Environment, Resources & Climate Change

Ecological Risk Assessment

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Assessing the likelihood and extent to which chemicals, climate change, and other human impacts have adverse effects on individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems is a key component in the development of meaningful and cost-effective environmental policy. Abt Associates has conducted high-quality qualitative and quantitative risk assessments in support of environmental policy and regulatory decisions in the U.S. and overseas for more than two decades. Through our work, we have helped regulators identify environmental stressors and their ecological effects, establish priorities for mitigating the effect of these stressors and/or restoring affected areas, and provided a scientific basis for regulatory actions through the development of quantitative models.

Our work is interdisciplinary, drawing upon our knowledge of climate change, ecology, chemistry, hydrology, epidemiology, economics, and other disciplines to ensure policymakers are equipped to make decisions using meaningful human health and ecological endpoints. Working together, our team of chemists, toxicologists, ecologists, and engineers has conducted many complex ecological risk assessments for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For example, the EPA has drawn on Abt work to set national air quality standards, establish site-specific waste clean-up goals, and develop industry-specific effluent guidelines and water quality criteria.

To increase the impact of our work, Abt leveraged our ecological and economic expertise to develop integrated ecological-economic benefits assessment methods that characterize the societal value of ecological endpoints identified in ecological risk assessments.

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