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As of February 9, 2020, there are 4958 open recommendations, of which 422 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.
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Recommendation: To ensure that EPA maximizes its limited resources and addresses the statutory, regulatory, and programmatic needs of EPA program offices and regions when IRIS toxicity assessments are not available, and once demand for the IRIS Program is determined, the EPA Administrator should direct the Deputy Administrator, in coordination with EPA's Science Advisor, to develop an agencywide strategy to address the unmet needs of EPA program offices and regions that includes, at a minimum: (1) coordination across EPA offices and with other federal research agencies to help identify and fill data gaps that preclude the agency from conducting IRIS toxicity assessments, and (2) guidance that describes alternative sources of toxicity information and when it would be appropriate to use them when IRIS values are not available, applicable, or current.
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: As of September 2018, EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Program officials told GAO that they are working with EPA program and regional offices to build capacity for applying systematic review in toxicity and risk assessments. To date, EPA has not provided GAO with documentation of an agencywide strategy for identifying data gaps or coordinating systematic review procedures; rather, the efforts led by the IRIS Program are ad hoc. EPA has also not produced agencywide guidance on alternative sources of toxicity information when IRIS values are not available, applicable, or current. According to interviews with program and regional offices, some offices have developed their own hierarchies and criteria for alternative sources of toxicity information; while these hierarchies may be similar, they are not agencywide guidance. Until EPA produces documentation that shows (1) coordination across EPA offices and with other federal research agencies to help identify and fill data gaps that preclude the agency from conducting IRIS toxicity assessments, and (2) guidance on alternative sources of toxicity information and when it would be appropriate to use them when IRIS values are not available, applicable, or current, GAO will keep this recommendation open.