EPA not renewing advisory roles for dozens of scientists: report

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has notified dozens of scientists that their advisory positions will not be renewed, The Washington Post reports

Members of the EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) are not political appointees but are instead nominated by peers if they have done significant scientific research.  

“EPA is grateful for the service of all BOSC members, past and present, and has encouraged those with expiring terms to reapply,” an agency spokeswoman told the newspaper. 

Members are appointed to three-year terms, but they are traditionally renewed for another term.

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The current chairwoman of the board’s executive committee, Deborah Swackhamer, told the Post that a renewal is usually expected, and the only time someone might not serve a second term is if their expertise is no longer needed.

“I don’t think anybody is terribly surprised,” Robert Richardson, a former BOSC subcommittee chairman, told the Post. “[Trump officials] have been clear that they intend to wipe all these slates clean. They want no continuity from any decisions that were made by the previous administration, even nonpolitical decisions.”

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has defended President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement. Pruitt has also avoided answering whether the president believes in climate change. 

Trump once called climate change a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese.