New directions for EPA

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Author: Alvin Alm
Date: July-August 1991
From: BioScience(Vol. 41, Issue 7)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Document Type: Column
Length: 783 words

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In September 1990, EPA Administrator William K. Reilly, with considerable fanfare, unveiled a report by EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) intended to identify the highest-priority environmental risks and provide guidance for EPA's efforts to reduce them. He presented the report's conclusions in a speech to the National Press Club--an event noteworthy in itself--and he brought together the agency's entire Senior Executive Service Corps to review the report to discuss steps for responding to its recommendations. This unusual exposure of an SAB report was intended to portend a significant role for the report as a guide in formulating environmental policy.

The report, which was entitled Reducing Risk: Priorities and Strategies for Environmental Protection, recommended that the EPA set priorities for its environmental protection efforts on the basis of opportinuties for the greatest risk reduction. It also said, "EPA should not limit its risk comparison efforts to those environmental problems it is required by law to mitigate." In the past, EPA had not itself set environmental priorities but primarily responded to specific legislation. The committee called for development of a broader range of tools to cope with environmental problems, and it called on the agency to devote...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A10995643