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Powers C.,National Center for Environmental AssessmentOffice of Research and Development Environmental Protection AgencyResearch Triangle Park | Grieger K.,RTI InternationalResearch Triangle Park | Meacham C.,National Center for Environmental AssessmentOffice of Research and Development Environmental Protection AgencyResearch Triangle Park | Gooding M.L.,National Center for Environmental AssessmentOffice of Research and Development Environmental Protection AgencyResearch Triangle Park | And 5 more authors.
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management | Year: 2015

Risk assessments and risk management efforts to protect human health and the environment can benefit from early, coordinated research planning by researchers, risk assessors, and risk managers. However, approaches for engaging these and other stakeholders in research planning have not received much attention in the environmental scientific literature. The Comprehensive Environmental Assessment (CEA) approach under development by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is a means to manage complex information and input from diverse stakeholder perspectives on research planning that will ultimately support environmental and human health decision making. The objectives of this article are to 1) describe the outcomes of applying lessons learned from previous CEA applications to planning research on engineered nanomaterial, multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and 2) discuss new insights and refinements for future efforts to engage stakeholders in research planning for risk assessment and risk management of environmental issues. Although framed in terms of MWCNTs, this discussion is intended to enhance research planning to support assessments for other environmental issues as well. Key insights for research planning include the potential benefits of 1) ensuring that participants have research, risk assessment, and risk management expertise in addition to diverse disciplinary backgrounds; 2) including an early scoping step before rounds of formal ratings; 3) using a familiar numeric scale (e.g., US dollars) versus ordinal rating scales of "importance"; 4) applying virtual communication tools to supplement face-to-face interaction between participants; and 5) refining criteria to guide development of specific, actionable research questions. © 2015 SETAC. Source

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