing agency guidance for conducting human health risk assessments and improve the utility of risk assessment in the decision making process.
In developing this Framework the recommendations presented in the National Research Council's report Science and Decisions: Advancing Risk Assessment have been taken into consideration. Specifically, this Framework addresses the recommendations that the EPA formalize and implement planning, scoping and problem formulation in the risk assessment process and that the agency adopt a framework for risk-based decision making.
The Framework highlights the important roles of planning and scoping as well as problem formulation in designing a risk assessment. In accordance with longstanding agency policy, it also emphasizes the importance of scientific review and public involvement. This Framework will enhance the agency's emphasis on the importance of transparency of the human health risk assessment and decision making. This document is not intended to supersede existing agency guidance; rather by citing and discussing existing guidance in the context of the Framework it is intended to foster increased implementation of agency guidance.
In preparing the final document, EPA will consider the public comments submitted to EPA's docket during the public comment period and the comments and recommendations from the external peer reviewers.
The docket for this review is located on the internet at the following address:
Docket ID: EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0579.