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Page 53
Suggested Citation:"Enclosure D: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2013. Letter Report on a Technical Peer Review of the Buzzards Bay Risk Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22480.
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Page 53

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53 Enclosure D Statement of Task At the request of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), an ad hoc committee will conduct a peer review to evaluate the methodologies and conclusions of the Buzzards Bay Risk Assessment (BBRA). The peer review of the Buzzards Bay Risk Assessment will focus on the following key questions posed by MassDEP: 1. Is the scope of the analysis (type and extent of data gathered) sufficient to support the decisions that are being made based on its results? 2. Are the methodologies used (“what if” and “change analysis”) appropriately applied to estimate the risk reduction benefits of each alternative? [Note particularly conclusions based on “change analysis” on page 70 of the BBRA (“The results of this analysis indicate that the greatest decrease in risk for tank barges operating in Buzzards Bay occurs with the addition of a pilot in addition to the crew, followed by the change to double hulls and then by the addition of escort tugs”) and conclusions based on the “what if” analysis on pages 71–73 of the BBRA.] 3. Does the data analyzed support the authors’ judgment and ranking of risk mitigation options considered?

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At the request of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), the TRB/Marine Board Committee to Review the Buzzards Bay Maritime Risk Assessment has evaluated the methods and conclusions of the Buzzards Bay Risk Assessment (BBRA).

The BBRA was originally commissioned by the United States Coast Guard and MassDEP. The committee’s task was to provide an independent technical review of the BBRA focusing on its scope, methods, and supporting data. The committee finds that the choices made in the formulation and execution of the study bring into question the conclusions of the risk assessment on technical grounds and that the ranking of risk mitigation options is not justified and could be reversed with slightly different and more defensible methods or assumptions.

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