the removes dozens of external science advisers appointed under former President Donald Trump. Administrator Michael Regan said the decision to reset two major advisory groups will reduce industry influence over environmental rules and reinforce the importance of science within the EPA.
Regan eliminates more than 40 external researchers from the Science Advisory Board (SAB) and the Clean Air Science Advisory Committee (CASAC). The EPA is opening nominations for both panels, and the advisers Regan scanned are able to reapply.
“Scientific integrity is one of EPA’s core values - and as a director, I am committed to ensuring that every decision we make meets rigorous scientific standards,” said Regan . “Resetting these two scientific advisory committees will allow the agency to benefit from the best possible scientific knowledge to support our work to protect human health and the environment.”
Until last year, the Trump administration barred academics who received EPA grants from joining committees, saying they would not be able to provide unbiased advice. The administration tended to appoint industry advisers rather than academic scientists.
Under Trump, panels often went against the scientific consensus to make pro-industry recommendations. For example, the EPA followed the advice of those Trump appointees to CASAC to maintain ozone standards that were already in place, even though other scientists said they should be restricted for public health reasons. .