vvEPA
United States
Environmental Protection
Agency
EPA-100R150021 March 20, 2015 | www.epa.gov
(Updated April 28, 2015)
Synthesis Report of the
US EPA Laboratory
Enterprise Evaluation

Office of the Science Advisor
Science and Technology Policy Council
Laboratory Enterprise Work Group

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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
Disclaimer
This report has been reviewed in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policy. Mention
of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.
Citation:
U.S. EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) (2015). Synthesis Report of the U.S. EPA Laboratory
Enterprise Evaluation. EPA 100R15002. Office of the Science Advisor, Science and Technology Policy
Council, Laboratory Enterprise Work Group. Available at: www.epa.gov/osa
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
Errata Sheet
April 28, 2015
The following Table and Figures have been revised:
Table 3. Modeled Scenarios -Aggregated Costs and Facility Information
Figure 8. Life Cycle Cost (30 year Present Worth) for each Scenario
Figure 9. Life Cycle Capital Cost for Budgeting (30 Year Present Worth)
The listed Table and Figures have been updated to reflect a minor correction to the scenario cost model
input data. This correction resulted in minor changes to the cost model results and to the title of Figure
9. This correction only affects the scenario cost modeling. The new title for Figure 9 is "Estimated
Capital Cost (inflation not included) for each Scenario."
These corrections in no way affect any results, conclusions, or potential actions based on this analysis.
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
Table of Contents
I.	Message from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy	4
II.	Introduction	6
III.	Drivers for Change	7
IV.	Background on the EPA Laboratory Enterprise	8
V.	Data Collection	11
Facilities Subcommittee	11
Cost Subcommittee	12
Workforce Subcommittee	12
Science Subcommittee	13
VI.	Analysis of National Research Council Recommendations	13
VII.	Facility Data Analysis and Scenarios	14
Metrics	15
Comparative Analysis of the Laboratory Portfolio	16
Cost Modeling and Development of Hypothetical Scenarios	20
VIII.Conclusions	and Path Forward	25
General Conclusions	25
Actions to Improve Effectiveness and Efficiency	26
IX.	References	29
X.	Appendices	30
Appendix 1: Acknowledgment of Contributors	30
Appendix 2: Principles and Recommendations for the EPA Laboratory Enterprise	33
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
I. Message from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
EPA is committed to science.
Science is the foundation of EPA's work: from testing soil at Superfund sites to protecting the quality of
America's waters to conducting research that supports the agency's and the President's work to take
action on climate change. We must make sure our laboratory facilities are operating at their best, so our
dedicated scientists and engineers have the tools and resources to provide this excellent science and
research.
EPA is committed to greening the government.
EPA is a leader in making government operations more environmentally friendly. In the past, EPA was
one of only two agencies in the Federal government to score green on all sustainability metrics
contained in the Office of Management and Budget's environmental scorecard. This commitment
extends to laboratories, and by finding ways to make EPA's laboratories more efficient, EPA can
continue reducing its energy consumption, water usage, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Supporting our commitments to science and the environment
EPA is committed to providing rigorous science to protect health and the environment and to reducing
our environmental impact by greening the government. This evaluation began in December 2012, when
former Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe announced the effort to identify opportunities that would
increase efficiency and effectiveness while ensuring the agency's ability to provide the best research,
science and technology critical to our mission. Over the next two years, EPA collected and analyzed
extensive laboratory enterprise information, which has given us a more complete and more accurate
snapshot of our entire laboratory enterprise across all of our programs, regions, and research offices.
EPA also asked the National Research Council (NRC) to look at ways to make our science even more
effective, and it published a report in September 2014, called Rethinking the Components, Coordination,
and Management of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The data we collected and analyzed, plus findings from the NRC's report, and information from other
sources, have resulted in the Synthesis Report of the US EPA Laboratory Enterprise Evaluation. This
report, and everything we learned throughout the evaluation, have given EPA important tools to help
prioritize decisions about our facilities and make cost-effective use of laboratory resources to meet
EPA's need for rigorous science and research—now and into the future. I fully support the actions
described in the report and have directed our agency leaders to begin implementing them. I hope you
take the time to read through the report; I've highlighted some of the actions we are implementing
below.
Making the Lab Enterprise Even Stronger. EPA's Science Advisor will develop a vision for the lab
enterprise that includes strengthening communication, coordination, and management processes
throughout the agency as well as creating synergies with other federal organizations, and coordinating
annual data collection and analysis. These actions will ensure that EPA maintains an up-to-date
laboratory enterprise and continues to make informed decisions about our laboratory facilities.
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Continue Planning and Management. EPA has three different types of labs: program, region, and
research. These labs have very different responsibilities, and they will continue to plan their science as
components of their respective program, regional, and research offices. Additionally, the Assistant
Administrators and Regional Administrators of these offices will retain line management authority for
their labs. These actions help ensure that our lab science contributions are aligned with the needs of
EPA's programs and strategic goals.
A New Forum to Strengthen the Laboratory Enterprise. EPA's Science Advisor will charter a new,
permanent lab enterprise forum within the Science and Technology Policy Council (STPC) to help
implement the actions in the Synthesis Report and help inform future decisions regarding the lab
enterprise.
Continue to Invest in our Laboratories. We found that, while our lab facilities are in good condition,
there is room for improvement. We will continue to make investments in our laboratory facilities to
ensure that we continue to provide the best science and attract and keep the best scientists.
Make Minor Consolidations. Sometimes people think that major consolidations save money, but this is
not always the case. Our evaluation showed that there is potential to save money if we maximize the
use of EPA's owned laboratory spaces Our evaluation identified several facility consolidations that we
are now undertaking, several that will begin in the next two years, and two potential opportunities that
require further evaluation. You can read more about the specifics of these actions later in this Synthesis
Report. I also want to emphasize that we kept all of our lab staff and science functions in every scenario
we evaluated and that any consolidation activities will follow all standard EPA procedures for notifying
employees.
These actions will make EPA an even stronger science organization, and we now have a better approach
than ever before to make sure we meet our science needs - now and into the future. I stand by these
actions and know that they are our best path forward.
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II. Introduction
In December 2012, EPA began a study of its laboratory enterprise to identify opportunities to increase
the efficiency of its facilities and the effectiveness of its science while retaining the agency's ability to
provide the preeminent research, science, and technical support critical to advance its mission. The
purpose of this synthesis report is to present a summary of the completed analysis, provide
observations and conclusions, and identify actions that EPA could
undertake to improve its laboratory enterprise for the longer term.
K	6	In a December 18,2012
memorandum, the EPA Deputy
The "Lab Study" was a multi-phased evaluation of EPA's laboratory
Administrator announced an
enterprise and the laboratory science that supports our work. The first
integrated evaluation of the agency s
phase of the evaluation included data collection, verification, and analysis.
laboratories:
The EPA Science Advisor established four subcommittees to collect
The agency's "evaluation aims to
facility, operating cost, workforce, and science contribution data from all
strengthen the management,
of its laboratories.
effectiveness and efficiency of our
laboratory network while enhancing
Using these data, EPA worked with Smith Group JJR, a nationally-
its capabilities for pre-eminent
recognized consultant with expertise in architecture, engineering, and
research and other lab-based
strategic planning for laboratory portfolios, to develop metrics, criteria,
scientific and technical work in the
and a framework for analyzing options and improving the efficiency of the
years ahead. The evaluation will
laboratory portfolio. The results of the facility analysis included the total
also address the U.S. Government
cost of ownership for the portfolio,* potential benefits such as avoided
Accountability Office's recent
costs and energy savings that could be realized through renovations, co-
recommendations that we improve
locations, consolidations, and investments to implement portfolio
cohesion in managing and operating
realignment and optimize the condition of the entire portfolio.
our laboratories. Finally, it will help
the agency's laboratory enterprise
To complement Smith Group JJR's analysis, EPA also requested
respond to change and be equipped
recommendations for strengthening the effectiveness of the EPA
to handle emerging scientific
laboratory enterprise from an independent expert committee convened
challenges. To support this
by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of
evaluation, Congress provided funds
Sciences. The NRC committee began its work with EPA in September 2013
for EPA to undertake a long-term
and published its report a year later.
evaluation of the agency s laboratory
network to ensure that the current
Collectively, EPA's data analysis, Smith Group JRR's assessment, and the
organization matches the agency's
NRC report provide EPA with more complete, timely, and consistent
strategic needs.
information about its laboratory portfolio than the agency has ever had
* In this document, "portfolio" refers to laboratory facilities and physical infrastructure. The facilities portfolio is a component
of the laboratory "enterprise" that encompasses the organization, funding, workforce, equipment, scientific functions,
activities, and contributions to clients (programs) and stakeholders.
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before. This information will help EPA make decisions that could increase the efficiency and
effectiveness of the laboratory enterprise now and during the next ten years.
Subsequent sections of this report outline the drivers for the Lab Study, a review of the data collection
process, the analyses performed by the NRC and Smith Group JJR, and conclusions and actions for the
path forward.
III. Drivers for Change
In 2007, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested a near-term
review and long-term evaluation of EPA's laboratory network. The goal of the near-term review was to
identify opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness at individual agency laboratories. The
near-term review concluded in 2009 with the publication of a report, Commonsense Actions and Best
Practices that Improve Laboratory Efficiency and Effectiveness.1 The report documented more than 500
actions that individual EPA laboratories were planning on implementing nation-wide to reduce energy
use and environmental impacts and to improve efficiencies in other areas.
In 2011 and 2012, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published three reports about EPA
laboratories, reducing the footprint of federal real property, and streamlining the physical
infrastructure.2,3,4 In its 2011 report To Better Fulfill its Mission EPA Needs a More Coordinated
Approach to Managing its Laboratories, GAO made seven recommendations to the EPA Administrator to
strengthen the management and cohesion of the agency's laboratory enterprise. In the 2012 report,
Streamlining Government: Questions to Consider When Evaluating Proposals to Consolidate Physical
Infrastructure and Management Functions, GAO recommended that EPA evaluate options to consolidate
and co-locate its laboratory physical infrastructure. This report also provides guidance to federal
agencies about how decision makers should evaluate the results of consolidation initiatives. The third
GAO report, Opportunities to Reduce Duplication, Overlap and Fragmentation, Achieve Savings and
Enhance Revenue, identified 51 areas where programs government-wide may be able to achieve greater
efficiencies or become more effective in providing government services.
Additionally, both the President and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have issued executive
orders and memoranda directing federal agencies to improve the sustainability of their facilities and
increase the cost-effectiveness of federal property.5'6,7 For example, the March 2013 memorandum from
OMB provided direction to "freeze the federal footprint" and recommends that all federal agencies
undertake studies to evaluate consolidation and co-location options for their office space and
warehouse facilities.
In FY 2012, Congress appropriated funds for EPA to undertake "a long term evaluation of the agency's
laboratory network to ensure that the current organization matches the agency's strategic needs . . . ."
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To implement this evaluation, the EPA Deputy Administrator issued a memo announcing that the
Laboratory Enterprise Work Group, under the direction of the EPA Science Advisor, was charged with
responding to recommendations from GAO and leading the evaluation of the laboratory enterprise. The
Deputy Administrator's memo named the Deputy Assistant Administrators from the Office of
Administration and Resources Management (OARM), the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO),
the Office of Research and Development (ORD), and the lead Deputy Regional Administrator for Science
(Region 10, FY 2012 through FY 2013 and Region 3, FY 2014 to present) as the co-chairs of this
workgroup. Appendix 1 provides a list of the EPA workgroup members and contributors.
IV. Background on the EPA Laboratory Enterprise
In 2012, EPA had a total of 34 laboratory facilities located in 29 cities nationwide. Figure 1 is a map of
EPA's laboratory locations and Table 1 contains the name, location, and organization of each laboratory
facility. These 34 laboratories provide critical scientific, technical, and research support that underpin
agency decisions about protective health standards, policies, risk management, emergency response,
compliance, and enforcement. More specifically, the EPA laboratory enterprise contains a mix of leased
and owned facilities, which are identified in Table 2.
Port Orchard. WA
Newport, OR
Corvallis, OR
Willamette
Research
Station
Chelmsford, MA
Gro«e He. Ml
Narrsgansett. Rl
Ann Arbor, Fill
Richmond. CA
Chicago, II
ndUon Ni
Wheeling, WV
'ooliien U'
Lakewood, CO
Cincinnati, OH
-Center Hill
TAE Facility
Eaperimental
Stream Facility
Kansas City KS
Ft. Meade
Region 3
OCSPP
Us Vegas NV
f Ada, OK	-RTT
-r
~ ^
Region 2. OSWER
and ORD
Research Lab
0 Regional Lab
Several locations have multiple laboratory facilities — RTP (3), Athens (3), Cincinnati (4), Corvallis (2). Certain laboratory facilities contain a
combination of labs — e.g.. Ft. Meade is counted as a single laboratory facility containing both a Program Lab and a Regional Lab
Figure 1. Map of US EPA Laboratory Facilities
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Table 1. EPA Laboratory Locations at the Beginning of the Laboratory Study
Location	Name of Organization	Type
Ada, OK
Ground Water and Ecosystems Restoration Division
Research

Ann Arbor, Ml
National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory*
Program

Athens, GA
Field Research Annex
Research

Athens, GA
Science and Ecosystem Support Division
Region 4

Athens, GA
Ecosystems Research Division
Research

Bay St. Louis, MS
Environmental Chemistry Laboratory
Program

Chapel Hill, NC
Human Studies Facility*
Research

Chelmsford, MA
New England Regional Laboratory
Region 1

Chicago, IL
Chicago Regional Laboratory
Region 5

Cincinnati, OH
Center Hill Research Facility
Research

Cincinnati, OH
Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center
Research, Program

Cincinnati, OH
Test & Evaluation Facility (T&E)
Research

Corvallis, OR
Willamette Research Station
Research

Corvallis, OR
Western Ecology Division (aka Environmental Research Lab)
Research

Duluth, MN
Mid-Continent Ecology Division*
Research

Durham, NC
Fluid Modeling Facility (aka Grand Slam Building)
Research

Durham, NC
Reproductive Toxicology Facility
Research

Edison, NJ
Region 2 Lab and Urban Watershed Management Branch
Region 2, Research,
Program

Fort Meade, MD
Mid-Atlantic Environmental Science Center
Region 3, Program

Golden, CO
Central Regional Laboratory
Region 8

Grosse lie, Ml
Large Lakes and Rivers Forecasting Research Branch
Research

Gulf Breeze, FL
Gulf Ecology Division*
Research

Houston, TX
Environmental Services Branch Laboratory
Region 6

Kansas City, KS
Science and Technology Center
Region 7

Lakewood, CO
National Enforcement Investigations Center
Program

Las Vegas, NV
Environmental Sciences Division
Research

Milford, OH
Experimental Stream Facility
Research

Montgomery, AL
National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory*
Program

Narragansett, Rl
Atlantic Ecology Division*
Research

Newport, OR
Pacific Coastal Ecology Branch*
Research

Port Orchard, WA
Manchester Environmental Laboratory
Region 10

Research Triangle Park, NC
Main Building
Research

Richmond, CA
Pacific Southwest Laboratory
Region 9

Wheeling, WV
Freshwater Biology Team
Region 3

indicates highly specialized laboratory functions or locations
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Table 2. Breakdown of EPA's laboratory inventory by ownership and lease type
Laboratory Facilities by Ownership Type (Fiscal Year 2012)
EPA Owned	19
GSA Leased	8
EPA Leased	4
GSA Owned	2
Special Use Agreement	1
Total	34
For the purposes of the Lab Study the term "laboratory facility" means a single laboratory structure or
multiple laboratory structures housed at a single location. Also, a laboratory facility can contain multiple
organizational units with laboratory functions. Laboratory facilities can also contain organizational units
co-located with the laboratory not performing or supporting laboratory functions (e.g., Research
Triangle Park is a research facility that also houses employees from the Office of Air and Radiation and
the Office of the Chief Financial Officer).
EPA laboratories have three distinct and complementary missions
•	Regional Laboratories have primary responsibility for providing scientific data in
support of decisions by the EPA Regional Office's environmental programs, for
addressing the comprehensive needs of the Regions, and for informing immediate and
near-term decisions on environmental conditions, emergency response, compliance,
and enforcement.
•	National Program Laboratories have primary responsibility for implementing legislative
mandates to develop and provide specific programs that support decisions for
regulations, compliance, and enforcement at a national level.
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Research and Development Laboratories have primary responsibility for developing
knowledge, assessments, and scientific tools that underpin decisions about EPA's
protective standards, risk assessments, and risk management decisions.
Because of their complementary and distinct missions the design of laboratory space and facilities are
different across the three types of laboratories. For this reason, an "apples-to-apples" comparison
between laboratory types is not appropriate from the perspectives of lab science functions and facility
design.
V. Data Collection
To develop the foundation from which to analyze EPA's current laboratory enterprise, EPA needed
current basic data and information. While EPA laboratories individually track a variety of data, through
this evaluation uniform timeframes and definitions were used across all types of laboratories. EPA,
under the guidance of the Science and Technology Policy Council, formed four subcommittees to gather
and analyze data. Each subcommittee was led by a team of senior agency managers, had
representatives from across the agency, and had a Workgroup co-chair as a champion/advisor. The four
subcommittees and their functions were:
1.	Facilities Subcommittee: collected data on facility space, type, condition, and energy use.
2.	Cost Subcommittee: collected data on facility costs, including rent, labor, utilities, equipment,
operation and maintenance, IT, security, safety, and health.
3.	Workforce Subcommittee: collected data on the current on-board workforce by discipline and
number of federal staff and contract staff working on-site.
4.	Science Subcommittee: collected data on representative laboratory science outputs, use by
agency programs, and alignment with agency strategic goals. This Subcommittee also organized
information and expert panels for NRC public meetings.
The data collection efforts included data review and verification by Deputy Regional Administrators and
appropriate Deputy Assistant Administrators. Each Subcommittee compiled and reviewed the data and
conducted quality assurance and follow up as needed. Below is a summary of each data call.
Facilities Subcommittee
The Facilities Subcommittee developed a template comprising characteristics such as facility area, age,
condition, and annual utility consumption and cost. The Subcommittee created a customized version of
the template for each of EPA's 34 laboratories and pre-populated these facility-specific spreadsheets
with elements including gross square footage, annual utility consumption and cost, and fleet
composition for FY 2012. Facility contacts were asked to verify the pre-populated data and to provide
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additional data including operational characteristics (e.g., maintenance costs), site mission, and
function. Some facilities also provided supplementary materials (e.g., organizational charts) to
accompany their completed templates.
Cost Subcommittee
The Laboratory Operating Cost Subcommittee collected FY 2012 EPA laboratory facility costs (obligations
and expenditures of both laboratory and non-laboratory costs) for each laboratory. Laboratory costs
included both direct and indirect laboratory support costs while non-laboratory costs captured costs for
personnel co-located at a facility but not working in the laboratory (e.g., at the laboratory bench). Costs
were submitted within ten lab cost categories:
1.	Environmental Health and Safety	6. Laboratory Equipment
2.	Expendable Supplies	7. Licenses & Fees
3.	Facility	8. Moving Service
4.	IT Support	9. Security
5.	Labor	10. Transportation
Each laboratory cost category was further broken down by specifically defined cost elements. For
example, the Environmental Health and Safety cost category was further broken down into three cost
elements: Hazardous and Solid Waste Transport and Disposal; Health Unit—Medical Monitoring; and
Safety, Health and Environmental Management (SHEM) Support. Each laboratory categorized costs
using a data export of expenditures from EPA's official accounting system.
Workforce Subcommittee
The Workforce Subcommittee requested FY 2012 data from all laboratories. Requested data included
organization, location, grade levels for EPA personnel, and expertise categories (e.g., analytical
chemistry, biology, earth science, engineering) and covered both federal personnel (on-board agency
personnel supporting laboratory functions) and non-federal personnel (on-site contractors, research
students, and other outside collaborators supporting laboratory functions).
Workforce data arrays developed from the data call include: (a) EPA personnel aligned with laboratory
facilities, (b) workforce data by expertise, and (c) workforce data organized by category (science,
technical, legal, and administrative).
The Subcommittee concluded that People Plus (the EPA time, attendance, and payroll system) data,
while not designed to isolate laboratory personnel, reliably verified the EPA personnel reported in the
data call.
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
Science Subcommittee
The Science Subcommittee gathered data on laboratory science functions and their contributions to EPA
programs, outcomes, and strategic goals. Because of the complexity and number of tasks and projects
undertaken by EPA laboratories in any given year, the Subcommittee asked each laboratory to provide
data for about 5-10 laboratory science projects completed during FY 2012 that were broadly
representative of the laboratory's project level contributions to agency clients (programs). Laboratory
science projects were defined as projects led by laboratory science staff such as (a) chemical or
biological analyses, (b) engineering analysis, simulation, or synthesis, (c) computational model
development, testing, or application, and (d) non-bench scientific technical support—such as audits,
field monitoring, technical assessments, quality assurance, or data validation.
The Science Subcommittee's analysis of the resulting data validated that laboratory science activities
and outputs (a) are aligned with needs of agency strategic goals and objectives, (b) help agency program
clients and stakeholders accomplish mission-relevant outcomes, and (c) are captured effectively by
current agency planning and accountability systems that implement requirements of the Government
Performance and Results (GPRA) Modernization Act (GPRAMA) of 2010 and OMB Circular A-ll. The
Science Subcommittee also observed that many EPA laboratories contribute to program outcomes for
multiple strategic goals.
VI. Analysis of National Research Council Recommendations
In another component of EPA's multi-phase laboratory study, the agency
requested independent expert advice from the National Research Council
(NRC). In response, the NRC convened an ad hoc "Committee on
Strengthening the US Environmental Protection Agency Laboratory
Enterprise," which focused on priority needs, guiding principles, and goals.
The Committee was asked to focus on science, and not to assess the
organization, the portfolio-level assessment, or the consolidation initiatives
recommended by GAO for the laboratory enterprise because these
analyses were undertaken in a separate effort. The NRC committee
requested extensive information and presentations for its information-
gathering sessions; presentations by EPA representatives are identified in
Appendix C of the committee's report. The Committee published its report,
Rethinking the Components, Coordination, and Management of the US EPA
Laboratories,8 in September 2014. The report includes 23
recommendations derived from nine principles developed by the
Committee for effective and efficient management of the laboratory
The charge requested that the
NRC Committee's report (a)
assess EPA's highest-priority
needs for mission-relevant
laboratory science and
technical support, (b) develop
principles for the efficient and
effective management of EPA's
laboratory enterprise to meet
the agency's mission needs and
strategic goals, and (c) develop
guidance for enhancing
efficiency and effectiveness
now and during the next 10
years.
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enterprise to meet the agency's mission needs and strategic goals. Appendix 2 presents the NRC
Committee's 9 principals, which are the basis for its 23 recommendations.
In summary, the NRC Committee found that EPA laboratories could become more effective and efficient
by considering the agency's system of laboratories from an enterprise perspective. The NRC Committee
recommended that the actions EPA should take to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its
laboratory enterprise should be organized around the concept of a system that maintains the strength
of the individual laboratory types while providing systematic collaboration and communication
throughout the agency.
In its report, the NRC Committee also developed an analytic framework for each type of laboratory and
the entire enterprise to help EPA align its laboratory facilities, functions, and capabilities with the
highest-priority scientific needs related to the agency's strategic goals, such as addressing climate
change, improving air quality, and protecting America's waters.
VII. Facility Data Analysis and Scenarios
This section presents a summary of Smith Group JJR's assessment, including an analysis of the facility
information, development of metrics, and the application of a cost model.9 The analysis used EPA-
collected data to consider the efficiency of the agency's nationwide laboratory portfolio and to provide
EPA with the tools and framework for future planning and decision making.
The portfolio analysis was guided by a Workgroup consisting of representatives from across the agency.
Incremental presentations of the project status were provided to EPA management at workshops for
review and feedback.
The portfolio analysis process is graphically depicted in Figure 2 and consisted of three distinct
segments:
•	EPA data collection
•	Analysis
•	Evaluation of scenarios
The foundation of the data analysis was the verified data from the facility, workforce, and cost data calls
(discussed in Section IV). In some cases, EPA-collected data were further validated through site visits (Ft.
Meade, MD; Athens, GA; Chicago, IL; and Ann Arbor, Ml). This ensured that at least one Regional,
Program, and Research laboratory was verified by site visits.
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EPA Data Collection
Space
Analysis
Evaluation- Scenarios
Data:
34 Facilities
Facility/Site
Age
Systems
Condition
Site Utilization
Space For Science
How efficient is the
facility utilization?
What is the
condition of the
facility/site?
Are there
determinants such
as location and
highly specialized
science capability?
cost of operations?
What Facilities have |
space that can be
utilized more
efficiently?
What are the facility
condition index and
site capacity?
What guideline
should EPA apply to
sustain lab science
as it improves the
efficiency of its lab
portfolio?
What are the costs
E.G., replacement
costs, cost to
achieve federal
^ ^ustainability goals^'
Capital & Operating costs
Life Cycle Costs
Total Cost of Ownerships
Figure 2. Laboratory Assessment and Evaluation Process
Metrics
One important component of the data analysis was the development of four categories of metrics,
which were established by the Workgroup early in the portfolio analysis.
1. Space Density and Utilization
Space density was used as a measure of space utilization, represented as usable square foot
(USF) per laboratory occupant. Occupant data included all federal employees, contract workers,
and grantees using space for laboratory functions. The usable square foot in each facility was
consistently defined and calculated using classifications of laboratory, laboratory office,
laboratory support, and special laboratory space. Non-laboratory related space was not included
in the density calculation. The inventory data added up to more than 3.75 million gross square
feet (GSF) of laboratory facilities and 2.75 million of usable square feet (USF), as defined by the
Building Operations and Maintenance Organization (BOMA) standards.10
2. Facility Condition Index (FCI)
The FCI is an industry standard asset management tool that measures the "constructed asset's"
condition at a specific point in time. The facility condition for the study was assessed based on
GSA Guidance for Real Property Inventory reporting and the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) Deferred Maintenance Model, modified to include a scalar rating for
architectural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, and a parametric estimating
method to calculate renovation cost relative to replacement cost.11 The FCI, based on a scale of
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1-100, assesses facility infrastructure and provides a consistent rating system for agency-wide
value comparison among facilities. The area-weighted FCI of EPA's laboratory portfolio was
determined to be 64.4.
3.	Sustainability
Sustainability metrics include space, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and water use. Space
was included under Space Density and Utilization. Overall the EPA is exceeding the requirements
of the President's initiative for space reduction, by reducing our office space and warehouse
footprint versus simply freezing it (OMB memorandum M-12-12 Section 3, Freeze the
Footprint). Energy and water factors were included in the development of the FCI. EPA projects
exceeding all of the Presidential greening requirements (Energy Policy Act of 2005, Energy
Independence and Security Act of 2007, and Executive Order 13423 and 13514). The agency
projects energy, water, GHG, and water reductions to continue to meet or exceed the current
and future projected federal requirements.
4.	Costs
Cost data were collected and organized into cost categories (e.g., information technology and
telecommunications infrastructure, facility operations and maintenance, lease costs, costs of
safety and health, security, and transportation). Total operational costs for all laboratory-based
functions in the FY 2012 baseline year were approximately $450 million. Facility renovation and
improvement costs were approximately $18 million in FY 2012. Additionally, EPA's capital
building and facilities average annual budget is about $30 million/year, of which approximately
$25 million/year has been spent on laboratory facilities over the past ten years.
Comparative Analysis of the Laboratory Portfolio
One component of the portfolio analysis developed a quantitative basis for measuring efficiency across
the laboratory portfolio using the metrics for facility space utilization and facility condition. To evaluate
individual facilities as a part of the portfolio of laboratory facilities, an evaluation matrix was used to
combine the space utilization of each facility (as measured by the USF/occupant) with the Facility
Condition Index (a numerical assignment on a 1-100 scale with a value of 100 defined to be a brand new
state-of-the-art facility). Figures 3, 4, and 5 depict the evaluation matrices for research, regional, and
program laboratories, respectively.
The combination of these two metrics (space utilization and Facility Condition Index) provided an easy-
to-understand visual approach that indicates which sites exhibited high utilization with a high Facility
Condition Index, and conversely, which sites exhibited low utilization at facilities with a low Facility
Condition Index. The latter were likely candidates for improved utilization and/or high priority for
upgrades and renovations.
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
In creating the matrices in Figures 3 and 4, research and regional laboratories were considered
separately to appropriately compare these different types of facilities with the external benchmarks that
were used for utilization. In Figure 5, program laboratories were not benchmarked externally due to the
unique and variable nature of their work.
•	Research laboratories were benchmarked against government research laboratories, corporate
research laboratories, and university research laboratories.
•	Regional laboratories were benchmarked against state analytical labs and corporate
laboratories.
Additionally, the bubble size of each facility in Figures 3, 4, and 5 is scaled according to the number of
occupants at that facility. Intuitively, it is desirable to move the indicator bubbles toward the lower right
of the matrix - indicating both a high utilization rate (by minimizing the USF/occupant number) and a
high condition index. Figures 3, 4, and 5 indicate that the majority of the agency's laboratory facilities
currently are in conditions that do not require immediate upgrades or renovations due to space
utilization and FCI rating.
The Lab Study provided a unique opportunity to look across the entire EPA laboratory portfolio,
combining individual facility information. Figure 6 graphically represents the space utilization of the
entire EPA laboratory portfolio. The totals for usable square feet (as calculated using Building Owners
and Managers Association standard) and mechanical, structural, and public circulation space are
presented as fractions of EPA's gross square feet of laboratory space. Using external benchmarking,
approximately 15% to 20% of EPA's laboratory space was identified as underutilized (as represented in
red). This square footage is distributed across the laboratory portfolio and generally cannot be
reallocated for use by laboratory functions or organizations in other locations. Furthermore, a number
of laboratories contain special types of spaces for specialized science functions such as vivarium, high
bays, test chambers, and specialized analytical equipment. These specialized functions are not easily
comparable to external laboratory benchmarks.
In Figure 7, EPA's laboratory facilities were divided into three FCI categories: <25, 25-50, and >50. A
Facility Condition Index range below 25 identifies facilities that should be considered for replacement, as
the cost of renovation could exceed facility replacement cost. A range of 25-50 identifies facilities that
should be evaluated for renovation or replacement. A range above 50 identifies facilities that should be
considered for renovation. The area weighted average FCI for EPA's laboratory portfolio is 64.4. We used
an FCI of 82 for owned sites and an FCI of 60 for leased sites as an input for the cost model so we could
have an order of magnitude estimate of costs, but going forward we will further evaluate each upgrade
and consolidation project based on its costs, projected savings, and importance from a mission and
operational perspective.
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
a
3 1,500
8
§ 1,250
1,000
750
500
250
* Grand Slam Building - Durham, NC and Athens ORD field station were not graphed
"Bubble size represents number of occupants on site, number in bubble Is USF/Occupant
•"Grand Slam Building - Durham, NC and WRS - Corvallis, OR not induded in mean and standard deviation
Low FCI
High USF / Occupant
it %%
WRS - Corvallis, OR
Experimental Stream Field
Station - Mitford, OH
o 1067 High
Newport, OR -v.
Human Studies Facility-
ChapcHMirNC
f
T&E-Cincinnati, OH
70
% i i c, -a. % 4 -t -i
682 Mean
Centef Hill-OROonati;0H
Environmental Research
Las Vegas, NV
X
AWBERC-Cincinnati, OH
Gulf Breeze, FL
			, 	 Laboratory- Corvallis.OR .. 	jffi|	
450 Extenal Benchmark
35 Meao:
585 Extw«18encfiBwA:
:CtetrosJfl«J;WA:

Chyision ef iEnv.'ronrwniaj Scwine ami;
::::: A&ess;iu:
low FCI
High USF/Occupant
* The Regional 8 lab facility in Golden, CO tracked with Lakewood, CO; see program labs graph
** Bubbte si» and number in bubble is number of occupants on site
High FCI
High USF / Occupant
low FCI
low USf/Occupant
Manchester Environmental
Laboratory - Port Orchard, WA
Wheeling, WV
Environmental Science
Center-Ft Meade, MD High FCI
Low USF/Occupant
70	80	9C
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
LowFCI
2,750 High USF / Occupant
2,500
2,250
2,000
1,750
1,500
& 1,250
1,000
750
*** No Extenal Benchmark
o 1140 High
500
250
0
LowFCI
Low USF /Occupant
* Office of Superfund Remediation Technology Innovation/EFT -Edison, NJ not graphed
" Bubble size and number in bubble is number of occupants on site
High FCI
High USF/Occupant
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Program Labs
FCI
Montgomery, Al
Analytical Chemistry Lab and
/ Mircobiology Lab - Fort
High FCI
Low USF /Occupant
Figure 5. Evaluation Matrix for Program Laboratories
Facility Condition Analysis
Facility Space Analysis
3,787,200 Gross Square Feet (GSF)
Mechanical, Structural
Public circulation space
2,387,900 Usable Square Feet (USF)
BOMA Standard
358,200 (USF) Potentially Underutilized
15%	Based On Metrics
. Special Space Not Usable
For Other Lab Functions
2,029,700 USF Effectively Utilized Space
Figure 6. Portfolio Level Facility Space
Analysis
mn
f
New State of the Art Labortory
•f
Range to Renovate
•<—
Range to Evaluate
Option
Range to consider
replacement
82 FCI Level of Facility Condition
Improvement for Owned Facilities
60 FCI for Leased Facilities
64.4 FCI Weighted Facility Condition
For All Facilities
625,430 GSF Below FCI 50
16.5%
25,855 GSF Below FCI 25
Figure 7. Portfolio Level Facility Condition
Analysis
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
Cost Modeling and Development of Hypothetical Scenarios
Smith Group JJR utilized cost modeling guidance from OMB Circular A-94 to conduct life cycle benefit-
cost analyses. Cost data collected and validated by the Cost Subcommittee created an annual
operational cost baseline using FY 2012 data. These cost data along with facility and workforce data
were analyzed thoroughly to create a series of 5 hypothetical scenarios (A, B, C, D, and E) that modeled
a range of options, from 34 laboratory locations to a down-sized portfolio of 19 laboratory locations.
Improved facility condition, performance, space utilization, and co-location shaped the 5 scenarios. In
the 5 hypothetical scenarios, the costs to implement facility condition improvements were based on
renovating to the FCI of 82 (leased facilities are renovated to FCI of 60) which would help to meet
federal and EPA sustainability guidelines. The FCI targets in this report are used for comparative
purposes only and do not lead directly to facility decisions or investments.
It is important to note that three science determinants were identified by the EPA Workgroup and
"function as practical constraints on which laboratory capabilities and facilities may be considered for
relocation in the scenarios and model evaluations" according to the Smith report.
•	Current laboratory science capability and contributions were retained, including personnel.
•	Current laboratory science capability and contributions that required access to aquatic
ecosystems (Atlantic, Pacific, Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico) were not feasible to
relocate because the investment required would likely be substantial (see Table 1).
•	Current highly specialized laboratory functions and contributions were not feasible to
relocate because the investment required would likely be substantial. These include
equipment needed to conduct vehicle emission and fuel economy testing at the National
Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Ml and the environmental exposure
chambers used to conduct human health research in Chapel Hill, NC (See Table 1).
Scenario A includes the 34 laboratory facilities present at the beginning of the study with infrastructure
and sustainability improvements.
Scenario B consolidates or co-locates 4 facilities to achieve a reduced footprint of 30 laboratory
facilities.
Scenario C consolidates or co-locates an additional 4 facilities to achieve a reduced footprint of 26
laboratory facilities.
Scenario D consolidates or co-locates an additional 4 facilities to achieve a reduced footprint of 22
laboratory facilities.
Scenario E consolidates or co-locates an additional 3 facilities to achieve a reduced footprint of 19
laboratory facilities.
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
For each hypothetical scenario, 30 year life cycle costs were calculated, including renovation costs,
operation and maintenance costs, relocation and laboratory decommissioning, and the capital cost of
increasing the FCI of each facility to the targeted values. The 30 year life cycle cost of each site was
calculated based on net present value. The net present value (or present worth) calculations convert the
monies spent at various times over the 30 year life cycle to an equivalent cost as of present day, to
create a basis for comparison. The total value of each scenario (A through E) was calculated as the
summation of all costs for each location including inflation and projected economic growth. It is
important to keep in mind that these scenarios are hypothetical and were modeled to determine what
scenario minimizes the operational costs of the EPA laboratory portfolio over a 30-year life cycle.
Additionally, a cash flow analysis was conducted on each scenario to estimate the payback period - the
length of time theoretically required to recover the modeled investments necessary for facility
renovations and replacement from resulting cumulative savings and avoided costs.
EPA determined that out of the 5 scenarios - A through E - scenario B provided the greatest potential
for savings and avoided costs. In order to further optimize scenario B, cost-effective opportunities within
scenarios C through E were incorporated into 2 hybrid scenarios, based on scenario B.
Scenario B1 consolidates and/or co-locates 2 laboratory facilities to achieve a reduced footprint of 28
laboratory facilities.
Scenario B2 consolidates and/or co-locates 5 additional laboratory facilities to achieve a reduced
footprint of 23 laboratory facilities.
Table 3 presents aggregated facility information for each of the 7 modeled scenarios, including the
changes in gross and useable facility space (GSF and USF, respectively)/ Table 3 also presents the cost
modeling results for each of the 7 modeled scenarios, including life cycle cost information (presented as
the 30 year net present value), the projected O&M costs, and the projected O&M savings.
f Gross Square Feet (GSF) is defined as the total area encompassed within a building's footprint. Usable Square
Feet (USF) includes space for laboratories, offices, laboratory support, and specialized space used for laboratory
functions. (See reference 10 and page B-5 of reference 9)
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
Table 3. Modeled Scenarios- Aggregated Costs and Facility Information


Scenarios


Current State
Future State







A
B
B1
B2
C
D
E

Existing
O&M + R& 1
Improvements
improve Footprint
81 Sustainability
improve Footprint
81 Sustainability
Improve Footprint
81 Sustainability
Minor
Consolidation/
Change
Moderate
Consolidation /
Change
Major
Consolidation/
Change
Number of Sites
34
34
30
28
23
26
22
19
GSF (Addition)


35,425
123,770
408,494
97,194
394,314
478,934
GSF (Closed Down)


339,619
481,098
802,574
533,616
821,354
939,987
Total GSF
3,787,196
3,787,196
3,483,002
3,429,868
3,393,116
3,350,774
3,360,156
3,326,143
Change in GSF (From A to other scenarios)


(304,194
(357,328)
(394,080)
(436,422)
(427,040
(461,053)
Total USF (Remaining)

2,374,083
2,090,290
2,112,497
2,051,207
2,087,917
2,110,835
2,056,053
Existing	Scenario A	Scenario B	Scenario B1	Scenario B2	Scenario C	Scenario 0	Scenario E
Estimated Capital Cost *

$233,741,342
$287,078,771
$323,637,372
$573,314,825
$388,812,526
5524,026,525
$561,722,503
Life Cycle Cost (PW)
$10,322,005,184
$10,006,741,648
$9,738,858,628
$9,682,195,699
$9,400,028,097
$10,024,917,935
$9,981,040,362
$9,898,007,691
LCC/ GSF
$2,725.50
$2,642.26
$2,796.11
$2,822.91
$2,770.32
$2,991.82
$2,970.41
$2,975.82
08tM Cost (Annual)
$405,826,583
$386,867,247
$374,837,095
$371,582,612
$353,476,959
$383,226,965
$377,704,589
$373,381,395
O81M Savings Compared to Existing (Annual)

$18,959,335
$30,989,488
$34,243,971
$52,349,624
$22,599,618
$28,121,994
$32,445,188
Years to Fund Capital Investment

4.17
5.13
5.78
10.24
6.94
9.36
10.03
Simple Payback (Years) If 100% Funded Immediately

8.81
6.62
6.75
7.82
12.29
13.31
12.37
* Does not include inflation
The purpose of scenario cost modeling was to identify the optimal scenario for the portfolio of
lab facilities. EPA identified the optimal scenario by comparing model results in Figure 8 with
those in Figure 9. By minimizing both values—the lowest life cycle cost (30 year net present
worth) and the lowest capital cost for budgeting—EPA determined that the optimal scenario
lies between scenarios B1 and B2.
$10,400,000,000
$10,200,000,000
$10,000,000,000
$9,800,000,000
$9,600,000,000
$9,400,000,000
$9,200,000,000
$9,000,000,000
$8,800,000,000
Scenario FY 2012 Baseline
No. of Facilities	34
B
30
C
26
D
22
E
19
Figure 8. Life Cycle Cost (30 year Present Worth) for each Scenario
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
$700,000,000
$600,000,000
$500,000,000
$400,000,000
$300,000,000
$200,000,000
$100,000,000
$0
Scenario
No. of Facilities
Figure 9. Estimated Capital Cost (inflation not included) for Each Scenario
EPA analyzed the cost modeling and underlying data between scenarios B1 and B2. As a result
of this analysis, EPA determined that the additional capital cost required to implement scenario
B2 substantially exceeds the marginal benefits. After reaching this conclusion, EPA identified a
scenario between B1 and B2. This scenario includes changes described in scenario B1 and
potentially cost-effective space reductions from other modeled scenarios. EPA labeled this
scenario B1+, a combination of actions currently underway along with some potential options
identified on the next page. Scenario B1+ consists of 26 laboratory facilities and results in a
reduction of approximately 380,000 GSF from the existing laboratory portfolio.
Actions currently underway include:
•	Reproductive Toxicology Facility (RTF) - Consolidate activities at the RTF to the nearby
Research Triangle Park, NC main building. The construction of the A wing at the Research
Triangle Park campus and modification of the existing laboratory facilities enabled
employees in the RTF facility to be moved onto the main RTP campus, saving
approximately $1.7 million annually in lease costs and $1 million annually in utilities,
security, and operating costs beginning to accrue in fiscal year 2015, reaching the full
annual savings in 2016.
•	Grosse lie, Ml - Discontinue laboratory activities in Grosse lie, designating it as a field
station. Laboratory research is no longer being conducted at the Grosse lie facility, and
any needed bench research will be accommodated at the Duluth, MN research laboratory.
A change in facility designation from laboratory to field station will be completed in 2015.
•	Bay St. Louis, MS - Discontinue laboratory activities at Bay St. Louis facility consolidating
the laboratory activities to Ft. Meade, MD. The Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
Prevention (OCSPP) will be combining its two program laboratories in Ft. Meade, MD. This
will save approximately $61,000 annually in lease costs (from Bay St. Louis, MS) and
$135,000 annually in operational resources by combining two facilities in the first quarter
of fiscal year 2015.
•	Wheeling, WV - Discontinue regional laboratory activities at the Wheeling laboratory and
conduct laboratory activities at Ft. Meade, MD. EPA Region 3 is no longer conducting
laboratory work is at the Wheeling, WV location and EPA will designate the facility as a
field station. Region 3 will continue to operate a Regional laboratory in Ft. Meade, MD.
The change in facility designation from laboratory to field station will be completed in
2015.
Actions to be completed in the future:
•	Golden, CO - Discontinue the lease for the Region 8 laboratory in Golden, CO, co-locating
the regional lab with the nearby NEIC facility in Lakewood, CO.
•	Willamette Research Station - Consolidate the Willamette Research Station to the nearby
lab facility in Corvallis, OR.
Actions to be evaluated in the future:
•	Athens, GA - Assess all options, including co-location and/or consolidation, upgrades, and
retaining the "as-is" footprint.
•	Chelmsford, MA - Assess all options, including co-location and/or consolidation of this
leased laboratory facility, upgrades, and retaining the "as-is" footprint.
Actions for individual lab facilities require detailed site-specific master planning to further
inform decision-making.
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
VIII. Conclusions and Path Forward
This section of the EPA Synthesis Report presents conclusions and potential actions based on the
agency's evaluation and analysis of reports from GAO, the NRC, and Smith Group JJR.
General Conclusions
A number of overarching general conclusions can be drawn from the information presented in Sections
V through VII:
•	EPA analysis of data about its FY 2012 laboratory science contributions indicates that they are
well-aligned with the agency's strategic goals and programs and help program clients and
stakeholders accomplish mission-relevant outcomes. One reason for this alignment is that EPA
laboratories are not managed as independent entities; rather, their plans and outcome-oriented
contributions are integrated into their respective national, regional, and research programs and
EPA's planning, budgeting, and accountability processes that implement requirements of the
GPRAMA of 2010 and OMB Circular All.
•	Analysis of FY 2012 operating costs indicates that the laboratory enterprise is approximately
10% of the agency's total FY 2012 enacted budget, excluding State and Tribal Assistance
Grants (STAG). An important part of EPA's mission, the laboratory enterprise was about 10% of
the FY 2012 enacted budget of $4.8 billion, excluding STAG. A breakdown of annual laboratory
operating cost data for FY 2012 indicates that the total annual lab operating costs for FY 2012
(including lease costs) were under $500 million.
•	Savings may be realized by shifting from leased facilities to currently owned facilities, where
additional capacity already exists. The annual costs of laboratory leases continues to increase
such that the enterprise-wide focus has to be on maximizing the usage of EPA's owned
laboratory capacity.
•	The portfolio analysis evaluated a series of scenarios, and the potential savings from
consolidating owned facilities where there is insufficient additional capacity is minimal.
•	External benchmarking of our laboratory occupant density identified opportunities to use
space at some facilities more efficiently. The analysis has given us standard benchmarks that
the agency can apply to its portfolio to optimize efficiency and maximize utilization.
•	EPA now has information to analyze and quantify the investments to help make decisions to
improve the condition of the agency's portfolio.
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
Actions to Improve Effectiveness and Efficiency
With the detailed quantitative data and analysis resulting from the Lab Study, EPA is in the position to
inform decisions and ensure that EPA's laboratory enterprise continues to provide the preeminent
science needed to meet the agency's mission in an effective and efficient manner. The following actions
improve the effectiveness and efficiency of EPA's laboratory portfolio.
Actions to Improve Effectiveness
• The Deputy Administrator should direct the Science Advisor to take the following actions, which
will strengthen the effectiveness, efficiency, and cohesion of lab enterprise:
o Develop a vision for the agency's laboratory enterprise. The vision statement should
communicate why the laboratory enterprise is important to the agency now and in the
future and how its efforts can best contribute to the agency's mission and goals. It will help
tie the components of the laboratory enterprise together and maintain the strengths of the
individual types of laboratories,
o Charter a new permanent lab enterprise forum within the STPC. This forum will engage
participants with diverse backgrounds and extensive experience with the components of the
enterprise, its partners, and its impacts. Among its responsibilities, the forum will develop
guidance related to the lab enterprise for consideration by the Science Advisor and will
contribute to the systematic communication, coordination, and collaboration described
below.
o Strengthen communication, coordination, and collaboration among the EPA laboratory
enterprise — using the principles, criteria, and frameworks for efficiency and effectiveness
described in the NRC report. Enhanced communication, coordination, and collaboration
among the laboratories will lead to improved transparency and cross-agency awareness of
scientific and engineering capabilities, contributions, and staff expertise,
o Develop and prioritize actions for the Science Advisor to help strengthen management
processes for planning, budgeting, funding allocations, internal and external assessments,
and laboratory capital science equipment. Effective management with appropriate flexibility
enables an effective laboratory enterprise,
o Strengthen synergies with other federal organizations and explore partnerships with state
and other agencies. This will enhance the laboratory enterprise and prepare it for the
future.
The laboratory enterprise should continue to function as an organized system comprised of three
components — regional office labs, program office labs, and ORD labs. The three types of labs will
continue to plan their science activities and contributions as integral components of their respective
26

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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
regional, national, and research programs—consistent with EPA and OMB guidance that implements
requirements of the GPRAMA. Assistant Administrators and Regional Administrators will retain line
management authority for their labs and will be engaged with the laboratory enterprise through
their Science and Technology Policy Council (STPC) representatives. This organizational approach
preserves the strengths of the three lab components and the diversity of the capabilities they
engage to support EPA and its stakeholders.
•	Recognizing that the alignment of the laboratory science contributions with agency Strategic Goals is
appropriate, EPA should build upon the current management, planning, and budgeting process for
the laboratory enterprise, including input from regional office laboratories, research laboratories,
and program office laboratories—consistent with the requirements of the GPRAMA, and the normal
budget process. The Science Advisor should not be responsible for managing the agency's
laboratories because each laboratory is appropriately integrated into its respective national,
research, or regional program planning and accountability processes.
•	EPA should not create the separate "overarching issue-based planning process" recommended by
GAO. This GAO recommendation refers to a separate planning process used by some EPA
laboratories in the early 1990's before the GPRA was enacted. Both GPRA and GPRAMA include
government-wide requirements for planning, budgeting, and accountability; these federal
requirements supersede the procedures in the overarching issue-based planning process mentioned
by GAO.
Actions to Improve Efficiency
•	The Office of Administration and Resources Management (OARM) should prepare portfolio-level
and site-specific master plans to manage EPA's laboratory facilities as an integrated portfolio and
strategically assess specific needs, estimate costs, savings and environmental benefits, and
implement practical actions to improve the efficiency of our portfolio.
•	EPA should continue investing in physical infrastructure to improve the overall condition of the
agency's portfolio of laboratory facilities. The portfolio analysis demonstrates that EPA should
continue to invest in the physical infrastructure to ensure the condition of the lab facility portfolio
does not degrade to an unacceptable level over time. Future investments will be justified based on a
variety of factors including relationship to agency mission and the lab enterprise vision; safety of
facilities; and costs and benefits.
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
•	The new STPC lab enterprise forum should annually collect and analyze data about the facilities,
workforce, and operating costs for the lab enterprise. Using these data and appropriate metrics,
the new forum should coordinate periodically with OARM to identify trends and opportunities to
improve effectiveness and efficiency for consideration by the Science Advisor.
•	EPA should implement the scenario B1+ (described in Section VII), subject to available resources,
the results of facility-specific studies, and other relevant information. Individual actions within the
recommended scenario will require site-specific analysis to optimize the facility footprint,
estimate potential savings or avoided costs, and ensure that the building environment meets the
needs for laboratory science functions.
In conclusion, as a result of the Lab Study, EPA now has more detailed and consistent information about
its laboratories than ever before. These analyses create a snapshot of EPA's network of laboratories and
helps to inform a path forward. The results of the Lab Study and the analytical framework developed
give EPA the information to prioritize facility decisions, make cost effective use of agency laboratory
resources, manage our laboratories as a single enterprise, and ensure the sustainability of our
laboratories and the agency's capability to meet its laboratory-based science needs.
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
IX. References
1.	U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2008, October). Commonsense actions and best
practices that improve laboratory efficiency and effectiveness.
bit. Iv/NSCEPactionsandbestpracticesEPA
2.	U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2011, July 25). To better fulfill its mission, EPA needs a
more coordinated approach to managing its laboratories. GAO-11-347
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-ll-34?
3.	U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2012, February 28). Opportunities to reduce
duplication, overlap and fragmentation, achieve savings, and enhance revenue. GAO-12-342SP
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-342SP
4.	U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2012, May 23). Streamlining government: Questions to
consider when evaluating proposals to consolidate physical infrastructure and management
function. GAO-12-542 http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-542
5.	White House, Office of the Press Secretary. (2010, June 10). Presidential memorandum:
Disposing of unneeded federal real estate, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-
office/presidential-memorandum-disposing-unneeded-federal-real-estate
6.	Office of Management and Budget. (2012, May 11). Memorandum to the heads of executive
departments and agencies: Promoting efficient spending to support agency operations.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/2012/m-12-12.pdf
7.	Office of Management and Budget. (2013, March 14). Management procedures memorandum
no. 2013-02: Implementation of OMB memorandum M-12-12 Section 3: Freeze the footprint.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/financial/memos/implementation-of-
freeze-the-footprint-guidance.pdf
8.	National Research Council. (2014, September). Rethinking the Components, Coordination, and
Management of the US EPA Laboratories. http://dels.nas.edu/Report/Rethinking-Components-
Coordination-Management/18950
9.	Nationwide Laboratory Assessment: Report of Findings. (2014).
10.	Building Owners and Manager Association International, BOMA Standards.
http://www.boma.org/standards/Pages/default.aspx
11.	National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (April 2003). The NASA Deferred Maintenance
Parametric Estimating Guide Version 2 (April 2003).
http://www.ha.nasa.gov/office/codei/codeix/Assets/Docs/DMParametricEstimatingGuideApr03
.pdf
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X. Appendices
Appendix 1: Acknowledgment of Contributors
Laboratory Enterprise Work Group of the Science and Technology Policy Council
Authors:
Dan Amon, Office of Administration and Resources Management
Michael Dunn, EPA Region 3
Joseph Greenblott, Office of the Chief Financial Officer
Lynnann Hitchens, Office of Administration and Resources Management
Samantha Linkins, Office of Research and Development
Lisa Olson, EPA Region 10
Dale Pahl, Office of the Science Advisor
William Ridge, Office of Administration and Resources Management
Rita Smith, Office of the Chief Financial Officer (retired)
Laboratory Enterprise Work Group (Members, 2013-14)
David Bloom, Office of the Chief Financial Officer
Barry Breen, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Bill Early, EPA Region 3
Maryann Froehlich, Office of the Chief Financial Officer (retired)
Nanci Gelb, Office of Administration and Resources Management
Mark Hague EPA Region 7
Bob Kavlock, Office of Research and Development
Stan Meiburg, EPA Region 4
Glenn Paulson, Office of the Science Advisor
Michelle Pirzadeh, EPA Region 10
Mike Shapiro, Office of Water
Betsy Shaw, Office of Air and Radiation
Lawrence Starfield, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Ramona Trovato, Office of Research and Development (retired)
Donna Vizian, Office of Administration and Resources Management
Louise Wise, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
EPA Science Advisor (2015)
Thomas Burke
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EPA-100R15002 (March 20, 2015)
Acknowledgements
The Synthesis Report of the U.S. EPA Laboratory Enterprise Evaluation integrates observations and
findings in reports from several expert organizations that are external to EPA. EPA gratefully
acknowledges the contributions of knowledge and experience from these organizations and individuals
National Research Council of the National Academies
Rethinking the Components, Coordination, and Management of the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Laboratories (NRC, 2014)
Jim Reisa, Director, Board of Environmental Studies and Toxicology
Ray Wassel, Senior Program Officer for Environmental Studies
Committee on Strengthening the US Environmental protection Agency Laboratories*
* The work of this Committee and preparation of its report were supported under EPA contract EP-C-09-003 with the National Academies.
Smith Group JJR
The Nationwide Laboratory Assessment* January 2015
Core Team & Special Resources
David Johnson, Victor Cardona, Ed Kirkland, Bob Anderson, Greg Mella, Merrill St. Leger Demian,
Sara Lappano, MaryJukuri, Bill Wood, Mark O'Leary, Andrea Reynolds, Michael Pincus
Adam Denmark, and Stephen Kirk
* The work of the Smith Group JJR to prepare its report was supported under EPA contract EP-C-12-062.
Maxine L. Savitz (Chair)
Jonathan Z. Cannon (Vice-Chair)
Patricia A. Berge
Lynda T. Carlson
Philip E. Coyle, III
Frank W. Davis
Donald J. DePaolo
Paul Gilman
Carol J. Henry
Philip K. Hopke
Sally Katzen
Gary S. Sayler
Deborah L. Swackhamer
Mark Utell
Honeywell, Inc. (retired), Los Angeles, CA
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA
National Science Foundation (retired), Arlington, VA
Private consultant, Sacramento, CA
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
University of California, Berkeley, CA
Covanta Energy Corporation, Fairfield, NJ
George Washington University, Washington, DC
Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY
New York University School of Law, Washington, DC
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY
Andy Vazzano
Kevin Baur
Jeffrey Hausman
Principal-in-Charge
Project manager
Quality Control
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U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
STREAMLINING GOVERNMENT: Questions to Consider When Evaluating Proposals to Consolidate Physical
Infrastructure and Management Functions. GAO-12-542 (May 2012)
J. Christopher Mihm, Elizabeth Curda, Judith Kordahl, Jessica Nierenberg, Dan Webb, Martin De Alteriis,
A.J. Stephens, Janice Latimer, Kathleen Padulchick, Vijaykumar Barnabas, Jill Center, Carol Henn,
David Hinchman, Diane LoFaro, James Michels, Angela Miles, Susan Offutt, Joanna Stamatiades, and
Laura Talbott.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: To Better Fulfill Its Mission, EPA Needs a More Coordinated Approach
to Managing Its Laboratories. GAO-11-347 (July 2011)
David C. Trimble, Ed Kratzer, Diane LoFaro, Ellen W. Chu; John H. Edwards; Angela Miles; Daniel Semick;
John C. Smith; Kwame Som-Pimpong; Tim Persons; Cheryl Peterson; Vasiliki Theodoropoulos; and Greg Wilmoth.
The Synthesis Report of the U.S. EPA Laboratory Enterprise Evaluation also integrates observations and
findings from many EPA professionals during 2013-2014, who (a) collected, verified, and analyzed
information about EPA lab facilities, operating costs, workforce, and science contributions, and (b)
contributed important scientific information and administrative guidance. EPA gratefully acknowledges
the contributions of knowledge and experience from these individuals:
Dale Bates (retired), Barbara Bates, Amy Battaglia, William Benson, Brenda Bettencourt, Steven
Blankenship, David Bloom, John Bourbon, Gregory Carroll, Ed Chu, Mary E. Clark (retired), Robin Clark,
Don Flattery (retired), Roy Fortmann, Stiven Foster, Mary Greene, John Griggs, Anthony Grimm,
Matthew Growney, Chris Grundler, Mark Hague, David Haugen, Michael Hamlin, Ron Hammerschmidt
(retired), Jeffrey Heimerman, Melanie Hoff, Mark Howard, Joyce Kelly, Susan Lewis, Angela Lower,
Robert Maxfield, Lance McCluney, Rick McMillan, Beth Mishalanie, Anand Mudambi, David Neleigh
(retired), Tom Norris, Khanh Nguyen, Eric Nottingham, Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, Kevin Oshima,
Barry Pepich, Alice Sabatini (retired), Greg Sayles, Orin Shanks, Diann Simms, Cindy Sonich-Mullin, Deb
Szaro, John Taylor, Carol Terris, Cristina Thompson, Bob Trent, Dennis Wesolowski, and Hal Zenick
(retired).
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Appendix 2: Principles and Recommendations for the EPA Laboratory Enterprise
Rethinking the Components, Coordination, and Management of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Laboratories,
pages 60-63, (NRC, 2014).
A VISION FOR THE EPA LABORATORY ENTERPRISE
Summary Principle 1: Every science institution is more effective if it has a vision of how its scientists,
technicians, and other professionals can best contribute to the organization's mission and goals.
Principle 4-1: An important part of management is knowing what the entity is and what it is
intended to do, and this is true of every scientific institution as well.
EPA should approach management of its laboratory enterprise not so much as separate types of
laboratories but as a system of the various laboratory efforts in EPA in which science and
technical support activities are undertaken to support and advance the agency's mission-in
other words, as an organized composition of diverse components. (Recommendation 4-1)
EPA should develop a vision for its laboratory enterprise that maintains the strengths of the
individual components but provides synergy through systematic collaboration and
communication throughout the agency. (Recommendation 4-2)
ENSURING LABORATORY FUNCTIONS MEET THE HIGHEST-PRIORITY MISSION NEEDS
Summary Principle 2: Essential laboratory capabilities are the ones that are relevant to the current
mission and the ones that anticipate future mission needs. Priorities for laboratory capabilities should
focus on work that is central to the agency's mission rather than on small peripheral efforts.
Summary Principle 3: Laboratories should avoid internal redundancy or duplication of capabilities that
are readily available externally.
EPA should use the frameworks presented in Figures 4-1 through 4-4 for the individual
components of the laboratory enterprise and for the laboratory enterprise as a whole.
(Recommendation 4-10)
WORKFORCE
Summary Principle 4: Recruiting, developing, and retaining an outstanding, committed scientific and
technical workforce is crucial for maintaining outstanding laboratory capabilities.
EPA should continue and strengthen its characterization and evaluation of its laboratory
workforce, establishing a defined timeline and being transparent in its processes for internal and
external audiences. (Recommendation 3-1)
EPA should initiate or complete the development of a strategy for periodically addressing the
composition of the workforce, in the ORD laboratories, the regional office laboratories, and the
program office laboratories, particularly after completion of the Voluntary Separation Incentive
Payments/Voluntary Early Retirement Authority actions in 2014. The analysis should include an
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inventory of skills and training and demographic analysis (for example, projected retirements
over the next 5 years) for strategic planning for the future. This information is essential for
making sensible decisions in hiring, future reassignments, and offers of voluntary retirements.
(Recommendation 3-2)
EPA should continue its planned hiring of postdoctoral researchers by ORD and expand it to
other types of laboratories as appropriate. (Recommendation 3-6)
EPA should be granted permanent Title 42 authority and the expanded authority to define the
number of Title 42 positions on the basis of its programmatic needs and available budget. In
addition, EPA should use an independent body to review the Title 42 program every 5 years to
ensure that it is being used for its intended purposes. (Recommendation 3-7)
EPA should continue, enhance, and expand its student training grant programs, such as GRO.
The STAR fellowship program should be reinstated in EPA to support the research programs
specific to EPA's mission and goals. (Recommendation 3-5)
CAPITAL EQUIPMENT
Summary Principle 5: State-of-the-art facilities and equipment are essential if a laboratory enterprise is
to be able to meet current and future mission needs.
EPA should link inventory of equipment over $500,000 in all laboratories, without regard to
mission, to an agencywide accessible process. Before investment in large capital equipment,
laboratory equipment in other parts of EPA, other agencies, and universities that could be
available for shared use should be explored. (Recommendation 3-9)
EPA should continue taking steps to improve the transparency and agencywide awareness of all
its laboratory science capabilities. (Recommendation 3-10)
MANAGEMENT
Summary Principle 6: Effective management with appropriate flexibility enables an efficient and
effective laboratory enterprise.
The means of implementing the vision for the laboratory enterprise should be determined by
the EPA Administrator with a view to meeting the functional criteria set forth in this report for
enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the enterprise. (Recommendation 4-11)
EPA should continue to look for innovative ways to address emerging problems and
opportunities that create synergies among agency personnel who might encounter similar
problems or opportunities within different EPA laboratories within ORD, program offices, and
regional offices. (Recommendation 4-5)
Principle 4-2: Systematic involvement of all the agency's laboratories in the planning process is
far preferable to ad hoc connections and would probably yield a stronger and more efficient
laboratory enterprise.
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EPA should ensure that its laboratory planning process includes cross-regional office and cross-
program office laboratory input and that it is more transparent within the agency and to
outsiders. (Recommendation 4-3)
Principle 4-3: The overall aim should be for EPA to have the ability to produce fairly accurate
estimates of costs for implementing various types of laboratory activities before undertaking a
project and be able to provide final costs at the completion of the project.
EPA should conduct an annual internal accounting of the cost of the entire laboratory enterprise
as a basis for assessing efficiency and assisting in planning. (Recommendation 4-4)
EPA should compile adequate data regarding the costs of individual activities in the various
laboratories so that it can manage the laboratory enterprise appropriately. (Recommendation 4-
6)
COMMUNICATION AND PARTNERSHIPS
Summary Principle 7: Communication and coordination among the laboratories within an organization
are essential for efficiency and effectiveness.
EPA should continue to cultivate an interdisciplinary scientific workforce at all levels of expertise
throughout the laboratory enterprise that can engage in high-quality, collaborative, science
activities aimed at transdisciplinary challenges. (Recommendation 3-3)
EPA is encouraged to continue taking steps to improve the transparency and cross-agency
awareness of capabilities through enhanced communication regarding scientific and engineering
staff expertise and laboratory equipment. (Recommendation 3-8)
EPA should determine precisely what lines of communication are needed, which ones already
exist, and which ones should be established. It should then clearly articulate the need for these
avenues and the mechanisms by which they will be sustained. (Recommendation 4-9)
ENSURING QUALITY
Summary Principle 8: Outstanding research and other science-related activities are the foundation for
meeting current and future mission needs and for sustaining leadership in environmental science and
applied research.
Principle 5-1: Success is largely a matter of commitment to a sound scientific and technical
workforce and research and technical infrastructure.
Principle 4-4: Most successful organizations use both internal and external mechanisms for
assessment.
EPA's program office laboratories and regional office laboratories should undergo regular
internal reviews of their efficiency and effectiveness. (Recommendation 4-7)
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EPA should expand the use of external reviews to cover all components of its laboratory
enterprise. (Recommendation 4-8)
SYNERGIES WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
Summary Principle 9: A strong linkage to universities, industry, research institutions, and other federal
and state government organizations enhances the laboratory enterprise and prepares it for the future.
Principle 4-5: An effective EPA laboratory enterprise should be fully cognizant of the array of
research conducted outside EPA laboratories, should have mechanisms and programs to
capitalize on that scientific work, and should have plans and staffs in its own laboratories not
only to accomplish work necessary for its mission but to complement efforts of other agencies
and to provide a means of collecting, sorting, and analyzing the results of those efforts to serve
EPA's mission.
EPA should develop more explicit plans for partnering with other agencies (federal and state),
academia, industry, and other organizations to clarify how it uses other federal and nonfederal
knowledge resources, how it maintains scientific capabilities that are uniquely and critically
needed in the agency, and how it avoids unnecessary duplication of the efforts or capabilities of
the other agencies. (Recommendation 4-12)
EPA should develop relationships with community colleges and universities to enable students
to work in EPA laboratories as interns or student employees in an effort to develop future
technicians and scientists who will conduct research and other laboratory functions related to
EPA needs. (Recommendation 3-4)
EPA should consider using a variety of structured approaches for identifying emerging issues and
possible solutions, including formal analyses of future societal scenarios and their ramifications
and third-party advisory groups. (Recommendation 5-1)
EPA should consider creating an Environmental Advanced Research Projects Alliance (E-ARPA)
and also consider how and under what circumstances E-ARPA efforts could be managed to
address the agency's future scientific and technical needs. (Recommendation 5-2)
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