Consensus Reports

These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review.

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Showing results 1 - 5 of 946

Evaluating the Taxonomic Status of the Mexican Gray Wolf and the Red Wolf (2019)

Scientists strive to develop clear rules for naming and grouping living organisms. But taxonomy, the scientific study of biological classification and evolution, is often highly debated. Members of a species, the fundamental unit of taxonomy and evolution, share a common evolutionary history and a common evolutionary path to the future. Yet, it can be difficult to determine whether the evolutionary history or future of a population i... More >>

The Use of Dispersants in Marine Oil Spill Response (2019)

The decision to use dispersants on any given oil spill requires careful comparison of its health and environmental impacts compared to other available response options, including mechanical recovery, in situ burning and leaving the spill untreated. Based on an evaluation of domestic and international research and results of field and laboratory studies, this report concludes that dispersant application in some circumstances can be a useful too... More >>

Report in Brief

Improving the EPA Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Stormwater Discharges (2019)

As part of its work under the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees a permit program -- the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) -- that requires industries to manage onsite stormwater to minimize discharges of pollutants to the environment. Concerns about the effectiveness of efforts to date resulted in a settlement agreement between EPA, industry organizations, and environmental groups to review and improve certai... More >>

Report in Brief

Forest Health and Biotechnology: Possibilities and Considerations (2019)

The American chestnut, whitebark pine, and several species of ash in the eastern United States are just a few of the North American tree species that have been functionally lost or are in jeopardy of being lost due to outbreaks of pathogens and insect pests. New pressures in this century are putting even more trees at risk. Expanded human mobility and global trade are providing pathways for the introduction of nonnative pests for which nativ... More >>

Report in Brief

Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Addressing Grand Challenges (2018)

Environmental engineers support the well-being of people and the planet in areas where the two intersect. Over the decades the field has improved countless lives through innovative systems for delivering water, treating waste, and preventing and remediating pollution in air, water, and soil. These achievements are a testament to the multidisciplinary, pragmatic, systems-oriented approach that characterizes environmenta... More >>