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)

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

Claudio Ternieden
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Steve Dye
Legislative Director

Amy Kathman
Government Affairs Specialist