EPA IG: The agency “lacks a due diligence process for potential fraudulent environmental data”
posted at 8:41 pm on May 29, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
The EPA lacks a due diligence process for potential fraudulent environmental data. The agency has three policies and procedures that address how to respond to instances of fraudulent data, but they are all out of date or unimplemented. Our survey of EPA regional offices disclosed that a majority of respondents were unaware there was a policy, and approximately 50 percent expressed the need for such policies and procedures. The EPA plans to issue revised policy by fiscal year 2017. Until then, unimplemented and out-of-date policies and procedures—and lack of EPA staff awareness of those policies that do exist—create risk that EPA staff will fail to properly communicate the information regarding fraudulent data to appropriate program offices and data users; review and analyze the data for potential impacts to human health and the environment; or review and amend, if possible, past environmental decisions that were based on fraudulent data. According to staff of the federal agencies and states we contacted in this evaluation, they also do not have formal, written due diligence processes. …
I grow rather weary of finding out that the bureaucratic arm of The Most Transparent Administration, Evah — tasked with carrying out most of President Obama’s deeply expensive climate-change agenda and well known for trying to sneak hugely impactful carbon pricing rules into obscure regulations concerning microwave ovens — does not quite have all of its disclosure ducks in a row. Just earlier this month, you’ll recall, the EPA’s OIG reported that the EPA’s “Office of Homeland Security” was acting “rogue law enforcement agency” and was being deliberately uncooperative with their fraud investigations.
The EPA agreed with the OIG’s report and has committed to take action to correct the problems — so good of them, truly — and yet why am I not instilled with confidence in looking ahead to the administration’s forthcoming power-plant emissions regulations?