Story at a glance
- Experts appointed to the committees help the EPA develop regulations on pollution, fracking and other health and environmental issues.
- Critics said Trump’s picks favored industry figures over independent scientists.
- “Scientific integrity is one of EPA’s foundational values – and as Administrator, I am committed to ensuring that every decision we make meets rigorous scientific standards,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan is dismissing dozens of outside experts previously appointed to two key science advisory committees by former President Trump.
The Washington Post reports more than 40 experts appointed to the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) and Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) during the Trump administration are being relieved of their duties as the agency works to reconfigure the panels with scientific integrity at the forefront.
As experts appointed to the committees help the EPA develop regulations on pollution, fracking and other health and environmental issues, critics said Trump’s picks favored industry figures over independent scientists.
“Scientific integrity is one of EPA’s foundational values – and as Administrator, I am committed to ensuring that every decision we make meets rigorous scientific standards,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said in a statement.
“Resetting these two scientific advisory committees will ensure the agency receives the best possible scientific insight to support our work to protect human health and the environment. Today we return to a time-tested, fair, and transparent process for soliciting membership to these critically important advisory bodies,” Regan said.
Members ousted as part of the overhaul can apply to keep serving in their role but must compete with other candidates, and Regan will make the final selections, according to The Associated Press.
The EPA is reversing several Trump-era policies, such as a directive that prevented academics who received EPA research grants from serving on advisory committees and the elimination of key air pollution review panels.
The agency under the Biden administration has taken numerous steps to demonstrate its commitment to making its decisions based on scientific consensus. The EPA earlier this month relaunched a webpage dedicated to providing information on climate change and the environment after the page was previously scrubbed by the Trump administration in 2017.
It’s also investigating whether any interference to impede science within the agency may have occurred during the previous administration.
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