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Current Science and Technology Policy Council Projects
On this page:
- Revising the Agency's Peer Review Handbook
- Promoting environmental technology innovation
- Evaluating the EPA laboratory enterprise
The Agency’s Peer Review Handbook was first issued in 1998. It was revised and reissued in 2000 (2nd Edition) and 2006 (3rd Edition). In 2009 an addendum on the “Appearance of a Lack of Impartiality in External Peer Review” was added. The Handbook is currently being updated to incorporate EPA organizational changes, the 2009 addendum, as well as additional processes that have been put into place since 2006.
EPA promotes innovation that eliminates or significantly reduces the use of toxic substances and exposure to pollutants in the environment and that also promotes growth of the American economy. The Agency seeks out prospective technological advances that have the greatest potential to achieve environmental benefits. The Agency’s goal is to speed the design, development and deployment of the next generation of environmental technologies, creating a cleaner environment and a stronger economy for our nation and the world.
In 2010, the President announced the need to reduce the ‘footprint’ and increase the efficient use of federal facilities. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) also published reports on EPA managing its laboratories (July 2011) and streamlining government (May 2012). These reports and others recommended that EPA undertake initiatives to strengthen and streamline its laboratory enterprise.
Congress provided funding for the evaluation of the EPA laboratory enterprise, and in December 2012, EPA began an evaluation to identify opportunities to increase efficiency and effectiveness while ensuring the Agency’s ability to provide the preeminent research, science and technical support critical to advance EPA's mission.
- Presidential Memorandum
- U.S. GAO Report on EPA Management of Laboratories (PDF)(54 pp, 1.7 MB, About PDF)
- U.S. GAO Report on Streamlining Government
In 2013 EPA collected data from all of its laboratories:
- Operating cost
- Science contribution
Using this data, EPA worked with Smith Group, a nationally-recognized consultant with expertise in architecture, engineering and strategic planning for laboratory portfolios, to develop metrics, criteria and a framework to help EPA analyze options to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its current portfolio. EPA also requested a report from an independent expert committee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the EPA laboratory enterprise.
Learn more about the Smith Group and NAS:
- Smith Group's Latest Designs Exit
- Complete NAS Report: Rethinking the Components, Coordination, and Management of the U.S. Envrionmental Protection Agency Laboratories Exit
- NAS Independent Expert Committee Project Information on EPA Laboratory Enterprise Exit