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Trump administration hollows out EPA science integrity board

Trump administration hollows out EPA science integrity board

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board in a step widely seen as downgrading science and elevating business interests, a media report said. But with the end of the members' terms, he said the agency wanted a complete vetting of all of those nominated to serve on the board before deciding who serves, rather than simply renewing the appointments of those already on the panel.

The Board of Scientific Counselors is an 18-member board whose mission is to "evaluate science and engineering research, programs and plans, laboratories, and research-management practices of ORD [EPA's office of research and development] and recommend actions to improve their quality and or strengthen their relevance to EPA's mission".

"We're not going to rubber-stamp the last administration's appointees", Freire told the Washington Post.

An EPA spokesman told The New York Times that the administration "believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community".

The EPA statement said Pruitt will continue to consult with the agency's ethics counsel to ensure there is no question of impropriety in how it deals with litigation to which Pruitt had been a party as Oklahoma's attorney general.

Pruitt "will most likely be replacing them with members who come from industry", said John J. "Instead, they should participate in the same open competitive process as the rest of the applicant pool", he said. The 18-member board oversees the rigor and integrity of the scientific research guiding policy decisions coming out of the EPA, from climate change to air pollution. He said former board members may also be considered.

Far Cry 3 Teaser Splits Fans In Half
It also linked to a picture of Far Cry 3 villain and fan favourite, Vaas, accompanied by his most famous line of dialogue. The post includes a picture of the Rook Island from Far Cry 3 with the caption "an island we never really left".

In March, the Post reported on a proposal to gut the budget for the 47-member Science Advisory Board, which similarly reviews agency science.

Courtney Flint, a professor of natural resource sociology at Utah State University who has served on the board since 2014, said she was surprised by the dismissal.

Other media reports had Friere saying the changes were meant to allow new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt - who has been a long-standing critic of the agency - to bring in new advisers, and that he would consider replacing academics on the board with people from industry as long as the appointments did not lead to conflicts of interest. The decision is the latest in a series of moves that could benefit polluters.

An EPA spokesman disputed that anyone was dismissed, saying that individuals on the science review board are appointed for a single three-year term, and that those whose terms are not renewed can re-apply to serve again in the future.

Many in the scientific community have expressed fears that the move is illustrative of a broader effort to make the agency friendlier to industry at the expense of objective science. EPA's website says BOSC draws on people from "academia, industry/business, federal, state and local governments, non-governmental and environmental organizations, research laboratories, and other relevant entities".

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