Nov. 6, 2017 — On October 31, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced a new policy for EPA's scientic advisory boards, barring scientists with EPA grants from serving on scientific advisory panels.

These expert panels interpret scientific research to support pollution regulations — and this move will definitely make it harder for some scientists to participate.

In making the announcement, Pruitt portrayed the change as a way to limit conflicts of interest and ensure “independent, arms-length input” on issues ranging from pesticides to drinking water.

Conservatives and congressional critics of the committees have argued that members depending on EPA funding are vulnerable to pressure from the agency’s top political officials and more likely to support regulations. On the other hand, scientists said the new policy would upend the traditional balance of voices on EPA’s scientific advisory panels, potentially edging out academics who receive agency funding in favor of experts from industry.

Pruitt said advisory board members will have to make a decision-- whether to keep accepting EPA grants or forgo their membership on panels. (Bloomberg BNA, 10/31/17)

About This Week in Washington

This Week in Washington is an online news portal from the Water Environment Federation that provides updates on the latest legislative and regulatory developments that affect the water and wastewater communities. It provides concise reports of related bills, regulations, legal decisions, congressional hearings, and other federal government actions, following key issues from introduction to final determination.

This Week in Washington Logo

Return to full list of This Week in Washington articles.

Read more


Visit the WEF News Hub to see all of the current news from WEF.


WEF SmartBrief, a daily e-newsletter designed especially for water sector professionals, delivers the latest news articles from This Week in Washington to your inbox.

SmartBrief is a quick, two-minute read that will help keep you up-to-date with the latest water sector news and trends. Through WEF SmartBrief, you will gain carefully curated and condensed summaries of the day’s happenings, including legislative and regulatory news from WEF and worldwide news sources.

Subscribe to WEF SmartBrief

Want to keep up to date with WEF's news and announcements about our programs and products?

join our mailing list

Contact Us

This Week in Washington is compiled by the WEF Government Affairs department. Please contact us with any questions or comments.

Claudio Ternieden
Senior Director of Government Affairs & Strategic Partnerships

Steve Dye
Legislative Director

Amy Kathman
Government Affairs Specialist