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The role of Risk Assessment in Environmental Assessments American Chamber of Commerce Meeting

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Basic concepts of risk analysis Potential hazard identification Are we endangered and by what hazards Assessment of potential effects What adverse effects can occur Quantification of existing risk Probability calculation for adverse effects occurrence

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Risk – probability for adverse effects occurrence Related to incomplete or uncertain information Works on incomplete data/measurement series Rarely represented by a simple yes/no answer – a range of different outcomes with different likelihoods is the result Does not work in case of a complete lack of information The degree of uncertainty translates directly into the calculated risk (the higher uncertainty, the higher calculated risk)

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Risk Assessment binds together Assessment of the hazards’ magnitude (severity) Assessment of the uncertainty related to -Sources of hazards -Physical laws and conditions governing the process at risk -The endangered subjects

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Specialists involved in Risk Analysis Auditors – hazard identification Toxicologists – dose-effect assessment Risk analysts – uncertainty quantification Risk analysts with other specialists – formulation of the process model Risk analysts – computations and outcome interpretation Management – establishing of acceptable risk level, decision taking

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Type and quality of input data Data may have different levels of uncertainty The degree of input uncertainty determines the methodology of risk calculation It is crucial to understand that the greater the input uncertainty, the greater the outcome risk Hence, though RA can manage even very uncertain input data, the calculated risk will be very large

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Example – underground carcinogenic contamination of and industrial site

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Questions which have to be answered based on RA outcomes What is the probability (risk) of increased number of cancer cases What level of risk is acceptable What sort of one-event testing would be sufficient or should a long term monitoring be applied, what will be the costs What should be the design of an remediation installation and how much will it cost In the sight of the abovementioned facts is the purchase of the facility in question economically justified

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RA would be performed in the following way: Investigation of the effects of the contamination on human health Data gathering for preliminary uncertainty assessment Preliminary uncertainty assessment: -Low risk -Significant risk – minimization (planning and performing of a measurement campaign) Enhanced uncertainty assessment: -Low risk -Significant risk: -minimization (design and implementation of remediation) -Cancellation of the acquisition

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RA algorithm - summary RA means additional costs, but it may protect from even greater costs RA results are the basis of a reasonable decision making process There will NOT be a no-risk case. EVER. The decision makers have to establish an acceptable risk level for the decision making.

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Additional business risk factors Environmental Liability Directive Polish land contamination law (decree of 9/9/02) Planned EU groundwater directive International Accounting Standards including environmental liabilities

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Examples 1.LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES 2.Commercial sites – shopping centers

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