A Procedure for Ecological Tiered Assessment of Risks (PETAR)
Journal article, 2004
Several procedures for Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) have been suggested. The use of these existing procedures often relies on availability of existing data and/or on large resources for acquisition of new ones. This paper presents a three-tiered procedure for retrospective evaluation of risks adapted to limited resources and scarce background information of relevance for risk assessments, such as in developing countries. The tiers require successively more detailed investigations. The approach assures that resources available for site-specific investigations are directed towards well-formulated questions raised during previous stages of the assessment.
The first tier, the preliminary assessment, is a qualitative evaluation of existing information on anthropogenic stressors, sources of stressors and expected ecological effects. The second tier is a regional risk assessment; a semi-quantitative evaluation of ecological risks, over large geographical areas, which results in a ranking of sources and stressors having the greatest potential for ecological impact and ranking of sub-areas inside the study area more likely to be impacted. The final tier is a site-specific and quantitative risk assessment, at a smaller scale and requiring more resources, that incorporates methodologies for establishing causality between exposure to multiple stressors and effects on specific endpoints of ecological and societal relevance.
ecological risk assessment