Trump administration hollows out EPA science integrity board

Marking Trump's 100th Day, Thousands In Boston Call For Climate Change Action

"As the Department concludes its review in the weeks ahead, agencies will notice future meetings to ensure that the Department continues to get the benefit of the views of local communities in all decision-making on public land management".

Freire said the agency wanted "to take as inclusive an approach to regulation as possible", but his statement is little more than smoke and mirrors.

"No one was sacked", he said.

Gretchen Goldman, research director at the Center for Science and Democracy asked, "What's the scientific reason for removing these individuals from this EPA science review board?".

The agency's administrator, Scott Pruitt, has axed nine of the 18 members on the Board of Scientific Counselors, which upholds the standards for some the EPA's most significant research.

"We are going to look at all applicants that come in, because this is an open and competitive process", Freire said. "We're frankly surprised by the outrage". O'Grady, a leader of the EPA's employees union.

"In the broader view, I suppose it is the prerogative of this administration to set the goals of federal agencies and to appoint members to advisory boards", she added. "We're just interested in finding the best candidates, the most qualified candidates", he said.

President Donald Trump has directed Pruitt to radically remake the E.P.A., pushing for deep cuts in its budget, including a 40 per cent reduction for its main scientific branch, and instructing him to roll back major regulations made during former President Barack Obama's tenure on climate change and clean water protection, reports The New York Times. Some in the scientific community say the dismissal of such a large number of scientists from the EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors is further evidence of that.

"These people aren't Obama appointees, they are scientific appointees".




There are hundreds of federal advisory committees across the US government.

On top of that, BOSC can already include renown experts from industry.

Politics sometimes intrudes on the process.

"I was kind of shocked to receive this news", Richardson told the Washington Post on Sunday regarding his dismissal from the board.

The Environmental Protection Agency is restructuring some of its independent advisory panels, and that could mean fewer scientists working for the government.

According to the Washington Post, an overhaul of scientific boards is not unique to the EPA this week.

The Interior Department, which has more than 200 groups created to solicit input, is now reviewing the charter and charge of each board and advisory committee; the evaluation forced the temporary postponement of advisory committee meetings, the department said in an emailed statement.

"To demonstrate my profound commitment to carrying out my ethical responsibilities, while I am the Administrator of the [EPA], I will not participate in any active cases in which Oklahoma is a party, petitioner or intervenor", Pruitt wrote in the memo.

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