problems that might result from even more massive transfers of activities from other agencies to create a new structure must be considered carefully.
Regarding dollar costs, implementation of Framework D would obviously be more expensive than implementation of Framework A in the short term but could be less expensive in the long term—especially if redundancies in agency work can be identified and eliminated. Although the committee has not addressed budgetary matters specifically, it believes that expenditures for environmental research should be increased for all agency programs.
The cost-benefit relationships of making the changes that we recommend can be suggested but not quantified with precision. It has been estimated that many billions of dollars will be expended on environmental cleanup. The time and monetary costs of litigation, often engendered by the lack of adequate information to substantiate regulatory decisions, are large. The potential is great for economic gains from a research focus on innovation in environmental technology. The products of such research could be a major contributor to U.S. international trade while helping to remedy environmental problems.
If the changes that we recommend lead to better environmental research and better decisions about the environment, the return on the investment will be large.