Nearly two decades and $108 million worth of “disturbing” data manipulation with “serious and far ranging” effects forced a federal lab to close, a congressman revealed Thursday.

The inorganic section of the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Energy Geochemistry Laboratory in Lakewood, Colo. manipulated data on a variety of topics – including many related to the environment – from 1996 to 2014. The manipulation was caught in 2008, but continued another six years.

“It’s astounding that we spend $108 million on manipulated research and then the far-reaching effects that that would have,” Rep. Bruce Westerman said at a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing. “We know how research multiples and affects different parts of our society and our economy and … if you’re working off of flawed data it definitely could be in a bad way.”

“The problems were so severe, in fact, that the USGS has already closed the inorganic lab in question permanently,” the Arkansas Republican said. The lab was terminated in January.

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