Government Agencies

U.S. Government Agencies (federal and state)

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “is directed by congressional mandate to perform specific functions concerning the effect on public health of hazardous substances in the environment. These functions include public health assessments of waste sites, health consultations concerning specific hazardous substances, health surveillance and registries, response to emergency releases of hazardous substances, applied research in support of public health assessments, information development and dissemination, and education and training concerning hazardous substances.” The mission of the Atlanta, Georgia-based agency is “to prevent or mitigate the adverse human health effects and diminished quality of life that result from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.” (Posted September 1996, updated 2015.)

Argonne National Laboratory: Environmental Science Division
The Environmental Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory conducts research and assessment on natural and human-managed systems to understand how these systems could change as a result of energy development, emerging national policies, and energy-economic interactions of national and international significance. The division’s core studies focus on land and renewable resources, ecological resources and systems, radiation and chemical risk management, environmental security, environmental restoration, atmospheric processes, and climate research. (Posted January 2000, updated 2015.)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services works “to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. … As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish its mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects the nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.” (Posted September 1996, updated 2015.)

Charles Stark Draper Laboratory
The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory is a not-for-profitresearch and development laboratory focused on the design, development, and deployment of advanced technological solutions for our nation’s most challenging and important problems in security, space exploration, healthcare, and energy. (Posted October 2000, updated 2015.)

Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation
The multi-university Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP) has served the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its stakeholders since 1995, currently through a cooperative agreement (2006 – 2017) awarded to Vanderbilt University. The objective of CRESP is to advance cost-effective, risk-based cleanup of the nation’s nuclear weapons production facility waste sites and cost-effective, risk-based management of potential future nuclear sites and wastes. This is accomplished by seeking to improve the scientific and technical basis for environmental management decisions by the DOE and by fostering public participation in that search. (Updated February 2015.)

Environmental Assessment Portal, United States Environmental Protection Agency
The mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to protect human health and the environment. EPA’s environmental assessment portal provides guidance and risk assessments aimed at protecting human health and the environment.. (Posted February 2015.)

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Risk-Related Research
The Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) conducts research to improve the scientific basis of risk assessment. Scientific knowledge developed in the research is then integrated by multi-disciplinary teams to develop more effective and less costly risk management strategies for solving environmental problems. Research is focused in several major areas described at the site. (Posted 1995, updated 2015.)

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Research and Standards
The Office of Research and Standards of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection heads the state’s risk assessment work. Its duties include conducting environmental and toxicological research, defining and updating acceptable levels of human exposure to environmental pollutants, and advising all other programs of the state Department of Environmental Protection on the health and environmental effects of specific incidents, sites and toxic materials. On-line documents include the department’s comments on the federal Commission on Risk Assessment and Risk Management’s draft report, “Risk Assessment and Risk Management in Regulatory Decision-Making.” Files available to download include “Guidance for Disposal Site Risk Characterization – In Support of the Massachusetts Contingency Plan” and “Risk Assessment Short Form – Residential Exposure Scenario.” (Updated April 2001.)

National Academy of Sciences
Chartered by Congress in 1863, the National Academy of Sciences is a national organization of distinguished scholars mandated to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. (Posted December 1996.)

National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency dedicated to “the progress of science” that awards grants, graduate fellowships, and undergraduate research opportunities in the sciences and in engineering. The agency also supports research, including applied research, at academic and other nonprofit institutions; fosters the interchange of scientific information among scientists and engineers in the United States and foreign countries; and serves as a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on scientific and technical resources in the United States. On-line documents include the newsletter article “Controlling Dangers: The Truth About Risk Assessment,” an introduction to the Decision, Risk, and Management Sciences Program, an on-line grant proposal guide, and a detailed overview of research opportunities for undergraduate students. (Updated June 2010.)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory:
Toxicology and Risk Analysis Section
ORNL’s Toxicology and Risk Analysis Section promotes the protection of human health and the environment by developing and applying improved methodologies and communications for risk, toxicological, and environmental regulatory analyses. (Posted January 2000.)

Office of Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Chief Economist
The Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 established ORACBA, which began operation on April 15, 1995. The office’s primary role is to ensure that major regulations proposed by USDA–those concerning human, health, safety, or the environment and having an annual economic impact of at least $100 million (1994 dollars)–are based on sound scientific and economic analysis. For such regulations, the Reorganization Act requires USDA to conduct a thorough analysis that makes clear the nature of the risk, alternative ways of reducing it, the reasoning that justifies the proposed rule, and a comparison of the likely costs and benefits of reducing the risk. The office publishes a quarterly newsletter for risk assessment professionals, ORACBA News, which is available on line. (Posted May 2000.)

Ohio Comparative Risk Project
The Ohio Comparative Risk Project began in 1994. Its volunteer participants—representatives from government, industry, and the public—have since identified and ranked the severity of 45 potential threats to health, ecosystems, and quality of life in Ohio. These were included in Ohio’s first State of the Environment Report in 1995. The published report, an attempt to provide comprehensive information about the state of Ohio’s environment, serves as a tool for Ohio citizens to use in making environmental decisions. (Posted December 1996, updated 2015.)

Risk Assessment Portal, United States Environmental Protection Agency
The mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to protect human health and the environment. EPA’s risk assessment portal provides information about environmental risk assessments for the public and offers a comprehensive set of links to key EPA tools, guidance, and guidelines. (Posted February 2015.)

Risk Management Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture
The USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) administers the federal crop insurance program, which helps farmers survive a major crop loss. The agency also provides training to farmers to help them acquire the risk management skills needed to compete and win in the global marketplace. RMA also helps makes information on risk management more accessible to farmers and educators by funding the National Ag Risk Education Library, a powerful resource developed by the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota. (Posted January 2000.)

Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission website includes two areas relevant to risk: the Texas Risk Reduction Program area, which includes the TRRP rule and guidance and forms for use with it, and the Toxicology and Risk Assessment area, which provides toxicological support for the commission’s activities by evaluating environmental concentrations for the potential to cause adverse health effects in the general public. (Updated April 2001.)

United States Coast Guard, Risk-Based Decision Making Web Site
The Office of Marine Safety and Environmental Protection at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters has created a web site for Coast Guard (CG) Risk-Based Decision Making (RBDM) that offers a new perspective on risk, especially as it relates to CG marine safety and environmental protection efforts. The site provides information to anyone interested in risk, from a section called Risk 101 and ample background information for the beginner to examples of field applications for the user with expert risk experience. The site also provides resources and support for the second edition of the U.S. Coast Guard RBDM Guidelines. (Posted March 2001.)

U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science and Risk Policy
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science and Risk Policy manages the Environmental Management Science Program and the Risk Policy Program. Its responsibilities include developing “risk policy, requirements and guidance to ensure that risk analysis theory and processes are integrated into coherent decision making processes.” On-line documents include the office’s 1995 risk report to Congress titled “Risks and the Risk Debate: Searching for Common Ground,” the department’s Principles for Using Risk Analysis, and the department’s risk-related cooperative agreements. (Posted December 1996.)


International Government Agencies

Environment Australia
The web site of Australia’s Department of Environment and Heritage includes links to databases on topics including air quality, biodiversity, coasts and marine life, monitoring, and land conservation. Links also are provided to its internal environmental publications, as well as publications from other agencies such as the Australian Greenhouse Office, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and the Australian Antarctic Division. (Posted December 6, 1996; updated October 2001.)

European Commission – Directorate General Health and Consumer Protection – Unit Risk Assessment
Three independent scientific committees made up of external experts provide scientific advice that underpins the European Commission’s proposals on measures and policies that may affect the health and safety of the citizens or may impact the environment. Tthe Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP), the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER), and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly-Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) deal mainly with the safety of consumer products, such as cosmetic products and ingredients, toys, and textiles; the toxicity and ecotoxicity of chemicals, biochemical, and biological compounds; and emerging and new potential risks, such as nanotechnology or broad complex and multidisciplinary issues. Their work complements the work of the European Food Safety Authority and European Medicines Evaluation Agency. (Also read news release.) (Posted December 1, 2005.)

European Food Safety Authority
This independent agency established by European Union regulation in January 2002, inaugurated its official seat in Parma, Italy, in June 2005. Dedicated to providing objective scientific advice on all matters related to food and feed safety, including animal health and welfare and plant protection, EFSA’s risk assessments provide risk managers (European Commission, European Parliament and Council) with a sound scientific basis for defining policy-driven legislation or regulatory measures and the public with a high level of consumer protection and confidence. (Read the news release.) (Posted June 21, 2005.)

Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP)
Directorate General Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
One of seven European Commission’s Joint Research Centre institutes, the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection provides scientific support to the development and implementation of European Union policies related to health and consumer protection by carrying out research to improve the understanding of potential health risks posed by chemicals, biocides, genetically modified organisms, contaminants released from food contact materials and consumer products. [Note: Former Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment Senior Fellow P. J. (Bert) Hakkinen has joined the IHCP staff in the Physical and Chemical Exposure Unit, which is located in Ispra, Italy.] (Posted August 2003.)

Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)
A specialized agency within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization of industrialized countries based in Paris, France, the NEA assists its member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co-operation, the scientific, technological, and legal bases required for the safe, environmentally friendly, and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The NEA areas of work include supporting nuclear installation safety and regulation; the safe, sustainable, and acceptable management of radioactive waste; radiation protection; helping create sound legal regimes for peaceful uses of nuclear energy; and addressing citizens’ concerns over public health and safety. The professional journal of the NEA, NEA News, features articles on the latest nuclear energy issues concerning the economic and technical aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear safety and regulation, radioactive waste management, radiation protection, nuclear science, and nuclear legislation. (Posted May 2006.)

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs — Risk Assessment Frameworks
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Canada has placed on line its frameworks for decision analysis, risk analysis, test performance, and risk assessment. The documents include Basic Principles of Risk Analysis and Decision Analysis; Basic Principles of Evaluating Test Performance for Making Decisions; Preface and Introduction to Risk Assessment Frameworks of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; A General Risk Assessment Framework for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; A General Framework for Food Safety Risk Assessment; A General Framework for Animal Health Risk Assessment; and A General Framework for Plant Health Risk Assessment. (Posted December 3, 1996; updated October 2001.)

Systems Analysis Department at Risø National Laboratory
Risø is a national laboratory under the Danish Ministry of Research and Information Technology. The research at Risø’s Systems Analysis Department supports the development of technical-economic optimization and risk management methods for complex industrial systems and energy systems, with emphasis on environmental considerations and human factors. The department’s four research programmes include Energy Systems Analysis; United Nations Environment Programme Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment (UCCEE); Safety, Reliability and Human Factors; and Technology Scenarios. (Posted September 4, 1996; updated October 2001.)

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