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EPA’s Web-based Report on the Environment (ROE) has been developed to provide a comprehensive online source of scientific indicators describing the condition of and trends in the nation’s environment and human health. The ROE indicators are numerical values derived from actual measurements of human health and ecological condition over specified geographic areas of the United States. The ROE indicators are intended to inform strategic planning, priority setting, and decision making across EPA and provide information for the public on the state of the environment.
In 2004 and 2007, the SAB reviewed two draft versions of EPA’s ROE. The findings and recommendations of those SAB reviews are available on the SAB website at www.epa.gov/sab (see reports EPA-SAB-05-004 and EPA-SAB-08-007). The ROE was subsequently published by EPA in 2008, and in 2009 SAB members provided additional advice on continued development of future versions of the ROE (see report EPA-SAB-09-017). Since the 2008 publication of the ROE, EPA has maintained and updated the ROE indicators online at www.epa.gov/roe . EPA is developing a new user-friendly and interactive website to provide improved access to the data and information in the ROE for a variety of audiences. EPA has also addressed recommendations from previous SAB reviews in order to develop a more robust environmental reporting program. Specifically, EPA has developed: 1) conceptual frameworks, based on a sustainability paradigm, to illustrate connections among ROE indicators and Agency programs, 2) new and revised ROE indicators, including sustainability indicators that incorporate economic data, and 3) statistical information to address indicator variability and uncertainty. EPA has asked the SAB to review the scientific and technical merit of this work to improve the ROE.