"Independent Panel Clears Scientists of Wrongdoing in Calif. Water Case"

"An independent panel has cleared two Interior Department scientists of scientific misconduct, more than three months after a federal judge lambasted their testimony on an endangered fish as 'false' and 'outrageous.'

U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger stopped short of accusing the employees of scientific misconduct in a September ruling, which dealt with the Fish and Wildlife Service's justification for water pumping cutbacks to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. He instead called Jennifer Norris of the Fish and Wildlife Service a 'zealot' and Frederick Feyrer of the Bureau of Reclamation 'untrustworthy as a witness.'

But an independent panel of scientists -- convened by Resolve, a nonpartisan 'dispute resolutions' organization -- found that neither Norris nor Feyrer violated standard scientific practice. In a recent report obtained by Greenwire, the panel asserts that no further action is needed on the issue.

But they also criticize Norris and Feyrer for testimony that they said was sometimes unclear."

Emily Yehle reports for Greenwire January 6, 2012.

Source: Greenwire, 01/09/2012