Draft Action Plan for the Development of a Framework for Metals Assessment and Guidance for Characterizing and Ranking Metals (External Review Draft)

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Abstract

Many EPA programs are faced with deciding whether and how to regulate toxic metals. These decisions range from setting regulatory standards for environmental releases, to establishing safe levels in different environmental media, to setting priorities for regulatory or voluntary efforts. A basic input to the decision-making process for most EPA programs is an assessment of the potential hazards and risks posed by the metal(s) to human health and the environment. Hazard and risk assessments of metals and metal compounds raise issues not generally encountered with organic chemicals. In recognition of the unique assessment issues raised by metals and the complexity of addressing these issues consistently across the Agency's various programs, the Agency's Science Policy Council tasked an Agency work group to devise an Action Plan. The goal of this Action Plan is to establish a process for developing guidance that will assure 1.) a consistent application of scientific principles for assessing hazard and risk for metals, 2.) state-of-the-science application of methods and data, 3.) A transparent process (i.e. articulating assumptions and uncertainties), and 4.) the flexibility to address program-specific issues. The Action Plan includes brief descriptions of the Agency's metals assessment activities, and identifies critical assessment issues that need to be addressed by the cross-agency guidance.

Citation

U.S. EPA. Draft Action Plan for the Development of a Framework for Metals Assessment and Guidance for Characterizing and Ranking Metals (External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/630/P-02/003A, 2002.

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