Summary: H.R.4306 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (10/07/1994)

Risk Assessment Improvement Act of 1994 - Establishes a Risk Assessment Program in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Requires the Director of the Program to: (1) develop a process to conduct independent scientific peer review of all risk assessment guidelines developed by EPA; and (2) provide recommendations to the EPA Administrator on risk assessment, research needs, and development of guidelines.

Directs the Director to regularly issue risk assessment guidelines.

Sets forth contents of such guidelines.

Requires the Director to oversee the use of risk assessment guidelines by EPA Program and Regional Offices and ensure consistency in the use of such guidelines as is appropriate in application to various environmental media or hazards. Permits departures from guidelines under specified conditions.

Requires the Director to: (1) regularly develop, issue, and update guidance within EPA for any risk characterizations that may be conducted by EPA; and (2) ensure that such characterizations distinguish human health risks from ecological and other risks. Sets forth contents of such guidance.

Requires the Director to: (1) promote open dialogue to improve the understanding of risk assessments by decisionmakers and to accurately and clearly communicate risk characterizations; and (2) regularly evaluate risk assessment research and training needs of EPA and develop a strategy and schedule for carrying out such research and training.

Provides for, as part of the Program, a two-year study using comparative risk analysis to rank dissimilar environmental risks and provide a common basis for evaluating strategies for reducing or preventing such risks.

Requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to: (1) periodically survey the manner in which Federal agencies are conducting risk assessment; (2) provide recommendations to the President and the Congress based on such surveys; and (3) establish interagency mechanisms to promote coordination of Federal risk assessment and mechanisms between Federal and State agencies to communicate state-of-the-art risk assessment practices.

Directs the Administrator to report to the Congress on at least ten environmental research issues: (1) correlating to environmental hazards which are in the category of highest risk; (2) regarding which there are significant scientific uncertainties with respect to the assessment of such risks; and (3) with respect to which uncertainties could be significantly reduced through research.

Requires the Administrator to carry out a research program to reduce scientific uncertainties with respect to the assessment of environmental risks posed by identified issues.