Regulatory engineering (#RegEngRg)

 

Project Overview

 

The objective of the project Regulatory Engineering of Environmental Health Risks and Technologies (#RegEngrg) is twofold:

  1. To enable better use of scientific knowledge and engineering insight when it comes to regulation of environmental health risks and technologies.

  2. To develop a new set of environmental health principles, regulatory decision-support tools and governance frameworks that can guide decision-makers when they have to regulate future environmental health risks and technologies.

#RegEngrg is based on the following hypothesis:

  1. Regulatory decision-makers truly wish to protect human health and the environment, but are paralyzed by systemic uncertainty and ambiguity in the scientific and engineering information available on current environmental health risks and technologies;

  2. Despite systemic uncertainty and ambiguity, scientific insight and engineering knowledge is available at an early point in the development of environmental health risks and technologies, but it is not being detected, given enough attention or used effectively;

  3. Effective protection of human health and the environment will be a function of identifying environmental health risks and technologies early and applying appropriate decision-support tools and governance frameworks that relying on a set of fundamental environmental health principles to guide decision-makers in cases of systemic uncertainty and ambiguity;

  4. Existing environmental health principles (e.g. the precautionary principle and the Polluter Pays Principle) will be enough to provide a sufficient backbone when it comes to guiding decision-makers in cases of systemic uncertainty and ambiguity;

  5. Existing regulatory decision-support tools (e.g. risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis) and existing governance frameworks (e.g. risk analysis) will not be appropriate when it comes to addressing the science policy complexity associated with regulating, preventing and managing environmental health risks and technologies.

 

The research carried out in #RegEngrg will contribute to producing fundamental new knowledge and insight when it comes to regulation of environmental health risks and technologies and the environmental health principles, regulatory decision-support tools and governance frameworks that are used to govern these.

When successful, this will hopefully lead to significant changes in the manner in which regulatory decisions are made about environmental health risks and technologies in the future and thereby spark a new research field that we have termed Regulatory Engineering.