EPA’s science board ‘eviscerated’ and to be replaced with industry-friendly professionals
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the Trump administration, has "eviscerated" a key scientific review board in order to replace them with industry professionals, the board’s chair has said.
The Board of Scientific Counselors advises the EPA on the quality and accuracy of the science it produces, but it was confirmed on Monday (8 May) that nine of its 18 members’ terms would not be renewed.
"These people aren’t Obama appointees, they are scientific appointees.
Discarding them opens the door for President Donald Tump and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to replace the independent experts with professionals from industry that the EPA is supposed to monitor, leading to "regulatory certainty".
"If you have industry hand-picked people," she said, "the concern would be that they would have a frequent conflict because we discuss areas that touch upon big industry."
She added that if the committee is turned into a political pawn, its credibility within the scientific community would be tainted.
Robert Richardson, one of the scientific counselors not reappointed to a second term, told AP that decision showed a fundamental misunderstanding of how the review board works.
"The science will show the impact of a particular chemical or toxic substance, but we would never say it should be banned or regulated in a particular way," said Richardson, an ecological economist at Michigan State University.
Related topics : Donald Trump