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IG: EPA Needs Plan for Climate Change Research

Note: This item has been corrected. It previously cited GAO as the source of the report.

The Environmental Protection Agency needs an overall plan for its research on climate change, according to a report released Monday by the agency's Inspector General. It's not clear how the agency decides what research to focus on, the IG said. The agency's Office of Research and Development doesn't keep its scientific results in a central repository, nor does it communicate them quickly enough. "ORD’s current climate change research products and plans do not meet users’ needs in timeliness or scope," the report notes.

EPA spent $36.6 million on climate change research in fiscal year 2008, a tiny fraction of the federal spending in that area. In comments to the IG, agency officials wrote that they intend to issue a memo on research prioritization by the end of the year.