Energy & Environment

EPA to review interference in science during the Trump administration

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will look into any interference in science that may have occurred during the previous administration.

In an email sent to staff, EPA Administrator Michael Regan asked members of the agency to report any “items of concern” to scientific integrity officials. 

“Manipulating, suppressing, or otherwise impeding science has real world consequences for human health and the environment,” Regan wrote in the email that was obtained by The Hill on Wednesday. 

“When politics drives science rather than science informing policy, we are more likely to make policy choices that sacrifice the health of the most vulnerable among us,” he added. 

An EPA spokesperson confirmed that the email was in reference to the executive order from President Biden that called on agency heads to review agency actions that were “promulgated, issued, or adopted between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021.”

The New York Times previously obtained the email and reported that staffers are expected to highlight about 90 instances where scientific integrity was compromised. 

According to The Times, these include the agency’s decisions on the now-scrapped Pebble Mine proposal, as well as those dealing with toxic chemicals and discounting studies on the negative impacts of a frequently used weedkiller called dicamba. 

Across various agencies, the Trump administration has faced accusations of violating scientific integrity. 

Among them are reports that the administration’s COVID-19 policies didn’t always follow science and a watchdog report that found the Trump White House pushed for a correction to a National Weather Service tweet that contradicted then-President Trump’s assertion that Hurricane Dorian in 2019 was endangering Alabama.

At the EPA, the Trump administration in 2017 took down a webpage on climate change that was reinstated last week.

Tags Donald Trump Environmental Protection Agency Joe Biden Michael Regan Science

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