EPA Staffers Forced To Ignore Science: Panel

May 5, 2010

Want one more reason why reporters should be allowed to talk to EPA scientists without political "minders" chaperoning them? An EPA panel's preliminary findings show that EPA political appointees have been quashing inconvenient science for years — and still are under President Obama, according to interviews with EPA scientists.

Award-winning investigative journalist Sheila Kaplan, an SEJ member, published a story in Politics Daily bringing to light some 73 interviews with 450 EPA employees depicting political interference in EPA science as an ongoing problem. They were conducted as part of an inquiry by the Committee on Science Integration for Decision Making, which began during the Bush administration and continues its unfinished work during the Obama administration.

The committee is a sub-unit of the EPA Science Advisory Board. The members of the committee are from outside of EPA.

"Environmental Protection Agency staffers have been forced to ignore relevant science, have lacked key monitoring data on human health and environmental impacts, and have worked without crucial information needed to protect the public," Kaplan wrote, citing committee summaries of the interviews.