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(299) An analysis framework for assessing societal and cultural impacts of ecologically damaged sites.
Turnley, Jessica*,1, Trainor, Theresa2, 1 Galisteo Consulting Group, Inc., Albuquerque, NM, USA2 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA
ABSTRACT- In environmental risk management, analysis frameworks provide useful structures for three parties: scientific investigators, regulatory and monitoring agencies, and the stakeholders who are the targeted beneficiaries of policies and programs. For investigators, such frameworks provide an explicit statement of high-level expectations of the ′customers′of the research, both in terms of content type and of process. For agencies, the frameworks provide some assurance that the information that will be used to inform management decisions will be consistent across time and space. For stakeholders, analysis frameworks provide an accountability frame for the research, setting standards for data inclusion through a description of process. For environmental risk management decisions, frameworks such as EPA′s Guidelines for Ecological Risk Assessment are used to generate data related to the likelihood of adverse ecological effects occurring as a result of exposure to stressors. However, no comparable framework exists to assess the societal and cultural effects of ecologically damaged sites and the effects of potential remediation decisions—both key ingredients in the risk management process surrounding Superfund sites. This project, sponsored by EPA′s Office of Emergency and Remedial Response, was designed to take the first steps toward developing such a framework that could be uniformly applied over space and time. The project had two parts. We reviewed existing frameworks used to assess these types of impacts for similar or other purposes. We also collected data from EPA staff on current methods used in the field for such activities. We integrated the two into a strawman framework that combines analytic rigor and legitimacy with lessons learned from field practices.
Key words: societal/cultural impacts, risk assessment frameworks, risk management decisionmaking
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