John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

The case for establishing a board of review for resolving environmental issues: The science court in Canada

0
Technology and scientific advancements are accelerating changes in society at a pace that is challenging the abilities of government regulatory agencies and legal courts to understand the benefits and costs of these changes to humans, wildlife, and their environments. The social, economic and political facets of concern, such as the potential effects of chemicals, complicate the preparation of regulatory standards and practices intended to safeguard the public. Court judges and attorneys and, in some cases, lay juries are tasked with interpreting the data and implications underlying these new advancements, often without the technical background necessary to understand complex subjects and subsequently make informed decisions. Here, we describe the scientific‐quasi‐judicial process adopted in Canada under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, which could serve as a model for resolving conflicts between regulatory agencies and the regulated community. An example and process and lessons learned from the first Board of Review, which was for decamethylcyclopenta siloxane (D5; CAS# 541‐02‐06), are provided. Notable among these lessons are: (1) the need to apply state‐of‐the‐science insights into the regulatory process, (2) to encourage agencies to continuously review and update their assessment processes, criteria, and models (3) provide these processes in guidance documents that are transparent and available to all stakeholders and generally foster closer cooperation between regulators, the academic community, industry, and NGOs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

Customer comments

No comments were found for The case for establishing a board of review for resolving environmental issues: The science court in Canada. Be the first to comment!