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Environmental Measurements and Modeling

White Paper on Integrated Modeling for Integrated Environmental Decision Making 2008

Given the complex and multi-dimensional nature of environmental problems, EPA’s original vision was to consider the environment as a “single, interrelated system”. To achieve its mission of protecting human health and safeguarding the natural environment, EPA often employs mathematical models to study environmental systems and processes and to inform regulatory decision making. 

While traditionally environmental modeling has focused on considering a single pollutant in a single environmental medium, this approach is no longer viewed as sufficient for effective environmental management decision support.  It is increasingly recognized that a holistic approach to modeling the environment and the mechanisms governing the fate and transport of pollutants through the different environmental media as well as the multiple exposure pathways and the consequent responses of humans and ecosystems, is required to adequately assess and address environmental problems.

The white paper builds on the results of the 2007 Integrated Modeling Workshop. It aims to lay the foundation for the consistent and systematic implementation of integrated modeling approaches and practices that inform Agency decision making, at both the strategic and tactical levels. 

2007 Integrated Modeling Workshop

The white paper is a product of a collaborative development process involving contributors and reviewers from across EPA’s offices.  In addition, it has been reviewed and approved by the EPA Science Policy Council, a council composed of senior managers from EPA Programs and Regions.

It has also undergone an external peer review by the National Council on Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT).  The results of the peer review may be found on the NACEPT website. The EPA Administrator's response to the NACEPT review outlines the next steps that EPA will take to implement the recommendations of the White Paper.

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