Taking Science Out of Air Quality—EPN Defends Public Health and the Integrity of the CASAC

On October 10, 2018, with no opportunity for input, or reasonable explanation, EPA abandoned plans to reinstate the Ozone Review Panel (experts who aid in the assessment of the ground-level ozone limits) and disbanded the Particulate Matter (PM) Review Panel (experts charged with assisting the EPA’s latest review of PM). Acting Administrator Wheeler then tasked the seven-member Chartered Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) to serve as the sole body to review the key scientific assessments for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) Ozone and PM reviews. The CASAC does not have the breadth or depth of expertise needed for these reviews. No 7-person body can. These decisions have raised concerns about the outcome of these reviews and potential threats to the environment and public health.

In response, at the December 12, 2018, public meeting of CASAC, Environmental Protection Network members shared oral and written testimony critiquing these and other decisions.

Testimony of John Bachmann, former EPA Associate Director for Science/Policy and New Programs, Office of Air

Testimony of Dan Costaformer EPA Director of National Air, Climate, and Energy Research Program

Written Comments of Dr. Bernard Goldstein, former EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) Chairman, former EPA Assistant Administrator for Research and Development 

EPN members have created the following documents to help explain these current attacks on science.

EPN Summary of Current Attacks on CASAC: Summary of Current Attacks on CASAC

EPN Summary of Letter to CASAC from Former Members of 2009-2015 CASAC Ozone Review Panel: Summary of Ozone Letter

EPN Summary of Letter to CASAC from Former Members of 2015-2018 CASAC Particulate Matter Review Panel: Summary of Particulate Matter Letter

Op-ed by Dr. Bernard Goldstein, The Hill, December 11, 2018
“The Latest Chapter in EPA vs Environmental Science Saga”

Op-ed by Dr. Christopher S. Zarba, New York Times, November 14, 2018
“The Assault Against Science Continues at the E.P.A. – The agency jettisons expert panels providing guidance on important health and environmental issues.”

Lastly, here are related documents and resources from EPN, Dr. Gretchen Goldman of Union of Concerned Scientists, and former Chair of the CASAC Dr. H. Christopher Frey: Related Documents