WASHINGTON (October 11, 2018)— The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday suggested that it will disband a review panel for particulate matter. The agency also announced that the responsibility for evaluating the threats that particulate matter poses to public health will now fall to the seven-member Clean Air Science Advisory Committee, even as the agency removed qualified, independent experts from that committee. The agency signaled it may do the same for ground-level ozone pollution.
Below is a statement by Gretchen Goldman, research director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“The fix is in. Every action taken by the EPA’s political leadership has been aimed at pushing independent science out of the process so they can gut the rules that protect the public from pollution. They’ve stacked the advisory boards, proposed restrictions on what science the EPA can consider, and limited the voice of independent scientists. They are determined to weaken the safeguards that protect us from hazardous air pollution, regardless of the evidence. The consequences are enormous, and this represents a fundamental betrayal of the mission of the agency and the laws the EPA is supposed to enforce.
“The EPA is required by law to protect public health by fully considering the best available science. The dismissal of the particulate matter review panel would make it impossible for the agency to fully evaluate the science and adequately protect the public. The agency would be deliberately choosing to sideline science if they move forward without access to adequate expertise. Vulnerable communities would be the hardest hit by this decision.”