Environmental Research Foundation, August 29, 2006


By Peter Montague (peter@rachel.org)

[Introduction: The latest version of this bibliography can be found online with live links: http://tinyurl.com/rhggf. Important items are marked with a double asterisk.

"Cumulative risk" is the term EPA uses for what I call "multiple stressors" -- many stresses impacting a person or a community or an ecosystem simultaneously. In California, CalEPA has committed itself to taking "cumulative risk" into account when making decisions, especially decisions with an environmental justice aspect to them. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has indicated an interest in this subject as well. This raises at least two questions: how to evaluate multiple stressors, and how to factor the result into decisions. This bibliography lists articles that provide background for thinking about "cumulative risk" and decision-making.]

** Arnold, Craig Anthony (Tony). "Planning Milagros: Environmental Justice and Land Use Regulation." Denver University Law Review Vol. 76 (1998), pgs. 1-152. [Describes a new "land use planning model of environmental justice" in which "residents of minority and low-income neighborhoods identify not only the activities they wish to exclude from their neighborhoods, but also their visions for what they wish to include in their neighborhoods; in other words, their visions of the public good." The main argument can be found in Section IV ("Land Use Planning & Regulation: Another Vision of Environmental Justice," pgs. 89-106), and Section V ("Land Use Regulatory Mechanisms," pgs. 106-140.)]

Bennett, Ruth. "Risky Business; The Science of Decision Making Grapples with Sex, Race, and Power." Science News Vol. 158, No. 12 (September 16, 2000), pg. 190 and following pages. [White males differ from non-whites and from women in how their perceive risk. So how can we determine what is an "acceptable risk"?]

Corburn, Jason. "Bringing Local Knowledge into Environmental Decision Making: Improving Urban Planning for Communities at Risk." Journal of Planning Education and Research Vol. 22, Part 4 (2003), pgs. 420-433.

Corburn, Jason. "Combining Community-Based Research and Local Knowledge to Confront Asthma and Subsistence-Fishing Hazards in Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York." Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 110, Supplement 2 (April 2002), pgs. 241-248.

Corburn, Jason. "Environmental Justice, Local Knowledge, and Risk: The Discourse of a Community-Based Cumulative Exposure Assessment." Environmental Management Vol. 29, No. 4 (April, 2002), pgs. 451-466.

Corburn, Jason. "Urban planning and health disparities: Implications for research and practice." Planning Practice & Research Vol. 20 No. 2 (May 2005), pgs. 111-126.

Council on Environmental Quality, "Definition of cumulative impact" in 40 CFR Section 1508.7.

** Council on Environmental Quality. Considering Cumulative Effects Under the National Environmental Policy Act. Washington, D.C.: Council on Environmental Quality, 1997. [5 Megabyte PDF] Very useful. Contains an Appendix titled "Summaries on Cumulative Effects Analysis Methods."

** Dannenberg, Andrew L. and others. "Growing the Field of Health Impact Assessment in the U.S.; An Agenda for Research and Practice." American Journal of Public Health Vol. 96 No. 2 (February 2006), pgs. 262-270. [Links within this article can connect the reader to a rich collection of documents on health impact assessment (HIA), a technique for analyzing human health impacts of proposed projects or actions.]

** Environmental Law Institute. Opportunities for Advancing Environmental Justice; An Analysis of U.S. EPA Statutory Authorities. Washington, D.C.: Environmental Law Institute, November, 2001. Just as the title says, an evaluation of opportunities in existing statutes for EPA to advance environmental justice.

Fox, Mary A., John D. Groopman, and Thomas A. Burke. "Evaluating Cumulative Risk Assessment for Environmental Justice: A Community Case Study." Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 110 Supplement 2 (April 2002, pgs. 203-209. ["Cumulative risk assessment adds a health dimension to simple pollutant concentrations and will produce a more comprehensive understanding of environmental inequities."]

** Kearney, Gavin. "Minnesota's Call to Action." In Richard Hofrichter, editor, Health and Social Justice, subtitled "Politics, Ideology and Inequity in the Distribution of Disease -- a Public Health Reader" (San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2003) with new and updated links. [The Minnesota Department of Health has adopted modern public health goals, embodied in Goal 18: to "foster the understanding and promotion of social conditions that support health" and health equity. This is the story of Goal 18 and the "Call to Action" report that it provoked.]

MacDonald, Lee H. "Evaluating and Managing Cumulative Effects: Process and Constraints," Environmental Management Vol. 26, No. 3 (2000), pgs. 299-315.

Montague, Peter. "Getting Beyond Risk Assessment." Rachel's Democracy & Health News #846 (March 16, 2006). [Criticizes traditional quantitative risk assessment and briefly describes a few other techniques for involving citizens in decision-making.]

Montague, Peter. "Health and 'Environmental Health:' Expanding the Movement." Rachel's Democracy & Health News #843 (Feb. 23, 2006). [Argues that environmental health advocates could find new allies by expanding their definition to include three environments -- the natural, the built, and the social.]

Montague, Peter. "Reducing the Harms Associated with Risk Assessments." Environmental Impact Assessment Review Vol. 24 (2004), pgs. 733-748. [Describes some shortcomings of traditional quantitative risk assessment and suggests remedies.]

Montague, Peter. Selected Bibliography on the Social Determinants of Health. New Brunswick, N.J.: Environmental Research Foundation, 2006. [The social determinants of health -- inequalities, social exclusion, social isolation, pyramids of status, racism, low income, stress, job loss, lack of control over one's circumstances -- are major determinants of health and could be considered in health impact assessments and in cumulative risk assessments, though usually they are not.]

Montague, Peter. "The Emperor of Risk Assessment Isn't Wearing Any Clothes." Rachel's Democracy & Health News #831 (Dec. 1, 2005). [By focusing on the "most exposed individual," and not on cumulative releases and exposures, traditional quantitative risk assessments have inadvertently contributed to the contamination of the entire planet with industrial poisons.]

** National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. Ensuring Risk Reduction in Communities with Multiple Stressors: Environmental Justice and Cumulative Risks/Impacts. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Dec., 2004. Recommendations to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from its National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC); results of an 18-month study by a subcommittee of NEJAC.

Slovic, Paul. "The Risk Game." The Journal of Hazardous Materials Vol. 86 (Sep. 14, 2001), pgs. 17-24. ["Trying to address risk controversies primarily with more science is, in fact, likely to exacerbate conflict.... Danger is real but risk is socially constructed."]

** U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA's Framework for Community-Based Environmental Protection. EPA 237-K-99-001. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, February, 1999. [This document describes a new approach to environmental protection, which includes consideration of "all elements of an ecosystem" (pg. 9), plus many of the elements of a precautionary approach.]

** U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Framework for Cumulative Risk Assessment. EPA/630/P-02/001F. Washington, D.C. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, May, 2003. [This framework document describes how EPA plans to develop cumulative risk guidelines.]

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment. EPA/630/R-92/001. Washington, D.C. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, February, 1992. [This framework document describes how EPA planned in 1992 to develop ecological risk assessment guidelines.]

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Guidance on Cumulative Risk Assessment of Pesticide Chemicals That Have a Common Mechanism of Toxicity." Washington, D.C.: Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Jan. 14, 2002.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Guidelines for Ecological Risk Assessment. EPA/630/R-95/002F. Washington, D.C. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, April, 1998. [This is the "final" document guiding ecological risk assessments within EPA.]

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Environmental Publications Information System [NEPIS]. List of EPA Report Titles. April 9, 2006. [All of the reports listed here can be downloaded from the web by searching for the document number in the "simple search" box at the nepis.epa.gov web site.]

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Preliminary Cumulative Risk Assessment of the Organophosphorous Pesticides. Washington, D.C.: Office of Pesticides programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, December 2, 2001. [This is an example of what EPA/630/P-02/001F, EPA's Framework for Cumulative Risk Assessment (pg. 9), terms an "aggregate risk assessment" and NOT a "cumulative risk assessment."]

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Risk Assessment Forum. "Documents available from the U.S. EPA Risk Assessment Forum." April 10, 2006.

Wenzel, Lauren. Environmental Risk in Indian Country. U.S. National Environmental Publications Information System [NEPIS] Environmental Protection Agency, undated [1992?]. NEPIS document number 171R92014. [Emphasizes the importance of cultural and social factors in predisposing a group of people to particular risks.]