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Risk Communication

STS-111 orbiting the Earth.
STS-111 orbiting the Earth


Extratropical Cyclones near Iceland
Extratropical Cyclones near Iceland

Risk Communication

Mission, Goals, and Objectives

NASA's Environmental Management Programs include advancing environmental stewardship, identifying and mitigating environmental consequences of project activities, compliance with existing environmental regulations and statutes, and environmental clean-up needs that result from historic practices. In all of these areas, open and ongoing communications are critical to stakeholder understanding and support of NASA's activities. Risk Communication is the two-way exchange of technical and scientific information between NASA and its stakeholders. For example, the Environmental Compliance and Restoration (ECR) Program is responsible for cleaning up NASA's contaminated sites to protect human health and the environment. Risk Communication and an active community outreach/involvement effort is a central part of NASA restoration efforts to build awareness and maintain public support for these activities. Improved public communication of NASA's ECR activities is a goal of the NASA HQ Environmental Management System (EMS).

How Risk Communication Supports NASA's Mission

A formal Risk Communication and community outreach/involvement strategy allows NASA to implement environmental stewardship programs and restoration and cleanup projects with the support of the local community and various stakeholder groups. Early involvement and communication increases collaboration and understanding, builds trust and credibility, and reduces the potential for conflict. Risk Communication can also improve NASA's environmental risk management decision-making.

Risk Communication Regulatory Drivers

NASA Procedural Directives (NPDs) and NASA Procedural Requirements (NPRs)

  • NPR 8000.4A  Agency Risk Management Procedural Requirements
  • NPR 8553.1B  NASA Environmental Management System

Federal Laws

  • 42 U.S.C. 6901  Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • 42 U.S.C 9601  Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)

Risk Communication Points of Contact

James Leatherwood - Director, EMD
Mike McNeill - Deputy Director, EMD
Merrilee Fellows - Public Affairs Specialist for Risk Communication, (NASA HQ, based at JPL)
Mark Schoppet - ECR Program Manager, EMD

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Page Last Updated: January 14th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator