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Friday, August 16, 2019

Federal Watchdog Reports EPA Ignored Ethics Rules

Alyssa Danigelis
www.environmentalleader.com
Originally published July 17, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency failed to comply with federal ethics rules for appointing advisory committee members, the General Accounting Office concluded this week. President Trump’s EPA skipped disclosure requirements for new committee members last year, according to the federal watchdog.

Led by Andrew Wheeler, the EPA currently manages 22 committees that advise the agency on a wide range of issues, including developing regulations and managing research programs.

However, in fiscal year 2018, the agency didn’t follow a key step in its process for appointing 20 committee members to the Science Advisory Board (SAB) and Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), the report says.

“SAB is the agency’s largest committee and CASAC is responsible for, among other things, reviewing national ambient air-quality standards,” the report noted. “In addition, when reviewing the step in EPA’s appointment process related specifically to financial disclosure reporting, we found that EPA did not consistently ensure that [special government employees] appointed to advisory committees met federal financial disclosure requirements.”

The GAO also pointed out that the number of committee members affiliated with academic institutions shrank.

The info is here.

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