Environmental Risk Assessment
Along with health risk assessments, environmental risk assessments form the
basis for evaluating environmental contamination in various media. The
results of these ecological risk assessments lead to the development of
cost-effective and protective environmental remediation solutions. CEC
scientists have been heavily involved in developing ecological risk approaches
for assessing a wide range of environmental problems ranging from a small scale
(e.g., waste sites) to a large scale (e.g., global warming).
Environmental Risk Assessment Projects:
Pioneering Ecological Risk Approaches
Ecological assessments were developed which formed the primary basis for
cleanup of the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois. In one
of the very first ecological assessments of its kind, the cleanup of PCBs and
heavy metals were based upon the protection of burrowing animals.
Ecological risk procedures developed for the Crab Orchard site have subsequently
been used across the nation.
Comparative Ecological Risk Assessments
In a comparative risk analysis of environmental problems for U.S. EPA and the
Great Lakes National Program Office, ecological risk assessments were developed
for 26 leading environmental problems present in the mid-western states and the
in Great Lakes. These techniques helped identify and rank environmental
problems relative to ecological impacts. Habitat destruction, global
climate change, and invasive species were ranked as the leading ecological
threats. Federal and state risk management decisions were made to focus more
resources on these leading threats.