The Trump EPA Is About To Make A Shocking Science Board Move

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be removing its Office of the Science Advisor and "demoting" it via a merger with a different Office of Research and Development unit, according to new reports. Critics worry the effort will be the latest of several made by the Trump administration that appear to challenge the role of science in policymaking.

Details about the plan first surfaced via the New York Times, which reported on behalf of an anonymous source said to have knowledge of the plan. According to the report, the EPA will ditch its science advisor role; Politico elaborated on that, claiming it will be transitioned to a unit under the Office of Research and Development.

This is cited as a demotion of sorts, distancing the advisory role from the EPA administrator and potentially diminishing the role of science in policymaking and regulations. In explaining the purpose for this role, the EPA says on its website that the Office of the Science Advisor:

...provides leadership on science and technology issues and policy to facilitate the integration of the highest quality science into the Agency's policies and decisions.

The NYT seemingly received confirmation about the plan from an EPA spokesman via an emailed prepared statement. Though the full statement is not provided, it is said to cite an elimination of redundancies as part of the goal for the change.

The Trump administration has made several questionable decisions regarding the EPA over past months. Recently, the agency's Office of Children's Health was placed on administrative leave for reasons that weren't provided, but that also weren't disciplinary. Critics worry the move is one to push out someone with a history of advocating for stronger pollution regulations.

SOURCE: Politico, New York Times