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Office of Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis (ORACBA)

The Office of Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis (ORACBA) was established by the Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-354, H.R.4271,
Section 304
).P.L. 103-354, H.R., Section 304 ORACBA began operation on April 15, 1995, in USDA's Office of the Chief Economist.

The Office of Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis's (ORACBA) primary role is to ensure that major regulations proposed by USDA are based on sound scientific and economic analysis.

ORACBA News

ORACBA RISK, SCIENCE, AND POLICY FORUM

MARCH 24
COMPARING HUMAN HEALTH RISK VALUES: AN ANALYSIS OF SCIENCE POLICY CHOICES
Elizabeth Holman, Environmental Protection Agency
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Rm. 4433, South Building
12th and Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 22050
Environmental and public health organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) develop human health risk values (HHRV) that set ‘safe’ levels of exposure to non-carcinogens.  For chronic exposure, HHRVs go by multiple organization-specific names including reference doses (RfDs) and acceptable daily intake (ADI).  Here, we systematically evaluate both the HHRV and the choices made in deriving an HHRV for a given chemical by different organizations, specifically those from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Health Canada, RIVM (Netherlands), and the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.  Overall, across the 96 unique chemicals and 171 2-way organizational comparisons, the HHRV agreed approximately 26% of the time.  In the first part of our study, a qualitative method for identifying the primary factors influencing these HHRV differences was developed, using arrays of HHRVs across organizations for the same chemical.  The primary factors identified were disagreement on the critical study and differential application of the total UF across organizations.  Of the cases where the total UF was the primary factor influencing HHRV disagreement, the database UF had the largest impact.  In the second part of our study, we further evaluated these 171 organizational comparisons, developing a quantitative method for identifying the factors to which HHRV agreement (that is, when both organizations considering the same data set the identical HHRV values) is most sensitive.  To conduct this analysis, a Bayesian Belief Network was built using expert judgment, including the specific science policy choices analysis made in the context of setting an HHRV. 

Attend via webinar:
Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4272520031641448450

Attend in person:
Please register by contacting Jennifer Lohr at jlohr@oce.usda.gov or 202-720-8024.
USDA employees may enter the building at the Wing 1 entrance, located directly above the Smithsonian Metro station. All others must bring a valid government picture ID and enter through Wing 4, located on Independence Ave, between 12th and 14th Streets. When exiting the Smithsonian Metro station turn left, the Wing 4 entrance is half way down the block. For escort to the forum, please have guards call Teresa Pickett Wade at 202-720 8022. For further information, contact Linda Abbott 202-690-6056 or mailto: labbott@oce.usda.gov.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,  FOREST SERVICE
SOCIAL VULNERABILITY WEBINAR SERIES

Understanding Risk and Exposure in an Urban Case Study
April 8, 2015
12:00 to 1:00 Mountain Time
Patricia Winter and Pamela Padgett

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INSTITUTE

Measuring the Social Costs  of Carbon: The Promise and Pitfalls of Using the SCC to Justify Regulation
Co-sponsored by the DC Bar, Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Section
March 31, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m., D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1101 K Street, Washington DC
The Social Cost of Carbon tool assesses the economic costs of greenhouse gas emissions. Our panel of experts will offer a primer on the tool and debate the advantages and shortcomings of relying on it as a factor in agency decision-making.
Speakers: Richard Ayres, co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, managing partner, Ayres Law Group LLC; Dr. Kevin Dayaratna, Heritage Foundation; Dr. Laurie Johnson, Natural Resources Defense Council; Patrick Traylor, partner, Hogan Lovells; Jessica Olson, Ayres Law Group LLP (moderator)

This event is open to the public, but you must register with the DC Bar Here.

ORACBA STAFF

SOCIETY FOR BENEFIT COST ANALYSIS – ANNUAL MEETING
FOOD AND WATER ISSUES
Eliza Mojduszka is making a presentation on “Consumer Valuation of Organic Egg Characteristics and its Implications for Public Policy” at the Society for Benefit Cost Analysis Annual meeting on March 20 in the Food and Water Issues panel.  Linda Abbott is serving as the discussant for the Food and Water Issues panel.   

JIFSAN Courses

The increasing emphasis on risk-based decision making and the increasingly global nature of the food supply have resulted in the use of risk analysis to systematically address food safety issues worldwide. This has created a need to educate food safety and other public health professionals about the principles of food safety risk analysis and the tools and techniques required to apply this approach. For a detailed course description, or to register, visit our website at: http://risk.jifsan.umd.edu/registration/
See ORACBA calendar for courses and dates.

Mailing List

Join the ORACBA mailing list and receive notice of all risk forums, related activities and the monthly ORACBA Risk News/Calendar. Join by sending an e-mail to Jennifer Lohr. In the Subject line enter "Mailing List" and be sure to include your phone number and e-mail address.