Stuff that matters

you meddling kids!

Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Scott Pruitt plans to close an EPA office that studies how chemicals harm children.

Is the EPA administrator trying to look like a movie villain?

In the name of organizational “efficiency,” Pruitt is making some big changes at his agency — including the possible shuttering of the National Center for Environmental Research, best known for work to reduce children’s health risks from chemical exposure.

In the past, NCER found arsenic in babies’ rice cereal and toxic pesticides exposure in the children of farmworkers. The center provides millions of dollars in grants each year for studying and treating things like childhood asthma, leukemia, and autism.

But Pruitt seems to have decided: enough!

Before you freak out, the organizational overhaul is still proposed at this point, as Yessenia Funes points out. But the EPA is already defending the move. An unnamed EPA spokesperson told The Hill that the potential consolidation would help the EPA become “more responsive to agency priorities and funding realities.”

Given that Scott Pruitt’s priority seems to be dismantling very agency he runs, yeah, I guess this does fit in pretty neatly with that goal.