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Faculty Scholarship

Duke Law

2007

Administrative Law

Risk management

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Why De Minimis?, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2007

Why De Minimis?, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship

De minimis cutoffs are a familiar feature of risk regulation. This includes the quantitative individual risk thresholds for fatality risks employed in many contexts by EPA, FDA, and other agencies, such as the 1-in-1 million lifetime cancer risk cutoff; extreme event cutoffs for addressing natural hazards, such as the 100 - year - flood or 475 - year - earthquake; de minimis failure probabilities for built structures; the exclusion of low - probability causal models; and other policymaking criteria. All these tests have a common structure, as I show in the Article. A de minimis test, broadly defined, tells the decisionmaker to determine whether the ...