May 10, 2017 08:29 AM EDT
Bit by bit, the Trump administration is chunking the Environmental Protection Agency into shreds. Half of the board advisers who work on science integrity of the EPA are basically being kicked out as the Trump Administration confirms that they will not reappoint. This decision dealt a blow on the EPA's campaign to regulate pollution.
According to chairwoman Deborah Swackhamer of the EPA Board of Scientific Counselors, the 18-man panel is turning into a mere 9-member squad. This means that half of the scientific board are not going to extend beyond their 3-year term, the Voice of America said. The repercussions are going to be felt sooner than expected as well. The Trump administration points out that the board's tenure has ended in April 30 and waiting for reappointment is altogether futile.
Swackhamer stressed that it is customary for the EPA to have their scientific counselors serve their second and final term, a total of 6 years in service. However, as the Trump administration bluntly said that climate change is "a waste of money," the EPA suffered a huge budget setback. Even so, there are 4 other counselors whose terms have ended, rounding up the total number of the board to just 5 active members.
Due to the Trump policy on climate chance, the EPA is slowly trying to pick up its loses and is trying to regroup. The NZ Herald quoted the EPA spokesman J.P. Freire saying that the hiring process for the vacant seats is going to be a more open and competitive. The agency is also hiring those who can help against the issues on chemical and fossil fuel companies.
However, it seems that there is a tussle inside the EPA themselves. Swackhamer contradicts Freire's statement that there are "hundreds" of applicants aavailable for the vacant board counselor positions. Swackhamer said that she doesn't know where Freire got his report since there has been no public call yet to fill the vacated posts.
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