An internal government watchdog is starting an investigation into the USDA’s handling of climate science and communication after a series of POLITICO reports found that the department has been routinely burying its work on climate change, even as farmers and ranchers are increasingly dealing with its harmful effects.

The USDA’s Office of the Inspector General told lawmakers on Monday that it has already begun a formal inquiry into these concerns.

More than a dozen top Senate Democrats — including Senate Agriculture ranking member Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) – formally asked IG to investigate in June, citing a POLITICO investigation that showed the USDA was broadly failing to disseminate its own climate science findings.