EPA Decisions Lacking Scientific Integrity Still In Place Under Biden Administration, Say Whistleblowers

View the full article from Beyond Pesticides News Blog

“With this article, Beyond Pesticides rounds out its coverage of recent revelations about compromised science integrity at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As Sharon Lerner reports in her September 18 (and third in a series) article in The Intercept, new documents and whistleblower interviews reveal additional means by which EPA officials have gone out of their way to avoid assessing potential health risks of hundreds of new chemicals. Ms. Lerner writes that “senior staff have made chemicals appear safer — sometimes dodging restrictions on their use — by minimizing the estimates of how much is released into the environment.” Beyond Pesticides regularly monitors and reports on scientific integrity at EPA, including two recent articles that reference Ms. Lerner’s The Intercept reporting; see “EPA Agenda Undermined by Its Embrace of Industry Influence,” and “Whistleblowers Say EPA Managers Engaged in Corrupt and Unethical Practices, Removed Findings, and Revised Conclusions.”

Ms. Lerner asks why it is that “some senior staff and managers within the EPA’s New Chemicals Division seem to feel an obligation not to burden the companies they regulate with restrictions.” Advocates suggest a variety of answers. “That’s the $64,000 question,” commented PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) Director of Science Policy Dr. Kyla Bennett. She has said that some career staff at EPA have been “captured by industry.” Government watchdog organizations, such as PEER, as well as Beyond Pesticides, have noted the dysfunctional “revolving door” between EPA and industry. Dr. Bennett noted (in a PEER webinar attended by the author on September 22) that one agency manager moved back and forth between EPA and the private chemicals industry four times.”

Read the PEER Story…