Programs of the Office of the Science Advisor (OSA)

Basic Information about Risk Assessment Guidelines Development

Why Is Risk Assessment Important?

We assess risks as part of making regulatory and other decisions that affect human health and the environment. While assessments vary depending on the specific problem being analyzed, most EPA assessments consist of a number of basic steps. A detailed description can be found at EPA's Risk Assessment Portal. See the following links for more information about risk assessment at EPA:

Office of the Science Advisor's Role

The Office of the Science Advisor (OSA) promotes the development of risk assessment guidance at the Agency. OSA provides staff support and helps lead the Risk Assessment Forum (RAF), which consists of senior scientists from across EPA.

The RAF was established to:

  • Promote Agency-wide consensus on difficult and controversial risk assessment issues
  • To ensure that this consensus is incorporated into appropriate Agency risk assessment guidance

The Science Technology Policy Council (STPC) reviews guidance developed by the Forum prior to finalization and approval by the Science Advisor. The guidance undergoes extensive internal and external peer review along with public comment prior to adoption.

Risk Assessment Forum products include risk assessment guidelines, white papers, tools and trainings.

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