EPA's new sustainability framework

The National Researach Council has released its report, in response to a request from EPA, on a framework for incorporating sustainabilitiy into the EPA's principles and decision making, helping the agency to better assess the social, environmental and economic impacts involved in its decisions -- known as the "three pillars" paradigm.

The new approach goes beyond EPA's traditional risk-based approach, enabling the agency to address more of the increasingly complex issues and challenges facing the country and both current and future generations. The report proposes a set of sustainability principles providing a vision and process that would underly agency policies and programs. This "sustainability assessment and management" could provide a basis for the identifying potential consequences of alternative decisions, drawing upon methods such as life-cycle assessment, benefit-cost analysis, and sustainability impact statements, as well as traditional risk-assessment .

A public meeting to discuss the report is planned for September 15 at 3 pm at the National Academies Keck Center, 500 Fifth St., N.W., Washington, DC. Reporters who wish to attend should contact the Office of News and Public Information at 202-334-2138 or email news@nas.edu.

Pre-publication copies of Sustainability and the U.S. EPA are available from the National Academies Press. at http://www.nap.edu


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