The formalization of risk assessment and risk management processes had been evolving in EPA in the 1970’s, but they received more direct and official codification by a series of policy pronouncements issued by several EPA administrators in the 1980s and beyond (NRC 1983).1 Rather than displacing earlier frameworks however, the risk-assessment–risk-management paradigm added to the scientific tools and approaches used by EPA in implementing its statutory authorities. Links with specific guidance on … • Initiating a federal interagency process to develop and apply tools, such as LCA, in a sustainability context. It is also important to understand not just the direction but also the magnitude. To produce 13.23 billion gallons, assuming 2.8 gallons of ethanol per bushel of corn, requires 4.725 billion bushels, or 37.95% of total corn production. In addition to providing for categorical exclusions, the NEPA process provides for environmental assessments resulting in a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) or an environmental impact statement (EIS), requiring a much more elaborate analysis and review process (Council on Environmental Quality [CEQ]). Health Perspect. 2007. The political economy of an energy tax: The United Kingdom’s Climate Change Levy. EPA converted the accord into a formal rulemaking proposal subject to public notice and comment before a final rule promulgation that was achieved in advance of the statutory deadline.6. Critical assumptions in the Stern Review on climate change. EPA. New Directions for Evaluation, No. The dual role of sustainability indicators is to both measure and communicate the range of factors that are involved in the decision-making process. MyNAP members SAVE 10% off online. Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name. To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter. Nordhaus, W. 2007. For example, convening the important producers along an entire value chain of the energy market (rather than focusing on emission from the utility sector alone) provides EPA and the public that it serves with the opportunity to use many more tools and options and generate more effective decisions. 3 Executive Order 13514, titled Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, sets sustainability goals for Federal agencies, including the need for improvements in environmental, energy and economic performance. 2011. 1994. Laws Ann. An important question to address is whether the response was within the range of uncertainty estimated during the alternative options analysis. Finding: An important step in the Sustainability Assessment and Management approach is an evaluation of present and future conditions to show that present decisions and actions are not compromising future human and ecologic health and well-being. 34 Sustainable Design Techniques posted by John Spacey, January 24, 2016 updated on March 11, 2017. (2002) also provided a conceptual framework and typology for the classification, description, and valuation of ecosystem goods, functions, and services. Available: [accessed May 2, 2011]. Communication from the Commission on the practical implementation of the EU biofuels and bioliquids sustainability scheme and on counting rules for biofuels. Sustainability assessment: Basic components of a practical approach. Sign up for email notifications and we'll let you know about new publications in your areas of interest when they're released. 2007. How to integrate results from the sustainability screening is discussed further below. Evaluating Pollution-Related Risks and Risk-Reduction Opportunities Throughout an Entire Value Chain and Not Only for Individual Sources, In EPA’s history, there is precedent for this type of thinking, but it has had little application. For example, EPA’s FY 2014–2018 strategic plan incorporates a number of sustainability-relevant initiatives into the agency’s five Strategic Goals, Cross-Cutting Fundamental Strategies and Strategic Measurement Framework (EPA 2014a). Discrepancies should be evaluated to identify weaknesses in the assessment process, including the tools and data used. Special Report on Emissions Scenarios. MEA (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment). Environmental impact: A potential benefit of biofuels is lower life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions (Farrell et al. The strength of integrated assessments is that they combine knowledge from multiple disciplines needed to understand how human actions might affect the system in important ways (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions and the climate system). • Expanding the scope of problem formulation to include not only point and area sources that directly emit or contribute to pollution generation but energy and material flows throughout a value chain of activities that ultimately generate pollution further downstream. 2011). Integrated assessment models are often complex, tending to make them nontransparent to nonexperts. Developing approaches for cradle-to-cradle assessment of materials management, for evaluation of pollution-related risks and risk-reduction opportunities throughout an entire value chain and not only to individual sources or sectors, for integrated assessments of multiple individual risks that apply to cities, and for incorporation of resilience approaches. View our suggested citation for this chapter. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. For example, attempts to reduce or eliminate the disposal of residua in landfills depend increasingly on collaboration among a variety of important economic decision-makers, including providers of raw materials, packaging companies, and producers, retailers, and consumers of manufactured goods. Decision Making for the Environment: Social and Behavioral Science Research Priorities. Hak, T., B. Moldan, and A.L. The Sustainability Assessment and Management. As is the case with alternatives analysis under NEPA, options in a sustainability assessment allow the decision maker to understand different ways of taking a particular action and thus provide the decision maker with more choices to reduce adverse impacts. Sterling, VA: Earthscan. Underlying all our courses is the VISIS Method, a sequenced and collaborative approach to tackling sustainability … (See Recommendation 7a). Guidelines for Reproductive Toxicity Risk Assessment. Risk Assessment Forum, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. 195); Codified at Mich. Comp. Conclusion 7.2: The application of sustainability tools and approaches to EPA’s day-to-day operations on a cross-program basis would enhance the agency’s execution of its existing activities. (Recommendation 7c). Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website. Source: NRC 2011a. Zerbe, N., and T. Dedeurwaerdere. Posner, P.L. In addition, better methods are needed to support consideration of health and environmental effects for the green chemistry goal of safer products and more sustainable chemical usage (p.60). Life-cycle assessments are already used by EPA and have been used to compare the environmental impacts of transportation fuels and specifically to judge whether biofuels meet requirements for carbon-emissions reductions relative to fossil fuels (EPA 2009). 1-26 in Evaluation for the 21st Century: A Handbook, E. Chelimsky, and W.R. Shadish, eds. A similar characteristic is present in sustainability tools and methods, such as LCA, benefit–cost analysis, megatrend analysis, and data analytics. 2010). As with most refined products, biofuel production requires some amount of water. Recommendation 7.1: As EPA continues to evaluate and update its current decision-making tools and frameworks, it should strive to use sustainability concepts as an integrating principle for its strategic plan and implementation of its program responsibilities. The committee has identified various assessment approaches that could be used to identify new opportunities for incorporating sustainability concepts into EPA’s decision-making. C160:8-16 [online]. EPA has a number of important responsibilities and leverage points to advance the development of more sustainable cities. • The development of more robust initiatives with state and local authorities to address regional air-quality and water-quality problems (such as ozone and fine-particle pollution in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast corridor and regional watershed-management planning for the Great Lakes or Chesapeake Bay).2. 2009. A rough judgment is made about the causal relationships between the project and the various dimensions of the criteria, and then relevance scores ranging from 0 to 3 are assigned without regard to whether they are positive or negative. de Groot, R.S., M.A. In that respect, EPA’s FY 2014–2018 strategic plan mirrors those discontinuous relationships, and it is unclear how the decision making frameworks support each other in executing the agency’s mission. Beyond program-specific data collection and analysis, EPA has for many years performed the role of data manager and synthesizer. Acad. In developing a research and evaluation template for sustainable cities, EPA should explore the application of a broader set of sustainability tools. 324.2521. Integration into decision making involves summarizing the major results of the assessment in terms of a trade-off and synergy analysis that highlights impacts on important social, environmental, and economic objectives (Box 4-1). 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