EPA Science Advisory Board


Photo: Genna Reed

Three Times EPA Administrator Wheeler Failed His Science Advisors This Week

, Lead science and policy analyst

I told E&E News before this week’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) meeting that my concern was that Administrator Wheeler was using the board “as a box he needs to check off” on his path to deregulation. He called out my quote in his statement to the SAB on Tuesday morning and refuted the underlying assumption that he didn’t value his science advisors. I didn’t have to wait long before the proceedings of the meeting proved my very point and illustrated exactly how little Administrator Wheeler cares about the scientific underpinnings of regulations, the opinions of his own scientists and science advisors, or even in getting basic scientific facts correct. Here are just a few anecdotes from this week’s SAB meeting that made this clear:

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Photo: sharply_done/iStockphoto

Put Them In, Coach: Why Sidelining the EPA’s Science Advisory Board Is a Disservice to Us All

, Lead science and policy analyst

The EPA’s key scientific sounding board, the Science Advisory Board (SAB), will be holding its first full public meeting of 2019 this week. And as Administrator Wheeler’s EPA continues to roll back policies that were informed by science or devise new strategies to restrict the way that science is used in agency rulemakings, the committee formed to help review the agency’s science should have a very long to-do list. Read more >

Photo: sharply_done/iStockphoto
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Photo: Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0 (Flickr)

Pruitt’s Science Advisors Urge Him to Let Them Review His So-Called Transparency Initiative

, Lead science and policy analyst

One week after issuing its letters on EPA’s spring and fall regulatory agendas, the SAB posted a letter to Administrator Pruitt urging him to charge the SAB with reviewing the flawed restricted science rule before taking further action on the proposed rule due to the very important scientific considerations needed for transparency at the agency. This is a strong statement coming from the Administrator’s very own science advisors, 18 of whom were hand-selected by Pruitt himself. Read more >

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The EPA SAB Agreed to Tell Pruitt that EPA’s Restricted Science Rule is Problematic, But Where’s the Follow-up?

, Lead science and policy analyst

The EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) met earlier this month in DC to discuss a range of issues, but perhaps most prominently, to discuss whether any of Pruitt’s deregulatory actions from 2017 had scientific issues warranting SAB review. Also on the agenda was whether the SAB should have a chance to review the merits of the EPA’s restricted science proposal before it moved any farther in the rulemaking process. At the end of the meeting, the SAB members agreed (almost unanimously) that they would write to Pruitt and tell him that they did indeed want to review five spring and fall 2017 regulatory agenda items, including the glider truck rule and the Clean Power Plan, and the restricted science proposal. Read more >

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Debriefing the EPA’s Science Advisory Board Meeting

, Lead science and policy analyst

I spent most of Thursday and Friday this week at the EPA’s Science Advisory Board meeting in Washington, DC, as the 44 members gathered to discuss EPA’s regulatory agenda and hear updates from EPA programs on lead, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). As I explained earlier this week, it was the first meeting for 18 of the members who had been appointed after Administrator Pruitt issued his directive barring EPA-funded scientists from serving on the committee. Read more >

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