259448 Potential role of health impact assessment within USEPA's Action Development Process

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tina Yuen, MPH, MCP , Association of Schools of Public Health/ US Environmental Protection Agency, Arlington, VA
Devon Payne-Sturges, DrPH , Office of Research and Development/ National Center for Environmental Research, US Environmental Protection Agency, Arlington, VA
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recently identified the integration of environmental justice into its programs and policies as a priority, including how it develops and evaluates environmental regulations. The Agency uses their Action Development Process (ADP) to examine and cultivate regulatory options and other actions in a step-wise fashion, and considers a wide array of information and employs a number of assessment tools to help predict their benefits and impacts. Agency's actions are rules, policy statements, risk assessments, guidance documents, models that may be used in future rulemakings, and strategies that are related to regulations. Health effects and costs are oftentimes incorporated into these analyses, highlighting an opportunity to focus attention on environmental health inequities. Risk assessment, for example, is a systematic analysis of health risk commonly utilized to inform regulatory development, but has been criticized for its limited scope and inability to adequately characterize the full breadth of risk that uniquely burden the most vulnerable and susceptible communities. Health impact assessment (HIA) can broaden the information considered by examining the impacts actions will have on social determinants of health in order to better characterize the distribution of impacts between socially and economically defined population groups and cumulative risk. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of the potential benefits HIA can provide to the USEPA's ADP and the ways it may be integrated, and will highlight the strengths and attributes that differentiate it from other analysis tools currently included within the USEPA's repertory.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe US Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Action Development Process (ADP) and how it considers health impacts, compare and contrast health impact assessment (HIA) with other analysis tools currently used to inform USEPA’s action development and evaluation processes,discuss opportunities to integrate HIA into USEPA’s ADP.

Keywords: Decision-Making, Environmental Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Tina Yuen, MPH MCP, is ASPH Environmental Health Fellow at the National Center for Environmental Research within the Office of Research and Development at the US Environmental Protection Agency. She recently graduated from UC Berkeley where she specialized in environmental health, community development, and land use planning. Her research interests center around combating environmental health inequities and working toward policy solutions that incorporate a framework of vulnerability, cumulative impacts, and precautionary approaches into policy decision-making.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.