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CSA Z763

96th Edition, 2002

Complete Document

Introduction to Environmental Risk Assessment Studies

Includes all amendments and changes through Reaffirmation Notice , 2006

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Product Details:

  • Revision: 96th Edition, 2002
  • Published Date: January 2006
  • Status: Not Active, See comments below
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: CSA Group (CSA)
  • Page Count: 57
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:

Environmental Risk Assessment

This Guideline is concerned with planning and managing the application of risk assessment and environmental assessment concepts and techniques to the analysis of activities that may affect the environment. It will assist those who are responsible for such activities to

(a) understand what environmental risk assessment is and how it relates to the overall risk management process; and

(b) create a format to address and document the environmental risk assessment process in a logical manner.


These guidelines do not

(a) identify criteria for meeting specific government regulations;

(b) specify the environmental risk assessment method that is required for a given situation;

(c) offer detailed guidelines for specific hazards; or

(d) address, among others, insurance, actuarial, legal, or financial risks.

Environmental Risk Assessment as a Component of Risk Management

Risk Management

Risk management is the systematic application of policies, procedures, and practices to the tasks of analyzing, evaluating, controlling, and communicating about risk (see the left-hand portion of Figure 2). Risk assessment is that component of risk management comprising risk analysis and risk evaluation. Risk assessment provides information to the decision-maker on the likelihood, consequences, and significance of risks, so that informed decisions as to risk acceptance and control can be made and communication regarding the risks is enhanced. Risk assessment contributes to the development of a risk information base.

Environmental risk management is the comprehensive process including risk assessment and risk control in an environmental context. It is initiated by the perception of an environmental risk, resulting from the description of a project, policy, or programme. The risk management process includes a risk assessment in which

(a) hazards are identified and their scopes defined; and

(b) risk scenarios are developed to allow the risks to be estimated and evaluated (see the right-hand portion of Figure 2).


Risk assessments are often iterative in nature, in that a preliminary assessment may be repeated at increasing levels of detail until either the decision-maker has obtained enough information or it is determined that no further information can be practically obtained. At each iteration within the risk assessment, the decision-maker will be faced with two possible options:

(a) obtain more information through further studies; or

(b) make a risk management decision based on the available information. The entire environmental risk management scheme is also iterative, commencing with an initial screening at the risk assessment phase and permitting constant reevaluation and modification of a project, policy, or programme. Also, in each attempt at environmental risk assessment, input from other forms of risk assessment broadens the knowledge base for better decision-making (see Figure 1).