EPA scientists face political pressure

The Union of Concerned Scientists has documented widespread political interference at the Environmental Protection Agency. The group conducted a broad investigation that combined interviews, analysis of documents and 1,600 responses to a survey.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has documented widespread political interference at the Environmental Protection Agency. The group conducted a broad investigation that combined interviews, analysis of documents and 1,600 responses to a survey.

The results of these investigations show an agency under siege from political pressures. On numerous issues—ranging from mercury pollution to groundwater contamination to climate change—political appointees have edited scientific documents, manipulated scientific assessments, and generally sought to undermine the science behind dozens of EPA regulations.
The Washington Post quotes Francesca Grifo, director of the group's scientific integrity program.
"Things are not as they should be at the EPA. Scientific findings are being suppressed and distorted; 889 scientists personally experienced at least one type of political interference. . . . Scientists are being pressured by outside interests."

Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, plans to confront EPA administrator Stephen Johnson about the findings at a hearing next month. "These survey results suggest a pattern of ignoring and manipulating science in EPA's decision making," Waxman wrote in a letter to Johnson.