A former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advisory committee member sued the agency Thursday, alleging his dismissal was part of a purge of members with ties to the energy industry.
In the lawsuit, S. Stanley Young, who was appointed to the EPA’s science advisory board in 2017 under then-President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE, claimed he was fired earlier this year as part of an “unprecedented purge” when the committees were disbanded.
“Through this mass dismissal, EPA guaranteed that the committees will rubber stamp the new administration’s regulations without the inconvenience of an objecting voice from the very industries targeted by those regulations and bearing the cost of those regulations, to the tune of billions of dollars a year,” Young’s complaint alleges. The lawsuit accuses the EPA and Administrator Michael ReganMichael ReganDoes the UN climate summit matter? 5 reasons why it does Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Democratic appropriations bills would increase environmental funding by B MORE of violating the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which requires balance in the committee's composition.
“EPA has never attempted to explain how the composition of these new committees could possibly comply with FACA, nor did EPA acknowledge—much less justify—its departure from its longstanding, bipartisan practice of ensuring industry representation on these two advisory committees,” he added.
The Biden administration in March announced the replacement of both the EPA’s Science Advisory Board and its Clean Air Science Advisory Committee.
The EPA’s decision followed criticism that, under Trump, the committees gave outsized influence to industry representatives.
Trump’s first EPA chief, Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy & Environment — Biden makes return to pre-Trump national monument boundaries official Trump-era EPA board member sues over firing EPA bans use of pesticide linked to developmental problems in children MORE, issued a rule in 2017 barring scientists who have been awarded EPA grants from serving on the boards. Pruitt presented the move as an effort to preserve board independence, but detractors pointed to the Trump EPA’s pro-industry environmental policies, as well as Trump’s false claims that climate change is a myth.
The Union of Concerned Scientists sued over the rule in 2018 and declared victory last year when the EPA rescinded the policy.
An EPA spokesperson told The Hill the agency cannot comment on pending litigation.
Updated at 3:48 p.m.