Climate Change

EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board hasn’t met in six months

VIA Agency/Flickr

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board still exists on paper, but according to its members, it hasn’t held a meeting, reviewed an EPA proposal, or issued a recommendation of any kind in more than six months. Congress established this board of experts to advise on the scientific issues behind the agency's policy decisions. But EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, concerned that science will put roadblocks in his rollback agenda, has brought in a new industry-friendly chairman with outside-the-mainstream views—like air pollution is not dangerous to your health. Pruitt has also sidelined the board by failing to appoint new members or scheduling meetings. Agency officials claim the lapse is due to paperwork delays that have left the group without enough members to form a quorum. But given the Trump administration’s anti-science culture, some have questioned its motives. "I guess the Science Advisory Board still exists; I guess I'm still on it," said William Schlesinger, a biogeochemist from Duke University. But noting the lack of meetings, he added:  "If you don't meet, then the scientists are not a pain, because they don't have a forum."

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