Pruitt’s Own Scientist Appointees Challenge EPA Science Restrictions

This article discusses how EPA is proposing to block vital health research in pollution regulations. Members of EPA’s scientific review board, including Pruitt appointees, want it scrutinized.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt faces harsh criticism from members of the agency’s Science Advisory Board (SAB)—including from some he named to the panel himself—over his plan to restrict the types of scientific evidence the agency can use in writing EPA rules.

Ten members of an SAB work group, in a signed memorandum, called for the full board to scrutinize Pruitt’s proposal at a meeting on May 31, saying his approach was designed without necessary input from the scientific community. Leading national science organizations have mounted a campaign to reject Pruitt’s approach.

Pruitt’s proposal would no longer allow the EPA to use scientific studies where the underlying data is not public. The move could rule out health studies that promised participants confidentiality—some of which have served as the underpinning of regulations, especially clean air standards. The policy takes up a cause long-championed by the fossil fuel industry and its allies in Congress.

 

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