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Risk Assessment

  • By: Anna Milena Zivian
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Risk assessment is the first step in environmental risk analysis, a tool designed to assist decision makers in making environmental policy decisions. Risk assessment is meant to provide a science-based methodology with clearly defined steps to give decision makers the necessary background on which to base their decisions. Risk assessment is intended to allow decision makers to separate the fact-based elements of environmental issues from “political,” value-based decisions. The extent to which it is able to do this is debated, but risk assessment has been widely adopted by national and international institutions as a model for helping decision makers formulate policy on complex scientific issues.

The classic model for risk assessment was first set out in the United States in a 1983 report, Risk Assessment ...

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