Science Inventory

A weight of evidence framework for environmental assessments: Inferring Qualities

Citation:

Suter, G., S. Cormier, AND M. Barron. A weight of evidence framework for environmental assessments: Inferring Qualities. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, KS, 13(6):1038-1044, (2017).

Impact/Purpose:

The paper explains the Risk Assessment Forum's (RAF) framework for weight of evidence to infer qualities such as causation. This is an important part of problem formulation in risk assessments and it has other uses as well.

Description:

The weighing of heterogeneous evidence such as conventional laboratory toxicity tests, field tests, biomarkers, and community surveys is essential to environmental assessments. Evidence synthesis and weighing is needed to determine causes of observed effects, hazards posed by chemicals or other agents, the completeness of remediation, and other environmental qualities. However, there has been no generally applicable framework for the weight of evidence (WoE) process.

As part of its guidelines for WoE in ecological assessments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has developed such a framework. Its basic steps are: assemble evidence, weight the evidence, and weigh the body of evidence. Use of the framework can increase the consistency and rigor of WoE practices and provide greater transparency than traditional ad hoc and narrative-based approaches.

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: 338233

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

CINCINNATI OH