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EPA Gives Notice to Dozens of Scientific Advisory Board Members, Plans to Offer Buyout to 1,200 Employees
Dozens of scientists on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Board of Scientific Counselors and board subcommittees have been informed that they will not be renewed for their roles advising the agency, the Washington Post reported.
The move, which would dismiss 38 of the 49 remaining subcommittee members, "effectively wipes out [the board] and leaves it free for a complete reappointment," board executive committee chair Deborah Swackhamer told the Post.
Advisory board members aren't the only ones facing the end of their time at EPA: the agency also announced Tuesday plans to buy out more than 1,200 employees this summer.
This signals a troubling attitude toward the EPA's scientific work, according to Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
"By sacking dozens of scientific counselors, [EPA Administrator Scott] Pruitt is showing that he doesn't value scientific input and the benefits it offers the public," Kimmell said.
"The administrator has an important job to do—and this includes listening to the best independent science and to make decisions that protect our health, our safety and our environment. Instead, he's delaying important public protections, denying the facts of climate change, and now, dismissing expert researchers who could help EPA do its best work. It's appalling to see an administrator so directly attack the effectiveness of his own agency."
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In the summer of 1969 a banner hung over a set of condemned homes in what was then the predominantly black and brown Brookland neighborhood in Washington, DC. It read, "White man's roads through black men's homes."
Earlier in the year, the District attempted to condemn the houses to make space for a proposed freeway. The plans proposed a 10-lane freeway, a behemoth of a project that would divide the nation's capital end-to-end and sever iconic Black neighborhoods like Shaw and the U Street Corridor from the rest of the city.