OBrien overview presentation

OBrien overview presentation - Making Better Environmental...

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Making Better Environmental Decisions: An Alternative to Risk Assessment Mary O’Brien, MIT press Professor Doug Cerf Bren School of Environmental Science and Management Environmental Risk Management Winter 2008
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Goal of this book: Replace Risk Assessment with Alternatives Assessment
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Printed on recycled paper-actually better, not printed at all Issue Is risk assessment an effective method of managing environmental risk?
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Printed on recycled paper-actually better, not printed at all Lessons Learned Risk assessment The process of estimating damages that may be occurring or that may occur if an activity is undertaken Most activities assessed in risk assessment produce some commercial benefit Those that benefit may be different than those that are impacted by the environmental impact Example: Hazardous waste incineration.
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Printed on recycled paper-actually better, not printed at all Lessons Learned Replace risk assessment of a narrow range of options with public assessment of a broad range of options (alternatives assessment) The unstated goal of risk assessment is to provide permission for undertaking some amount of the activity whose risks are being assessed. Risk assessments tends to involve citizens Risk assessments are generally difficult for public to participate in or understand
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better, not printed at all Lessons Learned Flawed assessment logic: Does assessing the risk of hazardous activities and concluding that some level of activity poses insignificant risks of damage permit avoidance of an alternatives analysis? Are risk assessments used to justify
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