Science Inventory

A Weight of Evidence Framework for Environmental Assessments: Inferring Quantities

Citation:

Suter, G., S. Cormier, AND M. Barron. A Weight of Evidence Framework for Environmental Assessments: Inferring Quantities. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, KS, 13(6):1045-1051, (2017).

Impact/Purpose:

This paper explains to the scientific community Risk Assessment Forum's (RAF) advice on how to use weight of evidence to infer quantities such as benchmarks, criteria, or rates. This is the first guidance for that purpose.

Description:

Environmental assessments require the generation of quantitative parameters such as degradation rates and assessment products may be quantities such as criterion values or magnitudes of effects. When multiple data sets or outputs of multiple models are available, it may be appropriate to weigh the evidence in support of each. However, there has been no generally applicable framework for a weight of evidence (WoE) process for quantitative values from multiple pieces or types of evidence.

As part of its guidelines for WoE in ecological assessments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has developed such a framework. The basic steps are to weigh evidence for the environmental quality to be quantified, generate the value by combining estimates or by identifying the best estimate, and weighting the results to determine confidence in the numerical value. Use of the framework can increase the accuracy of quantitative results compared to default methods and provide greater transparency compared to ad hoc weighing of evidence.

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 07/21/2017
Record Last Revised: 04/30/2018
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 338230

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

CINCINNATI OH