American Geological Institute

Government Affairs Program

NRC Report "Building a Foundation for Sound Environmental Decisions"

The National Research Council recently released a report entitled "Building a Foundation for Environmental Decisions". The Environmental Protection Agency requested the report as a method of prioritizing research in a period of budget constraints. The report broadly defines environmental issues as those affecting human health, ecosystems, natural resources, or the global environment.

The report recommends two standards for research: ongoing core research into key processes that underlie environmental systems and problem-driven research to understand and solve identified problems. It states that EPA should develop an internal mechanism to identify emerging issues and apply a risk-based prioritization process, and should expand its cooperation with other government agencies as well as industries and universities engaged in environmental research.

The report was prepared by the Committee on Research Opportunities and Priorities for EPA, which was under the supervision of both the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology and the Water Science and Technology Board. The committee's members collectively possess decades of experience in government and nongovernment organizations working on research and solutions related to important environmental problems. Members' areas of expertise include ecology, chemistry, engineering, public affairs, hydrology, and toxicology. For more information on the these boards and their publications, visits the NRC Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources web site.

Additional information and order forms are available from the National Academy Press at 800-624-6242 and on the NAP web site.

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program at

Contributed by Kasey Shewey, AGI Government Affairs.
Last updated June 20, 1997

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