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EPA appoints 'scientific integrity official' to curb concerns about lack of scientific transparency

Posted: November 26, 2013 |   Comments

( In response to concerns from Republican lawmakers about the secrecy with which it guards its scientific findings, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has appointed Francesca Grifo as its first "scientific integrity official." Grifo is the former director of the scientific integrity program at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a director of the Center for Environmental Research at Columbia University.

Grifo's role will be to coordinate the agency's policies on scientific integrity and chair a committee focused on that subject. This comes in response to criticism by legislators who claim that the agency overregulates industry and impedes economic growth and employment without allowing independent analysts to review the "secret science" they use as justification.

However, the new position is unlikely to satisfy lawmakers' concerns, considering that the scientific data still remains a mystery to those affected by the agency's regulations. "'Scientific integrity' is a moot point when the science remains secret, no matter who's in this role," Senator David Vitter (R-La.) said. "There's currently no method to independently analyze or verify their [EPA's] science, or its integrity."

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