The mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to preserve and improve the quality of the environment, protect human health, and safeguard the productivity of natural resources on which all human activity depends. To achieve these aims, the Agency is committed to ensuring that 'national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information communicated clearly to the public' (Strategic Direction for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: EPA...Preserving Our Future Today, 1991). EPA also is dedicated to 'providing leadership in the nation's environmental science, research, and assessment efforts.' This includes: A Gathering,and analyzing the data needed to evaluate environmental risks and trends, measure environmental results, and inform the choices of institutions and individuals throughout society. A Promoting and supporting innovative technological solutions to environmental problems. A Encouraging and conducting research that = r improves our understanding of health and ecological risks. A Providing objective, reliable, and understandable information that helps build trust in EPA's judgment and actions. A Sharing research findings and innovative technologies with other nations. In addition, EPA must be able to anticipate environmental problems caused by new and existing technologies and by societal changes.