Over 800 EPA scientists report political interference in their work, survey says
More than 800 U.S. EPA scientists reported some form of political interference in their work in the last five years, according to a survey of EPA staff by the Union of Concerned Scientists. UCS sent out some 5,500 questionnaires to EPA scientists and received some 1,580 responses; over half the respondents asserted they had experienced political meddling of one kind or another in their work. Those most likely to report interference worked in offices involved in writing regulations or conducting risk assessments. Industry groups and the White House Office of Management and Budget were cited repeatedly by the EPA scientists as sources of pressure. Rep. Henry Waxman, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter to EPA head Stephen Johnson yesterday warning of a hearing on the UCS survey results next month. “These survey results suggest a pattern of ignoring and manipulating science in EPA’s decision making,” Waxman wrote.