Pruitt Suspends Work of Science Board, Undercutting Vital EPA Research

Statement by Ken Kimmell, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Jun 20, 2017

WASHINGTON (June 20, 2017)—Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has suspended the work of the EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors and announced that dozens of members of the board and its subcommittees will not be renewed when their terms expire. This signals a troubling attitude toward the agency’s vital scientific work, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Administrator Scott Pruitt is gutting the EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors. Pruitt has pulled off a devious process here: he's signaled that he intends to dismiss experienced advisors whose terms are expiring over the next year—and he's using the fact that he's dismissing them to immediately block them from doing any more work.

“The Board of Scientific Counselors was formed to make sure the EPA does the best possible scientific work with limited taxpayer dollars. This independent advice is needed now more than ever. By sacking dozens of scientific counselors, Pruitt is showing that he doesn't value scientific input and the benefits it offers the public.

“The administrator has an important job to do—and this includes listening to the best independent science and to make decisions that protect our health, our safety and our environment. Instead, he’s delaying important public protections, denying the facts of climate change, and now, dismissing expert researchers who could help EPA do its best work.  It's appalling to see an administrator so directly attack the effectiveness of his own agency.”