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Programs of the Office of the Science Advisor (OSA)

Summary Report: Risk Assessment Forum Technical Workshop on Population-level Ecological Risk Assessment

In 1998, EPA's Risk Assessment Forum (RAF) developed its Guidelines for Ecological Risk Assessment to help guide Agency programs and practitioners in the performance of ecological risk assessments. Through feedback from the public, Agency risk assessors and risk managers, the need for additional guidance for assessing effects at the population, community and ecosystem levels of ecological organization became apparent. Since the publication of the Guidelines, the RAF formed a technical panel comprised of Agency scientists to consider issues associated with population-level ecological risk assessment and to consider the lack of consensus and guidance on approaches for assessing risk to populations.

In June 2008, this panel convened a technical workshop to identify:

  • Current approaches, methods and tools
  • Strengths, current limitations, trade-offs and outstanding research needs 
  • Technical needs with respect to development of guidance and additional steps to facilitate development of guidance in this arena

The resulting workshop report summarizes the outcomes and findings of the discussions. The primary purpose of this document is to inform the Agency in its decisions regarding development of additional guidelines or best practices for planning, implementing and interpreting ecological risk assessments that involve population-level assessment endpoints.

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