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Global Change Impacts & Adaptation

A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay (External Review Draft)

Notice

EPA announces the details for the external peer review workshop to be held March 11, 2011 in Arlington, VA. [Federal Register Jan 25, 2011] - EPA announces that this meeting has been cancelled.[Federal Register, Mar 7, 2011]

EPA announced the release of the draft report, A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay (External Review Draft) in an August 31, 2010 Federal Register Notice. This draft report is provided for public review and comment. Any comments received on the draft report within the next 60-days will be considered by EPA in their revisions.

Report Information

The goal of this study is to formalize an approach to inventory and analyze management decisions in order to produce useful information targeted toward effective adaptation to climate change. The approach uses as its starting point ongoing planning processes and decisions geared toward achieving environmental management goals, and then collects information on decisions and prioritizes them according to specific attributes. The pilot study described in this report applies this approach to the Chesapeake Bay Program and examines its usefulness to decision makers. This report has undergone internal review and peer consultation and is now posted for public comment.

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Susan Julius
  • by phone at:   703-347-8619
  • by email at:  julius.susan@epa.gov

Background

Climate change is a global phenomenon that is affecting natural and human systems in all parts of the world. Some of the decisions and actions taken to manage these systems are likely to be affected by climate change and may likewise affect the vulnerability of the managed resource or ecosystem to climate change. Maintaining or improving the health of resources, as articulated in many management goals, means maximizing the effectiveness of existing management practices. Maximizing effectiveness of practices will not only include understanding the magnitude of potential impacts, but also understanding the effects of climate change on specific practices and their performance.

The goal of this study is to formalize an approach to inventory and analyze management decisions in order to produce useful information targeted toward effective adaptation to climate change. We began by: (1) selecting a study area and compiling a list of key decisions (2) developing criteria for evaluating the climate-relevance of decisions; (3) applying the criteria to select decisions that are potentially sensitive to climate change; (4) soliciting expert judgment regarding those selections (and refine the selections accordingly); and (5) testing alternative weighting schemes for prioritizing decisions most in need of decision support or additional research based on the selected attributes.

We selected the Chesapeake Bay as the subject area for the pilot study because decision making occurs at several levels (e.g., state, multi-state, EPA, other federal agencies), management is concerned with both water quality and aquatic ecosystem decisions, and decisions that affect actions implemented on the ground are readily identifiable. The test of our theoretical approach revealed that in practice, it provides useful information on adaptation measures for local decision makers and direction for fruitful research endeavors that will further improve our provision of information.

History/Chronology

Aug 2008EPA conducted an internal review of the document.
Sept 2009EPA initiated a peer consolutation of the document.
Aug 2010EPA released the external review draft report for a 60-day public peer review and comment period. [Federal Register Aug 31, 2010]

Next Steps

Concluding this public comment period, there will be an external panel review, which will be announced in the Federal Register. After the external panel review, the final report will be published on the Global Change- Adaptation web site, along with responses to comments from the external peer review panel and the public.

Additional Information

Comments on this report may be submitted and reviewed using the e-Government Regulations.gov Web site. From the site, select Environmental Protection Agency and the keyword EPA-HQ-ORD-2010-0709 (for the docket ID) to comment on this report.

Citation

U.S. EPA. A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay (External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-10/096A, 2010.

Downloads

This download(s) is distributed solely for the purpose of pre-dissemination peer review under applicable information quality guidelines. It has not been formally disseminated by EPA. It does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency determination or policy.

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