"Trump-Era EPA Meddled in PFAS Science, Agency Watchdog Finds"

"In the final days of the Trump administration, a political appointee at the EPA ordered a last-minute review of the hazards of a “forever chemical,” triggering delay, confusion, and significant changes to a nearly final work product, the agency’s inspector general found in a Friday report.

By suddenly replacing single toxicity values with less-protective toxicity ranges for perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS), the Environmental Protection Agency exposed the public to health risks and broke with its standard review and clearance process, according to the agency’s Office of Inspector General.

PFBS is a replacement for perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, which is one of the most well-studied members of a group of chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

The findings underscore often-repeated claims that EPA political officials, under former President Donald Trump, consistently meddled in agency science to reach desired outcomes. They also echo conclusions drawn by the EPA in February 2021, when the agency alleged “political interference as well as infringement of authorship and the scientific independence of the authors’ conclusions.”"

Stephen Lee reports for Bloomberg Environment June 14, 2024.

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 06/17/2024