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SETAC NA 2013 ERA AG Sponsored Sessions
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4/18/2013 at 8:18:24 PM GMT
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SETAC NA 2013 ERA AG Sponsored Sessions


Ecological Risk Assessment Advisory Group (ERA AG) Sponsored Sessions

SETAC NA 2013: Nashville, TN, USA

Please consider submitting abstracts and attending these ERA AG sponsored sessions.

  • Implementing Ecological Risk Assessment Weight-of Evidence Approaches that Contribute to Decision-Making
    • Session Chairs: Chris McCarthy, Ruth Hull, and Glenn Suter


  • What Works and Why?
    • Session Chairs: John Toll, Marc Greenberg, and Steve Brown


See details of each session below:


Implementing Ecological Risk Assessment Weight-of Evidence Approaches that Contribute to Decision-Making

Session Chairs: Chris McCarthy, Ruth Hull and Glenn Suter

Weight-of-evidence (WOE) approaches have been used within ecological risk assessments (ERAs) for the last two decades. The sediment quality triad WOE approach to assess risks to the benthic invertebrate community has been implemented broadly and has achieved widespread regulatory acceptance. However, WOE analyses for other receptor groups, particularly in the terrestrial environment, are used less often, and the types of data collected and their contribution to the overall characterization of risk are less clear. There is little guidance on how to develop a workplan that will lead to a comprehensive dataset that can be used for WOE analysis, nor is there guidance on how to interpret the various lines of evidence in relation to each other, particularly when there are differing levels of uncertainty in the data, and results that do not clearly support each other. This often leads to cursory analyses that do not provide confidence in the conclusions, hence do not contribute to decision-making. This session will seek examples of well-planned and thorough WOE analyses that can evaluate impacts, and also provide insight into potential future risks, a requirement of some contaminated sites programs. It is the goal of this session to highlight advances in WOE approaches, including the study design, analysis of data, weighing of lines of evidence, addressing uncertainties, and integrating diverse data sets, so that the resulting characterization and conclusions can be used with confidence in decision-making.


If you would like to participate, please contact one of the session co-chairs: Chris McCarthy ( chris.mccarthy@ch2m.com ) , Ruth Hull ( rhull@intrinsik.com ) and Glenn Suter. ( suter.glenn@epa.gov )


What Works and Why?

Session Chairs: John Toll, Marc Greenberg, and Steve Brown

This session follows in the footsteps of the 2011 session "Evaluating Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessments and Remediation Decisions: Is the Cure Worse than the Disease?” and the 2012 session "21st Century Environmental Risk Assessment.” As with its predecessors, the motivation for the proposed session is the widely held view that environmental risk management decisions – particularly site-specific environmental risk management decisions for large "mega” sites – tend to take too long and cost too much. Moreover, the people responsible for implementing environmental risk management decisions often lament lost opportunities to achieve real and lasting environmental benefits, from ecosystem restoration to urban revitalization. Goodwill squandered goes hand-in-hand with opportunities lost.

The purpose of the proposed session "What Works and Why” is not to dwell on these problems, but to accelerate progress toward a new status quo where environmental risk management projects are routinely expected to create real and lasting value that outweighs direct and indirect project costs. We hope to help is by convening professionals working on the front lines of environmental risk management projects to discuss projects that are the exception to the rule, and learn from their success. We are seeking abstracts to fill this bill.

If you have worked on a project that created real and lasting value that outweighed project transaction costs, please consider submitting an abstract to this session. Abstracts should provide:

1. The project's value proposition (i.e., what it sought to achieve)

2. Hurdles that had to be overcome

3. The key(s) to the project's success (e.g., strong leadership, savvy technical experts, regulators' willingness to consider unconventional solutions, responsible party interest in expeditiously addressing the environmental problem, effective stakeholder engagement, etc.)

4. Project outcomes regarding risk reduction, environmental enhancement, and social/community benefits

5. At least one piece of practical advice that other practitioners – many of whom have not yet experienced a successful environmental risk management project – can use to more broadly propagate your success.

If you would like to participate, please contact: John Toll (johnt@windwardenv.com) at your earliest convenience to discuss what you would like to present.

 Attached Files: 

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