model development and use. The report will avoid an overly prescriptive and stringent set of guidelines and will recognize the need for regulatory and policy decisions in the face of incomplete information and uncertainty. In particular, the committee will not attempt to define a numerical standard for accuracy that all models must attain before they can be used in the decision-making process.

The committee will address the following specific issues:

  • What scientific and technical factors should be considered in developing model-acceptability and application criteria that address the needs of EPA, as well as those of interested and affected parties?

  • How can the agency provide guidance on procedures for appropriate use, peer review, and evaluation of models that is applicable across the range of interdisciplinary regulatory activities undertaken by the EPA?

  • How can issues related to input data quality, model sensitivity, uncertainty, and the use of model outputs be addressed in a unified manner across the multiple disciplines that encompass modeling at EPA?

  • Models developed outside of the agency must meet the same acceptability and application criteria as models developed within EPA. How can users of proprietary models meet acceptability and application criteria for the use of models in environmental regulatory applications while maintaining the possible proprietary nature of the code?

  • Are there unique evaluation issues associated with different categories of models, such as statistical dose-response models based on epidemiological data?

  • How can models be improved in an adaptive management process to allow simpler tools and models to be used now while having the flexibility to incorporate new data, scientific advances, and advances in modeling in the future?

  • How can uncertainties and limitations of models be effectively communicated to policy-makers and others who are not experts in the details of the models? How should secondary uses of models be treated, including communication of model uncertainties and limitations?

  • What are the emerging scientific and technologic advances that may affect the selection and use of models? Specifically, what are the emerging sources of data (such as remote sensing and other spatially resolved environmental data, and genomic/proteomic data) and developments in information technology for which EPA will need to prepare?

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