Tags: EPA | AdvisoryBoards | MichaelRegan | BidenAdmin

Dozens of Trump Appointees Removed from EPA Advisory Boards

Dozens of Trump Appointees Removed from EPA Advisory Boards
Michael Regan is sworn in as EPA Administrator by Vice President Kamala Harris in the Ceremonial Office of the Vice President March 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 31 March 2021 03:32 PM

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Michael Regan on Wednesday dismissed dozens of scientific advisers, many of whom were appointed under former President Donald Trump, in favor of a “balanced group of experts,” The Washington Post reports.

"Scientific integrity is one of EPA's foundational values -- and as Administrator, I am committed to ensuring that every decision we make meets rigorous scientific standards," Regan said in a statement, according to CNN. "Resetting these two scientific advisory committees will ensure the agency receives the best possible scientific insight to support our work to protect human health and the environment. Today we return to a time-tested, fair, and transparent process for soliciting membership to these critically important advisory bodies."

The Trump administration had previously barred scientists who had received funding from the EPA from serving as advisers to the agency, a move that many in the scientific community criticized. The restriction was rescinded following a legal battle, but the administration did not alter its appointments following a federal court’s ruling on the matter.

“It’s absolutely warranted,” said former EPA employee Christopher Zarba, who headed the agency’s office that coordinates with members of the scientific community before he retired. “Lots and lots of the best people were excluded from being considered.”

He also said that none of those selected by Trump’s EPA heads Scott Pruitt and Andrew Wheeler were themselves unqualified, “However, the mix of people did not accurately represent mainstream science.”

John Graham, the head of the Science Advisory Board who was appointed under Trump, said that the decision illustrates the “progression of Washington D.C. into the notion that everybody gets to pick their own scientists,” and described it as “very sad,” in comments to The New York Times.

He added, “Now for the first time in the agency’s 50-year history, we have an administrator interested in scientific advice only from those scientists he has personally appointed.”

Zarba told the Times that a widespread purge “has not ever been done before,” but he said the advisory boards “have never been in this situation before, so I think it’s absolutely the right thing to do. I don’t see any other alternative.”

The Department of Defense saw a similar clear-out of 42 advisory boards earlier this year.

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Environmental Protection Agency administrator Michael Regan on Wednesday dismissed dozens of scientific advisers, many of whom were appointed under former President Donald Trump...
EPA, AdvisoryBoards, MichaelRegan, BidenAdmin
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2021-32-31
Wednesday, 31 March 2021 03:32 PM
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