HERO: Health and Environmental Research Online
Transparency & Integrity
We, the American public, have the right to know. We have a right to know how our government is protecting our health and environment. We have a right to know how decisions are made, and the basis for those decisions.
HERO is designed to put into practice this commitment to transparency by sharing the research, methodologies and guidelines that inform the risk assessment process.
The Obama Administration has emphasized providing unparalleled transparency at EPA. President Obama stresses that "there should be transparency in the preparation, identification and use of scientific and technological information in policymaking."
Administrator Jackson emphasizes: "Our regulatory decisions should include a full explanation of the science issues addressed by the Agency, the data relevant to those issues, and the interpretations and judgments underlying the Agency"s scientific findings and conclusions... EPA promises to provide for the fullest possible public participation in decision-making. This requires not only that EPA remain open and accessible to those representing all points of view, but also that EPA offices responsible for decisions take affirmative steps to solicit the views of those who will be affected by these decisions... I am committed to fulfilling President Obama"s direction to agency heads to make use of tools and technology to increase outreach and interaction with the public. In short, we will let more sunlight into our Agency."
Science informs and guides the decision-making process at EPA.We cannot make the best decisions unless we have confidence in the integrity of the science on which we rely.
The risk assessment process is designed to help communicate the state of the science to decision-makers. The public must be able to trust this process and have confidence that it produces the highest quality results.
Scientific integrity depends on independence, accountability, innovation and transparency. Only in such a rigorous climate can the best decisions can be made.
HERO's goal is to assist the scientist and the assessment process to achieve this integrity. Through systematic, comprehensive search and screening techniques, and public and stakeholder participation in the identification of key research, these values are maintained.
Office of Research and Development Assistant Administrator Paul Anastas points out that "both President Obama and Administrator Jackson have emphasized cutting-edge, independent scientific analysis as critical to the work of EPA. We here at ORD have a chance to not only explore innovative solutions to protect our health and the environment, but to reassure the American people that nothing will compromise our commitment to openness and scientific integrity."
We encourage your participation in strengthening this process. Please send us your suggestions and help make HERO and the assessment process the best it can be.