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EPA Wastes 140 Tons of Printed Government Publications

March 21, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC—A U.S. agency charged with monitoring protection of the environment has revealed that it has a thing or two to learn about inventory management…and waste.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tossed out more than 140 tons of printed materials that had been kept at a federal storage facility, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, which was learned after internal investigators began asking why millions of agency publications were sitting around, unused.

A report by the EPA's Inspector General about the work of the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) revealed the EPA recycled nearly two million items, which weighed in at around 140 tons. The Blue Ash, OH, federal storage facility boasted an inventory in excess of 18.4 million publications as of last December.

The report noted that the EPA is "tying up funds by storing and caring for excess stock at an annual cost of up to $1.2 million," a figure that eclipses $1.5 million with the added $359,000 in leasing costs. The EPA, it added, could make better use of the money by reducing its inventory of excess publications at the NSCEP.

The newspaper pointed out that the NSCEP is run by contractor Lockheed Martin and not the EPA, which does have oversight.

The Inspector General wrote that the NSCEP needs to improve implementation of plans to reduce inventory. The NSCEP facility shipped just shy of three million publications per year during the last three years, but had more than six times that amount in storage, the paper reported.
 

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