Category Archives: Devil’s Highway

Subverting the Process of Setting Health-Based Air Quality Standards: Part II

In its latest two-step, the EPA once again is deliberately narrowing the frame through which it obtains scientific analysis of the link between air pollution and public health. First, the agency is excluding qualified scientists from the Clean Air Science Advisory Committee (CASAC), the independent group charged by the Clean Air Act with providing the […]

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Changing What Science the EPA Will Consider – Part III

We have written previously about the EPA’s effort to close its eyes to established science as a means of undermining public health protections. Part I explains what this anti-science effort is and why it matters, and Part II outlines the flaws in the specific proposal that the EPA offered. As part of the public comment process, a […]

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The Ruse of Results-Oriented Science

Scott Pruitt has turned the EPA’s longstanding methodical approach to rulemaking and enforcement on its head. Instead of seeking to 1) understand a problem, 2) identify a range of solutions, 3) transparently design a targeted program, and 4) implement and enforce it fairly, Pruitt’s approach upends all four pillars. His most recent proposal to exclude […]

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Changing What Science the EPA Will Consider – Part II

On April 24, 2018, Administrator Pruitt followed through on his promise and signed a proposal to change how the EPA considers science. This proposal, which is open for public comment until May 30, 2018, is an attempt to achieve goals that some Republican members of Congress have long been championing, but have failed to pass into law. Administrator Pruitt invokes “transparency” to support his proposal’s requirement on what data can be used in the science EPA considers, while barely explaining why he’s chosen the particular form of “transparency” he has or what benefit it would produce.

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Misleading on Climate Change Science

The EPA distributed “talking points” to its regional offices instructing them to use language that casts doubt on the validity of climate change science. In spite of overwhelming consensus in the scientific community that human-caused climate change is a serious threat that requires immediate action, the EPA under the Trump administration repeatedly cast doubt on […]

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Changing What Science the EPA Will Consider – Part I

The EPA intends to change which scientific studies it will consider in a thinly-veiled attempt to undermine settled conclusions about the health impacts of air pollution. This is Part 1 of 3. Click here for Part 2 and here for Part 3. The EPA has historically relied on the best available peer-reviewed science in carrying out […]

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What Does it Take to Get from Dirty to Clean?

The EPA starts its effort to protect public health and the environment by understanding the problem it is trying to fix. This means: collecting data on what pollution exists, such as by placing air quality monitors in communities or seeking emissions testing from factories; researching how that pollution affects humans and the environment, including laboratory […]

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Hiding Information

The EPA has hidden access to information on its website about climate change. The American public relies on EPA’s website for detailed and dependable information about critical environmental subjects, including climate change. On April 28, 2017, the EPA announced it was updating its website to “reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and […]

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Political Vetting of Grants

The EPA has long relied on competitive merits-based grant-making to support activities that deliver critical environmental improvements, pollution reductions, and public education. Until now, grant applications have been evaluated by career professional staff exclusively for their technical merit, and not on the basis of partisan political considerations. Now, the EPA has assigned a political appointee […]

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Centralizing EPA’s Compliance Information Requests

Collecting information is critical to many of EPA’s tasks, especially those that ensure polluters are complying with the law and, for purposes of assuring compliance or of enforcement, detecting sources that are not. EPA’s ten regional offices, acting on their own authority, are instrumental in this type of information collection. This process has been slowed, […]

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