RISK: Health, Safety & Environment


An introduction to the legal framework within which employees of the "twigs" on our fourth branch of government must operate. Particular attention is given to research sponsored by the Administrative Conference of the United States which has dealt with, for example, process problems in resolving specific issues and in building consensus on broad policy matters. [Excerpt] “Administrative agencies - the "twigs" on our fourth branch of government - are established to handle the details of administration deemed too painstaking, technically complex or even controversial for direct Congressional or Presidential involvement. In the current government structure, sometimes called the "modem administrative state," these details of administration have taken on a paramount importance to us all. The Risks to public health and safety have become so well documented and ventilated that the various "acronymic" agencies that have been created to deal with the Risks (e.g., OSHA, FDA, EPA) have become highly visible "twigs" indeed. But the task of these agencies in the Risk regulation area is not an easy one. It is, indeed, extremely complex, painstaking and controversial - so much so that the increasingly robust Congressional and Presidential bureaucracies have gladly delegated major Risk management responsibilities to these agencies while seeking only to retain enough oversight and other controls to prevent political problems from penetrating the moat that separates the agency from the elected official. To understand the task that awaits the federal Risk regulator, one must understand the legal framework in which he or she must operate. Of course, science, engineering, medicine and philosophy (not to mention politics) play a crucial role in the substantive decision to be made, but the process requirements often affect the timing and nature of the ultimate decision.”

Repository Citation

Jeffrey S. Lubbers, Risk Regulation at the Federal Level: Administrative Procedure Constraints and Opportunities, 1 RISK 43 (1990).


This article was incorrectly identified in the table of contents as "Federal Regulation: Administrative Procedure Constraints and Opportunities." The correct title is "Risk Regulation at the Federal Level: Administrative Procedure Constraints and Opportunities."