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the Ozone Problem in Urban and Regional Air Pollution (NRC, 1991), Science and Judgment in Risk Assessment (NRC, 1994), and the three-report series, Review of EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (NRC, 1994a, 1994b, 1995).

THE TASKS OF THIS COMMITTEE

In a report accompanying EPA's budget appropriations for fiscal year 1995, Congress directed EPAto arrange for an independent National Research Council assessmentof the research categories described in EPA's 1993 report to Congress,Fundamental and Applied Research at the Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA, 1993). Congress also asked for an NRC evaluation ofpeer-review procedures and certain other aspects of EPA's researchprogram. In November 1994, at the request of EPA's new assistantadministrator for research and development, the NRC appointed themultidisciplinary Committee on Research and Peer Review in EPA, whichhas prepared this report. The committee was specifically chargedto assess EPA's overall research and development program structure;peer-review procedures; long-term research program; laboratory site-reviewprocedures; and research staff career-development and performance-evaluationprocedures. The committee members were chosen for expertise in biology,chemistry, statistics, chemical engineering, environmental engineering,atmospheric science, hydrology, toxicology, exposure assessment,public health, ecology, forestry, soil science, and economics. Specialemphasis was placed upon selecting committee members with researchmanagement experience and knowledge of the research and scientificactivities of EPA and other agencies. The committee comprises researchscientists and engineers from many universities and other organizations,including current or former research vice presidents of AT&T, duPont, and Procter & Gamble.

In carrying out its charge, the committee was asked to consider theproblems, issues, and recommendations described in previous evaluationsof EPA's research program and peer review practices, as well as otherproblems and issues that the committee might identify. The committeealso was asked to consider the mission-related research, development,and technical support needs of EPA's regulatory programs and regionaloffices, as well as the role of EPA's research and development programin the context of research being conducted or sponsored by otheragencies and organizations. The committee will consult with EPA scientists,managers, and other persons within and outside of EPA who can providerelevant information and insights on research needs, past performance,organizational matters, and scientific career development, performanceevaluation, and recruitment issues. The committee will produce tworeports: this interim report and a comprehensive final report atthe conclusion of the 24-month study in 1996.

Congress requested that this interim report be completed at a veryearly stage in the committee's factfinding and deliberations. Thusfar, the committee has held two meetings,



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Interim Report of the Committee on Research and Peer Review in EPA the Ozone Problem in Urban and Regional Air Pollution (NRC, 1991), Science and Judgment in Risk Assessment (NRC, 1994), and the three-report series, Review of EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (NRC, 1994a, 1994b, 1995). THE TASKS OF THIS COMMITTEE In a report accompanying EPA's budget appropriations for fiscal year 1995, Congress directed EPAto arrange for an independent National Research Council assessmentof the research categories described in EPA's 1993 report to Congress,Fundamental and Applied Research at the Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA, 1993). Congress also asked for an NRC evaluation ofpeer-review procedures and certain other aspects of EPA's researchprogram. In November 1994, at the request of EPA's new assistantadministrator for research and development, the NRC appointed themultidisciplinary Committee on Research and Peer Review in EPA, whichhas prepared this report. The committee was specifically chargedto assess EPA's overall research and development program structure;peer-review procedures; long-term research program; laboratory site-reviewprocedures; and research staff career-development and performance-evaluationprocedures. The committee members were chosen for expertise in biology,chemistry, statistics, chemical engineering, environmental engineering,atmospheric science, hydrology, toxicology, exposure assessment,public health, ecology, forestry, soil science, and economics. Specialemphasis was placed upon selecting committee members with researchmanagement experience and knowledge of the research and scientificactivities of EPA and other agencies. The committee comprises researchscientists and engineers from many universities and other organizations,including current or former research vice presidents of AT&T, duPont, and Procter & Gamble. In carrying out its charge, the committee was asked to consider theproblems, issues, and recommendations described in previous evaluationsof EPA's research program and peer review practices, as well as otherproblems and issues that the committee might identify. The committeealso was asked to consider the mission-related research, development,and technical support needs of EPA's regulatory programs and regionaloffices, as well as the role of EPA's research and development programin the context of research being conducted or sponsored by otheragencies and organizations. The committee will consult with EPA scientists,managers, and other persons within and outside of EPA who can providerelevant information and insights on research needs, past performance,organizational matters, and scientific career development, performanceevaluation, and recruitment issues. The committee will produce tworeports: this interim report and a comprehensive final report atthe conclusion of the 24-month study in 1996. Congress requested that this interim report be completed at a veryearly stage in the committee's factfinding and deliberations. Thusfar, the committee has held two meetings,

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Interim Report of the Committee on Research and Peer Review in EPA one in December 1994 and one in January 1995. The committee has considerednumerous documents, including those cited as references in this report,and it has met with officials of EPA's Office of Research and Development,the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Science and TechnologyPolicy. In addition, most of the members of this committee have alsoserved on one or more previous groups that independently evaluatedthe research programs of EPA and other federal agencies under theauspices of the National Research Council, the Carnegie Commission,EPA's Science Advisory Board, or other organizations. At the time this interim report was prepared, the committee had notreceived the first results of ORD's new strategic-research planningprocess, because the plans are still being developed by EPA. At thisearly point in the study, the committee had not had an opportunityto visit any EPA laboratories or to interview any EPA laboratoryscientists, EPA regulatory and regional program officials, or researchscientists from other agencies and organizations. Consistent with the committee's charge, this interim report is limited to the committee's initial observations on EPA's overall research program and peer-review practices for researchactivities within that program. This report is based upon the informationand materials available from EPA at the time of the committee's review,and upon the knowledge and experience of the committee members. Itis limited by the complexity of some of the issues and the committee's need for further evaluation, discussion, and documentation of itsfindings beyond what was practicable within the schedule permittedfor the interim report. The committee's final report in 1996 will address the following topics: Research and Development Program Structure and Funding Mechanisms. The committee will review EPA's new strategic plans for research and development. In the contextof those plans, the committee will assess EPA's research and developmentprogram activities, funding levels, funding mechanisms, and researchdecisionmaking procedures. It will assess the mix of research themesand topics among program categories and the balance between long-termand short-term research, intramural and extramural research, variousmechanisms for extramural research, anticipatory versus current needsresearch, and research versus technical services. Peer-Review Procedures. The committee will assess and, if warranted, recommend measuresto improve EPA's scientific peer-review and quality-assurance proceduresfor research proposals, intramural and extramural research work productsand publications, and scientific assessments performed for regulatoryapplications. Long-term Research Program Plans. The committee will review the ongoing research grants and researchcenters programs of EPA's Office of Exploratory Research, includingthe collaborative grants program with NSF. It will also review theplans for an expanded long-term research program, including in-houseresearch activities, intramural investigator-initiated competitiveresearch grants, and extramural investigator-initiated