A Review of the
Science to Achieve Results
Committee on the Review of Environmental Protection Agency’s
Science to Achieve Results’ Research Grants Program
Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology
Division on Earth and Life Studies
A Consensus Study Report of
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Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/24757
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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. A Review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science to Achieve Results Research Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/24757.
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COMMITTEE ON THE REVIEW OF EPA’S SCIENCE TO ACHIEVE RESULTS RESEARCH GRANTS PROGRAM
MARK J. UTELL (Chair), University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY
PRAVEEN K. AMAR, Independent Consultant, Lexington, MA
MARIAN R. CHERTOW, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT
SUSAN E. COZZENS, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
BART E. CROES, California Air Resources Board, Sacramento, CA
ANA V. DIEZ ROUX, Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
KIMBERLY A. GRAY, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
PHILIP K. HOPKE, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY
KIMBERLY L. JONES, Howard University, Washington, DC
HAROLD A. MOONEY, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
MARTIN A. PHILBERT, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
JOSHUA M. SHARFSTEIN, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
MITCHELL J. SMALL, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
CLIFFORD P. WEISEL, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ
ELIZABETH B. BOYLE, Study Director
RAYMOND A. WASSEL, Scholar and Director of Environmental Studies
MIRSADA KARALIC-LONCAREVIC, Manager, Technical Information Center
RADIAH ROSE, Manager, Editorial Projects
ORIN LUKE, Senior Program Assistant
US ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES AND TOXICOLOGY
WILLIAM H. FARLAND (Chair), Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
RICHARD A. BECKER, American Chemistry Council, Washington, DC
E. WILLIAM COLGLAZIER, AAAS, Washington, DC
DOMINIC M. DITORO, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
DAVID C. DORMAN, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
CHARLES T. DRISCOLL, JR., Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
ANNE FAIRBROTHER, Exponent, Inc., Philomath, OR
GEORGE GRAY, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
STEVEN P. HAMBURG, Environmental Defense Fund, New York, NY
ROBERT A. HIATT, University of California, San Francisco, CA
SAMUEL KACEW, University of Ottawa, Ontario
H. SCOTT MATTHEWS, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
ROBERT PERCIASEPE, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Arlington, VA
R. CRAIG POSTLEWAITE, Department of Defense, Burke, VA
MARK A. RATNER, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
JOAN B. ROSE, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
GINA M. SOLOMON, California Environmental Protection Agency, Sacramento, CA
ROBERT M. SUSSMAN, Sussman and Associates, Washington, DC
DEBORAH L. SWACKHAMER, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
PETER S. THORNE, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
TERESA A. FRYBERGER, Director
ELLEN K. MANTUS, Scholar and Director of Risk Assessment
RAYMOND A. WASSEL, Scholar and Director of Environmental Studies
SUSAN N.J. MARTEL, Senior Program Officer for Toxicology
ELIZABETH B. BOYLE, Program Officer
TAMARA DAWSON, Program Associate
IVORY CLARKE, Research Assistant
BERNIDEAN WILLIAMS-SMITH, Financial Associate
SUZANNE THILENIUS, Administrative Coordinator
Environmental research plays a crucial role in protecting human health and the environment. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been supporting environmental research in academic and nonprofit institutions through a program known as Science to Achieve Results, or STAR. STAR aims to support research projects that are chosen through a competitive process of independent peer review that focuses on research in environmental and human health problems. STAR research is intended to provide the underlying scientific and engineering knowledge needed to address environmental and human health issues and to improve decision-making, problem detection, and problem-solving.
The EPA asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to conduct an independent assessment of the STAR program. In response, the NASEM established the Committee on the Review of EPA’s Science to Achieve Results. In this report, the committee analyzes information provided by EPA, and other sources to assess the program’s scientific merit, benefits to the public, and overall contributions in the context of other relevant research. The committee also compares some of the procedural aspects of the STAR program with those of other extramural research programs.
This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Craig Benson, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia; Nicole Deziel, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; Gretchen Jordan, 360 Innovation, Pacific Grove, California; Paul Gilman, Convanta Energy; Julia Melkers, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia; D. Warner North, NorthWorks, San Francisco, California; Donald Pfaff, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York; Patrick Ryan, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio; Jerald Schnoor, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa; and Kathleen Weathers, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, New York.
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Edwin Clark, Clean Sites Environmental Services, Inc. and Dave Dzombak, Carnegie Mellon University, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.
The committee gratefully acknowledges the following for making presentations to it: Tina Bahadori, Thomas Burke, Daniel Costa, James Johnson, Michael Slimak, John Vandenberg, and, Suzanne van Drunick, EPA; Steven Hamburg, Environmental Defense Fund; Daniel Greenbaum, Health Effects Institute; Christina Drew, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Marina Volkov, National Institutes of Health; Mary Ann Feldman and Thomas Torgersen, National Science Foundation; and Paul Anastas, Yale University. We are also grateful to the many EPA National Center for Environmental Research staff members who invested extensive time and effort in responding to all the committee’s requests for information.
The committee is grateful in addition for the assistance of the National Academies staff in preparing this report: Elizabeth Boyle, project director; James Reisa (until January 3, 2017) and Teresa Fryberger (after January 3, 2017), directors of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology; Raymond Wassel, scholar; and Orin Luke, senior program assistant. Norman Grossblatt served as the report editor.
Finally, I thank the members of the committee for their dedicated efforts throughout the development of this report.
Chair, Committee to Review EPA’s Science to Achieve Results Research Grants Program
BOXES, FIGURES, AND TABLES