National Academy of Sciences warns EPA to get its science straight or risk irrelevance

Irrelevance in scientific terms, of course. In bureaucratic combat, the EPA is nearly peerless. The article is behind a subscription firewall, but here’s the gist:


A key EPA science adviser is warning that the agency must succeed in making its scientific research programs more transparent and sound in order to to bring credibility back to agency science, or EPA will risk increased scrutiny from House Republicans and industry that could prompt a “crisis.”

“You can’t fail this time,” Thomas Burke, associate dean of The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who also chaired a recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel on ways to improve EPA risk assessments, told EPA officials and other scientific advisers during a discussion on the agency’s new chemical safety research program June 30.

“The sleeping giant is that EPA science is on the rocks . . . if you fail, you become irrelevant, and that is kind of a crisis,” Burke told a joint meeting of EPA’s Science Advisory Board and EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) charged with looking at the reorganization of the agency’s research programs.

Burke, who chaired a recent NAS panel that recommended a host of steps for EPA to improve its risk assessment process, pointed in particular to the agency’s risk assessment process, calling it EPA’s “Achilles heel.”


That’s a big warning, and it comes from an authoritative source that the EPA’s fans cannot easily dismiss. The National Academy of Sciences has essentially told the EPA that its science stinks.

And they didn’t even get into how the EPA slammed Texas despite the agency’s own contrary scientific findings.



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