"Inquiries at EPA's Science Integrity Office Spike Under Trump"

July 25, 2019

"Employees are increasingly going to integrity officers with concerns over interference into science."

"Inquiries to the Environmental Protection Agency office that protects science have spiked during the Trump administration amid widespread reports that political appointees have interfered with the work of career employees.

The allegations—and requests for advice—were lodged with EPA’s Scientific Integrity office and have focused increasingly on instances of interference. Office leaders said on Thursday the increase was attributable to a variety of factors, including a larger outreach and education effort.

The office, which receives allegations of violations of EPA’s robust science integrity policy as well as solicitations for advice on diffusing situations before official investigations are launched, has already received more than 60 inquiries in the first three quarters of fiscal 2019. It averaged slightly more than 20 inquiries per year from 2012 through 2016. The points of contact with the office remained low in fiscal 2017 but began to spike last year."

Eric Katz reports for Government Executive June 20, 2019.

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