Trump administration hollows out EPA science integrity board

Trump administration hollows out EPA science integrity board

President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has dismissed at least five academic members of one of its scientific review boards and may replace them with representatives from industries the EPA regulates, according to The New York Times.

At least five members of the BOSC have already been dismissed after their terms ended this year, according to The New York Times; numerous members' terms already have or will expire this fiscal year.

Richardson, who on Saturday tweeted, "Today, I was Trumped", said that he was at the end of an initial three-year term but that members traditionally have served two such stints.

"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.

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The EPA statement said Pruitt will continue to consult with the agency's ethics counsel to ensure there is no question of impropriety in how it deals with litigation to which Pruitt had been a party as Oklahoma's attorney general.

EPA spokesman JP Freire said the agency will consider new nominees, including those who may now work for chemical and fossil fuel companies.

It would mark the latest step from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the Trump administration to reshape the agency in a way that cuts its reach and allows businesses to operate with fewer constraints. Burke, a political appointee under President Barack Obama, said he was "unceremoniously removed" from the chairmanship of an environmental health board at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the George W. Bush administration. "EPA is stressing here that this is supposed to be an open and competitive process; no one was ever supposed to be guaranteed a second term".

"We're not going to rubber-stamp the last administration's appointees".

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Freire added, "We're making a clean break with the last administration's approach". "These folks were appointed for three-year terms, they're not guaranteed a second three-year term". Former board members tell the Times that it would review research such as oil spills, the chemicals used to clean oil spills up and the effects of bark beetles due to climate change.

The dismissals came about six weeks after the House passed a bill aimed at changing the composition of another E.P.A. scientific review board to include more representation from the corporate world.

Smith has long vilified the EPA, accusing federal scientists of pushing an "extreme climate agenda". "I have had the pleasure of serving on the EPA Board of Scientific Counselors, and my appointment was terminated today".

An EPA spokesperson did not respond to TPM's questions about whether, or how dramatically, Pruitt meant to change the balance of the board to favor industry scientists.

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Scott Pruitt, who's made no secret of his opposition to the agency he now leads and its environmental mission, apparently has no use for these academicians' guidance.


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