JUL 20, 2016 7:34 AM PDT

Federal Employee Manipulated Environmental Data


In the United States, the US Geological Survey labs are responsible for testing millions of samples from around the country and the world. Tests that measure for toxic levels of lead in the soil, nuclear waste and fossil fuel contamination are conducted to ensure the safety of the water tables, wetlands and other public lands. Recently, the USGS lab in Denver Colorado was rocked by a scandal when it was revealed that a worker there had been manipulating and falsifying data on hundreds of land surveys for years.

The investigating revealed that 24 environmental projects were affected by the incorrect data and that approximately $108 million in research funds may have been wasted. The employee manipulated data in the Denver lab between 2008 and 2014. As soon as it was discovered, work at the lab was halted to conduct an investigation. That part of the lab was permanently closed in 2016. All of the researchers who had work that may have been affected were notified. The agency said there was no indication that the employee had fudged the data for "financial gain or any nefarious purpose."
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