EPA boots at least 5 scientists off board, may favor replacements from industryEnlarge / UNITED STATES – APRIL 22: A flag hangs over an entrance to the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington on April 22, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (credit: Bill Clark/Getty Images)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not be renewing the terms of at least five scientists on its 18-member Board of Scientific Counselors, according to a Sunday night report from the New York Times.

The Times wrote that EPA administrator Scott Pruitt would consider replacing those scientists with “representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate,” according to J.P.

Freire, a spokesperson for Pruitt.
Although all the scientists being dismissed are at the ends of their three-year terms, appointees to the board are generally not seen as political actors and usually have their terms renewed.
In addition, the appointees were apparently told in January, and again by EPA staffers more recently, that they’d have their terms renewed.
The dismissed scientists include Courtney Flint, a professor of natural resource sociology from Utah State University, and Robert Richardson, an environmental economist from Michigan State University.

The Board of Scientific Counselors advises the Office of Research and Development on ways to improve the quality of its research and evaluates the work that comes out of that office. “Members of the board say they have reviewed the EPA’s scientific research on the public health impact of leaking underground fuel tanks, the toxicity of the chemicals used to clean up oil spills, and the effects of the spread of bark beetles caused by a warming climate,” the Times writes.
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