übertool: web applications for ecological risk assessment (beta version)
Cloud-based environmental models used by the USEPA for evaluating pesticide risks to ecosystems under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
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This web site is being developed to migrate USEPA public domain legacy and spreadsheet models to web applications. This will assist in the integration and automation of essential risk assessment functions. These functions estimate exposure and effects for the Federal Insectide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and for listed species under the Endangered Species Act for the EPA's Endangered Species Protection Program.

This web site is under development. It is available for the purposes of receiving feedback and quality assurance from personnel in the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and from interested members of the ecological risk assessment community. Ecological risk calculations contained here should be used for no purpose other than quality assurance and peer review of the presented web applications.

This integration tool is being designed to include the ability to iterate/batch repetitive exposure modeling runs, routines for repetitively extracting label information for pesticide formulation labels, ability to overlay areas of expected effects with locations of listed species, assess impacts of localized use modifications on listed species effects determinations, and preserves a record of use modifications in a way that existing Endangered Species Protection Program tools can make enforceable "on the label."

EFED has specific models that are used to satisfy different tier requirements for ecological assessments. However, a number of functions are desired that are part of the core preprocessing for both terrestrial and aquatic assessments. These include the ability to access Agency available use site information from OPPIN using the EPA Active Ingredient registration code as user-defined input, standardize the assignment of pesticide uses to geographic areas, extract pesticide use information (rate, number, interval, method, specific prohibitions) from available OPP product summary information (either a LUIS Report or Tabular data), and access a to-be-developed database of basic biological information for listed species to determine if zones of concern are biologically relevant to a given listed species, this will be used to trigger an effect determination -- the co-occurrence of species location with action area and with biologically relevant zones of taxa-specific effects within the action area for terrestrial and/or aquatic receptors.

Terrestrial species that are located in potential exposure areas for specific pesticide formulations have a set of models that need to be executed. These models include AgDisp (or AgDrift), TerrPlant, T-Rex, T-Herps, Dust (in development), and future revisions of SIP and STIR for estimating exposure concentrations in terrestrial media and trophic levels. These models are run automatically at a defined level of geographical resolution with limited physical chemical properties and other custom parameters. Also, toxicity information will be accessible so that terrestrial organism risk quotients can be calculated, these form the basis of effects determination for terrestrial listed species.

Aquatic species have a different set of models, though PRZM is also used. PRZM is linked to EXAMS to provide exposure concentrations in an agricultural farm pond. These concentrations are used in KABAM to estimate exposures for piscivorous birds and mammals. GENEEC2 is a Tier 1 alternative for deriving similar farm pond exposure concentrations. The Tier 1 Rice model and PFAM (in development) are used for estimating pesticide concentrations in rice paddies and SWAMP is used to estimate exposure concentrations for fish and aquatic invertebrates for water bodies that are adjacent to treated fields. Models for estimating pesticide concentrations downstream are currently under discussion.

What's new?

  • Algorithms for T-Rex have been added! 10/30/2012

  • Algorithms for Kabam have been added! 10/12/2012

  • Any suggestions? Want to report a bug? Tell us using the contact form ! 9/17/2012

  • PRZM supports multiple applications now! 9/14/2012

  • Sample Lab (supporting materials for Tao Hong's ESA 2012 presentation) is available! 8/5/2012

  • Materials for ESA Python Workshop is Here! 8/2/2012

  • Population models are ready! 7/17/2012