This site contains information about the activities of the Ecological Risk
Assessment Advisory Group (or ERAAG), which is a part of SETAC, a worldwide
organization. ERAAG members are principally members of SETAC but participation
in ERAAG activities is open to all interested parties.
Wayne Munns (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Co-chair: Mary Sorensen (email@example.com)
Newsletter: Beth Power (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Web Site: Paige Leitman (PLeitman@environcorp.com)
EcoVaulation Workgroup: Ralph Stahl (Ralph.G.Stahl-Jr@usa.dupont.com)
Population ERA Workgroup: Larry Barnthouse (email@example.com)
Precautionary Principle Workgroup: Hans Sanderson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ERAAG has three main workgroups - EcoValuation, Population Ecological Risk
Assessment, and the Precautionary Principle.
SCIENCE: to advance the science, practice and
application of ecological risk assessment;
UNCERTAINTY: to reduce uncertainty in the
INSTITUTIONALIZATION: to promote the
institutionalization of its use in environmental planning and assessments;
HARMONIZATION: and to encourage the
harmonization of assessment methods worldwide.
ERA Advisory Group's goals are to:
- Maintain a long-range strategic plan for participation
in the advancement of ecological risk assessment as a science;
- Serve as focal point for identification, resolution and
communication of ecological risk assessment issues;
- Review and advise on project proposals;
- Provide a neutral platform for collaborative evaluation
of scientific issues by diverse groups of stakeholders; and
- Stimulate critical evaluation, validation and transfer
of ERA technologies among the stakeholders.
... STRATEGIC PLANNING ... BE A FOCAL POINT... REVIEW ...
PROVIDE A PLATFORM ... SPREAD TECHNOLOGIES ...
column covers current international news and activities related to ecological
risk assessment. Aside from the contributions of ERAAG committees, many of
these articles are gleaned from newsletters, list servers, websites etc. and
those sources are gratefully acknowledged. In addition, if you come across
something you think others would want to know about, drop me an email. In
particular, readers want to hear about new ecorisk guidance and what is
up-and-coming in ecorisk activities.
Guidance and Regulations
issues in the risk assessment of metals – US EPA
series of papers has been developed in support of an ongoing effort within the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop an integrated framework
for metals risk assessment. In September 2002, a cross-Agency technical panel
discussed plans for the development of the framework and associated guidance
with the Agency's Science Advisory Board (SAB). During the advisory, the SAB
affirmed the importance of incorporating external input into the Agency's
effort. As part of the effort to engage stakeholders and the scientific
community and to build on existing experience, the Agency commissioned external
experts to lead the development of papers on issues and state-of-the-art approaches
in metals risk assessment for several key topics. Topics identified include:
environmental chemistry; exposure; ecological effects; human health effects;
and bioavailability and bioaccumulation. (Some individual EPA experts
contributed specific discussions on topic(s) for which he or she has either
specific expertise or knowledge of current Agency practice). Although Agency
technical staff, as well as representatives from other Federal agencies,
reviewed and commented on previous drafts, the comments were addressed at the
discretion of each respective author or group of authors. Therefore, the views expressed
are those of the authors and should not be construed as implying EPA consent or
endorsement. The topics covered include:
- Issue paper on the bioavailability and bioaccumulation
of metals (draft)
- Issue paper on the ecological effects of metals (draft)
- Issue paper on metal exposure assessment (draft)
- Issue paper on the environmental chemistry of metals
- Issue paper on the human health effects of metals
can view the papers at http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/raf/recordisplay.cfm?deid=59052.
draft papers were made available for public comment (to November 7 2003)
consistent with EPA's commitment to provide opportunities for external input.
Science-based comments received on these papers will be made available to
authors for final disposition.
outputs from research by Metals in the Environment Research Network
key objective of the Metals in the Environment Research (MITE) Research Network
is to improve ERA for metals. MITE adopted the ERA model for the Network, specifically
developing projects in three main ERA components (termed domains within
MITE-RN): Hazard Identification (Sources); Exposure Assessment (Processes); and
Effects Assessment (Impacts). In the ERA model, these three components are
integrated into Risk Characterisation, to assess the probability of risk. Risk Characterisation
is the joint responsibility of Peter Chapman (EVS Environment Consultants) and
Peter Campbell (Network Principal Investigator). One of the major ERA
accomplishments in Year 4 has been the development of a comprehensive synthesis
of the ERA implications of each MITE-RN project, in tabular form.
compilation provides a concise summary of the ERA implications of each project,
and identifies how the new research findings may/should change the way ecological
risk assessments are performed for metals. The summary table is regularly
updated as new results become available.
Agency (England and Wales) – ERA Consultation
Environment Agency is inviting anyone with expertise in performing Environmental
Risk Assessments (ERAs) to take part in a public consultation on a proposed
Framework and methods for assessing how chemical contaminants in the soil pose
risks to ecosystems.
is a relatively new approach in the UK to quantifying the risk of significant
harm to organisms and their ecosystems, but it is already a requirement of a
number of regulatory regimes, such as Part IIA of the Environmental Protection
Act 1990 and the Habitats Directive. The Agency has launched this consultation
to ensure that its proposed Framework encodes the best available science into a
coherent and practical procedure to protect our environment.
consultation was launched on 11 December 2003 and runs until 31 March 2004. The
mechanism for consultation, the technical aspects of the proposed Framework and
a subset of suitable tests are available on-line at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/yourenv/consultations/current_consultations/
consultation documents comprises four components: a tiered framework for
determining the risk of harm to defined eco-receptors on contaminated land;
definitions and quantitative criteria for harm; soil screening values; and
biological and ecotoxicological tests for measuring harm.
consultation involves two types of collaboration: first, with peer reviewers,
who are invited to use their expertise to comment on the proposed framework
between now and the end of March 2004; second, with partners, who will use and
comment on the proposed framework on their own sites during the next year. The
Agency will use the information from the consultation to refine the proposed framework,
which it will validate by mid-2005.
response and any queries should be directed to Samantha Fishwick, Soil Quality
& Protection Team, Bristol, UK.
T: +44 (0)117 914 2902
F: +44 (0)117 914 2929
Scientific Reviews of Herbicide Atrazine Completed
January 2003, EPA issued an "Interim Re-registration Eligibility Decision” for
the widely-used pesticide atrazine, culminating a multi-year assessment.
Specific risk mitigation measures were described for potential human health
concerns, however the document committed to future development of measures for
mitigating ecological risks. As a follow-up, an addendum to the January
document was released on October 31 2003. The addendum discusses ecological monitoring
and risk mitigation within sensitive watersheds, the most current scientific
information regarding potential effects of atrazine on amphibians. Specifically
to target monitoring of ecologically vulnerable watersheds, the manufacturers
of atrazine are required to monitor residue levels in 40 indicator watersheds
that are representative of watersheds that may be vulnerable to
contamination where atrazine is regularly used. Go to: http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/reregistration/atrazine/atrazineadd.pdf
for more information. (Source, EPA Press Advisory10/31/03)
– On-line ecological risk assessment training
website is intended to teach those relatively new to ERA about ecological risk
assessment step by step, allowing viewers to go as deep as they want to into
resource materials. The website has a quick reference "what is ecological risk
assessment?” introductory section, five course modules, and interactive
components. This training is based on the EPA's Guidelines for Ecological Risk
Assessment. Go to: http://www.erg.com/portfolio/elearn/ecorisk/html/
the ERAAG webmaster: email@example.com