President Biden is “cleaning up” the EPA with the assistance of our first Black male EPA Administrator, Michael Regan, who is also doing a fantastic job. Regan announced last week he will dismiss more than 40 outside experts in order to remake key advisory panels to accurately reflect mainstream science.
This is part of President Biden’s directive for a government-wide assessment of the former guy’s political interference in science, and a big win for the environment and Americans as a whole. It was necessary after Trump had illegally barred academics who received EPA grants from serving. Trump’s illegal policy elevated industry experts while gagging independent scientists. Trump rescinded the policy after he was ordered to by federal court, but the damage was already done – the makeup of these key advisory panels didn’t change.
So even though this is an unusual decision, Trump did unusual things. This will bring back trust in the EPA. Under Trump, the dismissed ‘experts’ had helped to craft environmental regulations that tilted too heavily in favor of industry and contradicted scientific consensus, affecting ozone, clean air, water standards and more.
Regan said this resetting will ensure the EPA “receives the best possible scientific insight to support our work to protect human health and the environment.”
Regan indicated this is one of several steps necessary to rebuild scientific integrity and restore staff moral. He also revived an EPA webpage on climate change deleted during Trump’s first weeks in office. He told staff they are reviewing policies that impeded science and encouraged them to bring “any items of concern” as they review Trump-era actions. “When politics drives science rather than science informing policy, we are likely to make choices that sacrifice the health of the most vulnerable among us.”
“Science is back,” said Regan.