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June 13 -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office requests nominations for an expert panel, the SAB BenMAP and Benefits Methods Panel. The SAB Staff Office seeks nominees from the listed disciplines below, with expertise that emphasizes the health effects of air pollution and the development of economic values for reductions in air pollution. The SAB Staff Office seeks nominations of nationally and internationally recognized scientists with demonstrated expertise in the following disciplines: air pollution epidemiology; biostatistics; risk assessment; demographics; public health data science; uncertainty analysis; and environmental economics, particularly, the valuation of benefits from pollution reductions. Nominations should be submitted by June 27, 2022.

The SAB (42 U.S.C. 4365) is a chartered Federal Advisory Committee that provides independent scientific and technical peer review, advice, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on the technical basis for EPA actions.  

The EPA SAB Staff Office previously requested nominations of scientific experts to form a panel to review EPA's new cloud-based Environmental Benefits and Mapping (BenMAP) tool, an open-source computer program that calculates estimated air pollution-related deaths and illnesses and their associated economic values. In that notice, the SAB Staff Office indicated its intention to announce a separate panel that would address the approach EPA takes for selecting and applying evidence in its PM2 and Ozone (O3) benefits assessments. Because the two panels would require substantially similar expertise, the SAB Staff Office has now determined that it is appropriate to combine them into a single panel with a more comprehensive charge.

The Science Advisory Board Staff Office is soliciting additional candidates to complement those nominated for the review of BenMAP. With today's notice, the SAB Staff Office is expanding its solicitation of April 5, 2022 (87 FR 19680-19681) so that a broader panel, the BenMAP and Benefits Methods Panel, can also review EPA's selection of human health endpoints, risk estimates and monetized values in an air pollution benefits assessment, as well as the agency's characterization of uncertainty inherent in EPA benefits assessments. These additional topics will be in combination with the panel's review of the BenMAP tool. Collectively, the SAB BenMAP and Benefits Methods Panel will review both EPA's approach for selecting and applying the evidence used to quantify and monetize air pollution-related effects and how the BenMAP tool performs these calculations.

Selection criteria to be used for panel membership include: (a) scientific and/or technical expertise, knowledge, and experience (primary factors); (b) availability and willingness to serve; (c) absence of financial conflicts of interest; (d) absence of an appearance of a loss of impartiality; (e) skills working in committees, subcommittees and advisory panels; and (f) for the panel as a whole, diversity of expertise and scientific points of view.

SAB webpage: https://sab.epa.gov/ords/sab/f?p=114:1::::::
BenMAP webpage: https://www.epa.gov/benmap
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-12703

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