Gino DiCaro

Cumulative impact and the precautionary principle

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, June 18, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

At a June 3rd meeting of a California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA) working group, Cal EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) previewed a proposed screening methodology for evaluating cumulative impacts and discussed the work they had completed concerning incorporation of the precautionary approach into decision-making by all of Cal EPA’s boards, departments and offices (BDO’s).  The methodology was said to provide the BDO’s with a simple, understandable scientifically guided framework incorporating socioeconomic factors and making use of existing statewide data that can used to support their activities.

The report is due out for circulation and review within Cal EPA shortly and is scheduled to be released for public comment later this year.

While the concepts of cumulative impact and the precautionary principle itself are highly controversial, they are considered cornerstones of an environmental justice philosophy.  Environmental justice advocates have been following this work closely.  This type of approach in regulation has been untested by any state or country to our knowledge.

Additional information on the June 3rd meeting and the materials discussed is available at: http://oehha.ca.gov/ej/cipa060310.html

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