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What's the Risk in Risk?


Daniel C. Esty


Risk vs. Risk: Tradeoffs in Protecting Health and the Environment, John D. Graham and Jonathan Baert Wiener eds., Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995. 337 pages.

Risk has become a four-letter word in much of the environmental community. Carol Browner, the Clinton Administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator recently deleted risk from the list of the EPA's Guiding Principles, reportedly at the behest of environmental group leaders.This action, reversing the focus of prior administrations on risk-based priority setting, reflected the perception among environmentalists that making risk analysis a centerpiece of EPA's work inhibits regulatory activity and hampers environmental protection.

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