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OMB's Proposed Risk Assessment Bulletin

OMB proposed in January 2006 to impose a one-size-fits-all standard for all agency risk assessments.

Risk Assessments Are Important.

Agencies prepare risk assessments in order to develop the best assumptions about hazards when there is a need for action in a situation with incomplete information.  Agency experts apply their scientific judgment to the weight of the available scientific evidence in order to   bridge the gap between the known and the unknown and provide estimates of the risk the public faces, such as the risk of cancer from exposure to a hazardous waste site or the potential that a bridge or large structure could collapse.

Risk assessments are often used in the development of regulations to protect the public health, safety, and environment.

The OMB Bulletin Is Deeply Flawed.

OMB's proposal would cover not just risk assessments but also a wide array of scientific and expert evaluations other than full risk assessments, including the National Toxicology Program's Report on Carcinogens, the gold standard for evaluating and identifying carcinogens.

It would impose unnecessary delays in the production of scientific and technical evaluations; would drain agency resources; and would politicize what should be the province of experts.

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