Priorities for Ecological Protection: An Initial List and Discussion Document for EPA


EPA's mission, and the environmental laws that underlie policy and regulations, require the Agency to "protect human health and the environment." Although we may debate the degree of acceptable risk, there is general agreement on the human health endpoints of concern; there is far less agreement on the corresponding endpoints for protecting the environment. Decision makers in EPA have sought guidance on specifically what resources to protect and how they and the public can become more involved in the ecological risk assessment and decision-making process. One purpose of this document is to stimulate Agencywide discussion on which ecological entities should be considered priorities for protection by all Agency programs. (Ecological entities are the valued resources to be protected and can be species, ecosystem functions or characteristics, or specific places and habitats.) Another purpose is to propose a process by which decision makers can set specific ecological objectives to guide both assessment and action.


84 pages; available for download at the link below.


environmental priorities, protected species, endangered species, environmental protection