National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
×

Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices

Committee on Research and Peer Review in EPA

Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

Commission on Life Sciences

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.

Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
×

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Ave., N.W.Washington, D.C.20418

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This project was supported by Contract No. 68-W4-0044 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and by endowment funds of the National Academy of Sciences. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

International Standard Book Number 0-309-07127-5

Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press
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Copyright 2000 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Engineering

Institute of Medicine

National Research Council

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
×

COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH AND PEER REVIEW IN EPA

PAUL G. RISSER (Chair),

Oregon State University, Corvallis

JULIAN B. ANDELMAN,

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh

ANDERS W. ANDREN,

Univeristy of Wisconsin, Madison

JOHN C. BAILAR III,

University of Chicago, Chicago

EULA BINGHAM,

University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati

DAVID S. C. CHU,

RAND, Washington, D.C.

WALTER F. DABBERDT,

National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo.

ROLF HARTUNG,

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

MORTON LIPPMANN,

New York University Medical School, Tuxedo

RAYMOND C. LOEHR,

University of Texas, Austin

JUDITH MCDOWELL,

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, Mass.

DAVID L. MORRISON,

North Carolina State University, Raleigh

GEOFFREY PLACE, (retired: formerly Procter & Gamble),

Hilton Head, S.C.

BAILUS WALKER, JR.,

Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.

Project Staff

JAMES J. REISA, Principal Staff Officer

RUTH E. CROSSGROVE, Editor

JAMIE YOUNG, Research Associate

MILLICENT ANDERSON, Assistant to the Director

PAMELA FRIEDMAN, Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
×

BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES AND TOXICOLOGY

GORDON ORIANS (Chair),

University of Washington, Seattle

DONALD MATTISON (Vice Chair),

March of Dimes, White Plains, N.Y.

DAVID ALLEN ,

University of Texas, Austin

I NGRID C. BURKE ,

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.

WILLIAM L. CHAMEIDES ,

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga.

JOHN DOULL ,

The University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City

CHRISTOPHER B. FIELD ,

Carnegie Institute of Washington, Stanford, Calif.

JOHN GERHART ,

University of California, Berkeley

J. PAUL GILMAN ,

Celera Genomics, Rockville, Md.

BRUCE D. HAMMOCK ,

University of California, Davis

MARK HARWELL ,

University of Miami, Miami, Fla.

ROGENE HENDERSON ,

Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, N.M.

CAROL HENRY ,

Chemical Manufacturers Association, Arlington, Va.

BARBARA HULKA ,

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

JAMES F. KITCHELL ,

University of Wisconsin, Madison

DANIEL KREWSKI ,

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont.

JAMES A. MACMAHON ,

Utah State University, Logan

MARIO J. MOLINA ,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

CHARLES O'MELIA,

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.

WILLEM F. PASSCHIER,

Health Council of the Netherlands

KIRK SMITH,

University of California, Berkeley

MARGARET STRAND,

Oppenheimer Wolff Donnelly & Bayh, LLP, Washington, D.C.

TERRY F. YOSIE,

Chemical Manufacturers Association, Arlington, Va.

Senior Staff

JAMES J. REISA, Director

DAVID J. POLICANSKY, Associate Director and Senior Program Director for Applied Ecology

CAROL A. MACZKA, Senior Program Director for Toxicology and Risk Assessment

RAYMOND A. WASSEL , Senior Program Director for Environmental Sciences and Engineering

KULBIR BAKSHI, Program Director for the Committee on Toxicology

LEE R. PAULSON, Program Director for Resource Management

ROBERTA M. WEDGE , Program Director for Risk Analysis

Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
×

COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES

GEORGE M. HORNBERGER (Chair),

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

RICHARD A. CONWAY,

Union Carbide Corporation (Retired), S. Charleston, W.Va.

LYNN GOLDMAN,

Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Md.

THOMAS E. GRAEDEL,

Yale University, New Haven, Conn.

THOMAS J. GRAFF,

Environmental Defense, Oakland, Calif.

EUGENIA KALNAY,

University of Maryland, College Park

DEBRA KNOPMAN,

Progressive Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.

BRAD MOONEY, J.

Brad Mooney Associates, Ltd., Arlington, Va.

HUGH C. MORRIS,

El Dorado Gold Corporation, Vancouver, B.C.

H. RONALD PULLIAM,

University of Georgia, Athens

MILTON RUSSELL,

Joint Institute for Energy and Environment and University of Tennessee (Emeritus), Knoxville

ROBERT J. SERAFIN,

National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo.

ANDREW R. SOLOW,

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Mass.

E-AN ZEN,

University of Maryland, College Park

MARY LOU ZOBACK,

U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, Calif.

Staff

ROBERT M. HAMILTON, Executive Director

GREGORY H. SYMMES, Associate Executive Director

JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative and Financial Officer

DAVID FEARY, Scientific Reports Officer

SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate

MARQUITA SMITH, Administrative Assistant/Technology Analyst

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
×

COMMISSION ON LIFE SCIENCES

MICHAEL T. CLEGG (Chair),

University of California, Riverside, Calif.

PAUL BERG (Vice Chair),

Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

FREDERICK R. ANDERSON,

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, Washington, D.C.

JOHN C. BAILAR III,

University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.

JOANNA BURGER,

Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J.

SHARON L. DUNWOODY,

University of Wisconsin, Madison

DAVID EISENBERG,

University of California, Los Angeles

JOHN EMMERSON,

Fishers, Ind.

NEAL FIRST,

University of Wisconsin, Madison

DAVID J. GALAS,

Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Science, Claremont, Calif.

DAVID V. GOEDDEL,

Tularik, Inc., South San Francisco, Calif.

ARTURO GOMEZ-POMPA,

University of California, Riverside

COREY S. GOODMAN,

University of California, Berkeley

HENRY HEIKKINEN,

University of Northern Colorado, Greeley

BARBARA S. HULKA,

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

HANS J. KENDE,

Michigan State University, East Lansing

CYNTHIA KENYON,

University of California, San Francisco

MARGARET G. KIDWELL,

University of Arizona, Tucson

BRUCE R. LEVIN,

Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.

OLGA F. LINARES,

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Miami, Fla.

DAVID LIVINGSTON,

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass.

DONALD R. MATTISON,

March of Dimes, White Plains, New York

ELLIOT M. MEYEROWITZ,

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

ROBERT T. PAINE,

University of Washington, Seattle

RONALD R. SEDEROFF,

North Carolina State University, Raleigh

ROBERT R. SOKAL,

State University of New York, Stony Brook

CHARLES F. STEVENS,

The Salk Institute, La Jolla, Calif.

SHIRLEY M. TILGHMAN,

Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.

JOHN L. VANDEBERG,

Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, Tex.

RAYMOND L. WHITE,

University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Staff

WARREN R. MUIR, Executive Director

JACQUELINE K. PRINCE, Financial Officer

BARBARA B. SMITH, Administrative Associate

LAURA T. HOLLIDAY, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
×

OTHER REPORTS OF THE BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES AND TOXICOLOGY

Scientific Frontiers in Developmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment (2000)

Modeling Mobile-Source Emissions (2000)

Copper in Drinking Water (2000)

Ecological Indicators for the Nation (2000)

Waste Incineration and Public Health (1999)

Hormonally Active Agents in the Environment (1999)

Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter: I. Immediate Priorities and a Long-Range Research Portfolio (1998); II. Evaluating Research Progress and Updating the Portfolio (1999)

Ozone-Forming Potential of Reformulated Gasoline (1999)

Risk-Based Waste Classification in California (1999)

Arsenic in Drinking Water (1999)

Brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area (1998)

The National Research Council's Committee on Toxicology: The First 50 Years (1997)

Toxicologic Assessment of the Army's Zinc Cadmium Sulfide Dispersion Tests (1997)

Carcinogens and Anticarcinogens in the Human Diet (1996)

Upstream: Salmon and Society in the Pacific Northwest (1996)

Science and the Endangered Species Act (1995)

Wetlands: Characteristics and Boundaries (1995)

Biologic Markers (5 reports, 1989-1995)

Review of EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (3 reports, 1994-1995)

Science and Judgment in Risk Assessment (1994)

Ranking Hazardous Waste Sites for Remedial Action (1994)

Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children (1993)

Issues in Risk Assessment (1993)

Setting Priorities for Land Conservation (1993)

Protecting Visibility in National Parks and Wilderness Areas (1993)

Dolphins and the Tuna Industry (1992)

Hazardous Materials on the Public Lands (1992)

Science and the National Parks (1992)

Animals as Sentinels of Environmental Health Hazards (1991)

Assessment of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Studies Program, Vol. I-IV (1991-1993)

Human Exposure Assessment for Airborne Pollutants (1991)

Monitoring Human Tissues for Toxic Substances (1991)

Rethinking the Ozone Problem in Urban and Regional Air Pollution (1991)

Decline of the Sea Turtles (1990)

Copies of these reports may be ordered from the National Academy Press

(800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313

www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
×

Preface

IN the three decades since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created, the agency's scientific and technical practices and credibility have been independently assessed many times in reports from the National Research Council (NRC), EPA Science Advisory Board, General Accounting Office, and many other organizations; in congressional oversight and judicial proceedings; and in countless criticisms and lawsuits from stakeholders with interests in particular EPA regulatory decisions. As a previous independent panel put it in the 1992 report Safeguarding the Future: Credible Science, Credible Decisions, EPA's policy and regulatory work receives a great deal of public attention, but the agency's scientific performance typically receives a similar degree of attention only when the scientific basis for a decision is questioned. Thus, strong scientific performance is important not only to enable EPA to make informed and effective decisions, but also to gain credibility and public support for the environmental protection efforts of EPA and the nation.

This report is the fourth and final one in a series prepared by two independent expert committees convened by the NRC in response to a request from Congress and to subsequent, related requests from EPA. The Committee on Research Opportunities and Priorities for EPA – our companion committee in this study – was charged to provide an overview of significant emerging environmental issues, identify and prioritize research themes most relevant to understanding and resolving

Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
×

those issues, and consider the role of EPA's research program in the context of research being conducted or supported by other organizations. That committee published an interim report in 1996 and a final report, Building a Foundation for Sound Environmental Decisions, in 1997. The Committee on Research and Peer Review in EPA – our committee – was charged to evaluate research management and scientific peer-review practices in the agency. Our committee published an interim report in 1995 and this final report. Specifically, our committee was given the following task:

The committee will perform an independent assessment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's overall research and development program structure, peer review procedures, long-term research program,laboratory site review procedures, and research staff career development and performance evaluation procedures. In carrying out its charge, the committee will consider the mission-related research, development, and technical support needs of EPA's regulatory programs and regional of fices; the role of EPA's research program in the context of research being conducted or sponsored by other agencies and organizations; and the problems and recommendations described in previous studies of these topics by the National Research Council, Carnegie Commission, and EPA Science Advisory Board.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their technical expertise and diverse perspectives in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC's Report Review Committee for reviewing NRC and Institute of Medicine reports. The purpose of that independent review was to provide candid and critical comments to assist the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for 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 wish to thank the following individuals, who are neither officials nor employees of the NRC, for their participation in the review of this report: John Ahearne, Sigma Xi; James Anderson, Harvard University; Barry Bozeman, Georgia Institute of Technology; Richard Conway, (Retired, Union Carbide Corporation); Costel D. Denson, University of Delaware; Freeman Gilbert, University of California, San Diego; Gilbert Omenn, University of Michigan; William Raub, U.S. Department of Health and Human Ser-

Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
×

vices; W. Randall Seeker, Energy and Environmental Research Corporation; and Terry Yosie, Chemical Manufacturers Association.

The individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions. It must be emphasized, however, that responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the NRC.

We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of more than 200 individuals from EPA and other agencies and organizations who made presentations, provided information, or otherwise aided the committee during the course of the study. We especially wish to thank Joseph Alexander, Robert Huggett, Henry Longest, Lisa Matthews, Norine Noonan, and Peter Preuss of EPA; Judy Bean, University of Miami; Ralph Cicerone, University of California at Irvine; Ellis Cowling, North Carolina State University; and Alan Krupnick, Resources for the Future.

We appreciate the assistance of the NRC staff in preparing the report. Staff members who contributed to this effort are James Reisa, director of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, who served as the NRC's principal staff officer; Jamie Young, research associate; Ruth Crossgrove, editor; Millicent Anderson, assistant to the director; Tracy Holby, senior program assistant; Pamela Friedman, project assistant; and Mirsada Karalic-Loncarevic, information specialist.

I would like to thank all my colleagues on the committee for their thoughtful contributions and dedicated efforts throughout the development of this report.

Finally, the members and staff of our committee wish to dedicate this report to the memory of Professor Donald W. Pritchard, a committee member who passed away last year. A renowned oceanographer and educator, Don had a distinguished academic career at the Johns Hopkins University, where he served as chairman of the department of oceanography and founded the Chesapeake Bay Institute, and at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he served as director of the Marine Science Research Center. Don's many honors included election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993. We shall long remember the vast knowledge and wise counsel of this distinguished scholar.

Paul G. Risser

Chair, Committee on Research and Peer Review in EPA

Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
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Suggested Citation:"Fron tMatter." National Research Council. 2000. Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9882.
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×

Strengthening Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

Research-Management and Peer-Review Practices

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×
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In the three decades since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created, the agency's scientific and technical practices and credibility have been independently assessed many times in reports from the National Research Council (NRC), EPA Science Advisory Board, General Accounting Office, and many other organizations; in congressional oversight and judicial proceedings; and in countless criticisms and lawsuits from stakeholders with interests in particular EPA regulatory decisions. As a previous independent panel put it in the 1992 report Safeguarding the Future: Credible Science, Credible Decisions, EPA's policy and regulatory work receives a great deal of public attention, but the agency's scientific performance typically receives a similar degree of attention only when the scientific basis for a decision is questioned. Thus, strong scientific performance is important not only to enable EPA to make informed and effective decisions, but also to gain credibility and public support for the environmental protection efforts of EPA and the nation.

This report is the fourth and final one in a series prepared by two independent expert committees convened by the NRC in response to a request from Congress and to subsequent, related requests from EPA. The Committee on Research Opportunities and Priorities for EPA - the companion committee in this study - was charged to provide an overview of significant emerging environmental issues, identify and prioritize research themes most relevant to understanding and resolving those issues, and consider the role of EPA's research program in the context of research being conducted or supported by other organizations. That committee published an interim report in 1996 and a final report, Building a Foundation for Sound Environmental Decisions, in 1997. The Committee on Research and Peer Review in EPA was charged to evaluate research management and scientific peer-review practices in the agency. The committee published an interim report in 1995 and this final report.

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