‘Mr. Pruitt is welcome to officially fire me’ – as EPA carries out controversial policy, one scientist balks

Saturday, 11 November 2017, 07:54:55 AM. The EPA's new policy will also apply now to advisory boards offering regulators guidance on everything from children's health to pesticides to hazardous waste.
Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News) When EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced a plan recently to forbid scientists who receive grants from the agency from serving as outside advisers, he singled out three key groups: the Scientific Advisory Board, the Clean Air Science Advisory Committee and the Board of Scientific Counselors. While those rank among the most influential groups in providing the EPA with the scientific and technical advice it historically relies on while crafting environmental regulations, they represent only a portion of the agency’s outside advisers. The EPA boasts 22 advisory committees, offering regulators guidance on everything from children’s health to pesticides to hazardous waste. Each of them will be subject to the agency’s new and unprecedented restriction. “The policy directive applies to all of these committees moving forward, and members whose current grant status does not line up with the directive will have an opportunity to make a decision about their continued service when their term is up for renewal,” EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said in an email. Shortly after announcing the policy last month, Pruitt appointed 66 advisers, bringing in more researchers from the Midwest and West and adding multiple researchers from industry and state government. The Center for Science and Democracy estimates that on the Scientific Advisory Board alone, Pruitt has tripled the number of industry...Read more
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