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By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) are now assembling an ad hoc committee to identify emerging scientific and technological advances from across a broad range of disciplines that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD) should consider in its research planning to support EPA’s mission for protecting human health and the environment.  In addition, according to NASEM, the committee will recommend how ORD could best take advantage of those advances to meet current and future challenges during the next 10 - 20 years.  NASEM states that the committee will consider EPA’s mission, strategic planning documents, and current initiatives, as well as other broader topics, including, but not limited to, biotechnology, big data, climate impacts, environmental monitoring and sensors, impacts of stressors on ecological and human health, and artificial intelligence and machine learning.  The committee also will consider advances that help EPA better incorporate systems thinking into multimedia, multidisciplinary approaches.

The study will be carried out by a committee of approximately 16 volunteer experts from a wide range of disciplines that can be applied to current and emerging environmental challenges facing society, including:

  • Physical, chemical, biological, environmental, and social sciences;
  • Exposure science;
  • Public health;
  • Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems;
  • Engineering;
  • Informatics/information technology;
  • Risk assessment;
  • Risk management;
  • Environmental policy decision-making;
  • Communication and application of scientific information in environmental decision-making; and
  • Emerging science and technology.

Nominations for committee members and reviewers are due August 5, 2020.

Tags: NASEM, ORD

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on December 13, 2019, that it contracted the National Academies of Science (NAS) to conduct a peer review of its Application of Systematic Review in TSCA Risk Evaluations.  According to EPA, this review will help provide it with important feedback on its approach to selecting and reviewing the scientific studies that are used to inform Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluations.  EPA states that “[‌i]ntegrating systematic review principles into the TSCA risk evaluation process is critical to developing transparent, reproducible and scientifically credible risk evaluations.”  EPA will provide NAS with the document published in June 2018, “as well as additional publicly available information” that can inform its review, including previously received public comments on this method.  NAS will use their study process to conduct an objective and independent peer review, including convening a public meeting and issuing a final report, by June 2020.  EPA notes that it will continue its work on the risk evaluations currently underway using the established systematic review process.  EPA will incorporate NAS’s recommendations “as appropriate into our systematic review methods and use the updated process in future risk evaluations as timing allows.”