William H. Rodgers, Jr., Guerilla Decisionmaking: Judicial Review of Risk Assessments, 15 J. Hazardous Materials 205 (1987), https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/faculty-articles/265
Journal of Hazardous Materials
This paper describes four types of uncertainty confronted by decisionmakers undertaking risk assessments. It then discusses individual and institutional responses to uncertainty; these include both formal attempts to acquire more information, and pragmatic efforts to isolate and act upon salient considerations. The tendency of decisionmakers to narrow the agenda and search for a decisive datum or metaphor is called guerilla decisionmaking. Courts oversee agency decisions by techniques known widely in the legal community as the hard-look doctrine. This doctrine is defined, and the case law is used to illustrate how courts insist upon identification of salient risk-assessment factors and the production of information on all four types of uncertainty.
[The paper was prepared for the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Annual Meeting, New York, Mary 24-29, 1984, Symposium on Uncertainty in the Law and Science of Health Risk Assessment, and has been updated and revised.]