US environmental chief to recuse himself from court cases

Nine of the 18 scientists serving on the Board of Scientific Counselors were notified via email Friday that they will not be coming back following the termination of their three-year terms.

Board members are limited to two three-year terms, where experts are typically reappointed for the second term, but the EPA made a decision to cut their tenures short to one term on this occasion.

Agency spokesperson J.P. Freire told the Post that the dismissals marked a "clean break" with the Obama administration, and that "We're not going to rubber-stamp the last administration's appointees".

The EPA statement said Pruitt will continue to consult with the agency's ethics counsel to ensure there is no question of impropriety in how it deals with litigation to which Pruitt had been a party as Oklahoma's attorney general. It was not immediately clear from the news reports how many members were let go. The Washington Post reported Monday that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had dismissed half of the board's members. The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act - which has yet to be taken up by the Senate - would prohibit anyone who has an ongoing research grant from the EPA to serve on the board, and prohibits board members from applying for grants for three years after they step down from the panel.

The dismissed scientists include Courtney Flint, a professor of natural resource sociology from Utah State University, and Robert Richardson, an environmental economist from Michigan State University. "It's important that high-caliber, world-class, well-respected, well-published, objective scientists be appointed", he said, acknowledging there may be value to "enriching the mix of science that advises the EPA".

Under president Trump and administrator Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency is not staying true to its name - instead, it's becoming more of an agency protecting the industry.

India's cricket team to participate in Champions Trophy
Even though Srinivasan was earlier keen on a pullout, he refrained from speaking about it after gauging the general mood. The COA had advised BCCI members to exercise discretion while taking any extreme step.

No shutdown: $1.1 trillion agreement shows Democrats' clout
Congressional negotiators have reached an agreement on a spending bill to keep the U.S. government running until 30 September. But Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, told reporters during a briefing that the president is on solid footing.

Blue Jays activate RHP Sanchez off 10-day DL
Sanchez and the Blue Jays are hoping his latest finger mishap is not serious and he won't have to miss a start. The Blue Jays' 4-1 victory over the Rays on Saturday sets up a rubber match in the three-game set on Sunday.

The decision is the latest in a series of moves that could benefit industries whose pollution is regulated by the agency.

In fact, the academics who did not get another three year term can reapply for their board positions, but now they'll have to compete in a larger pool of applicants.

Smith has long vilified the EPA, accusing federal scientists of pushing an "extreme climate agenda". "It also allows more public participation in the EPA's science review process".

In recent years and months, EPA boards dominated by academic advisers have come under harsh criticism by conservative politicians and policymakers, especially those questioning whether climate change is the result of human activity. Asking industry leaders to critique and evaluate the science that the EPA's Office of Research and Development does to underpin the evidence based development of policies to protect the environment from the damage those industries cause is sort of analogous to asking the fox to watch the chicken coop!

One scientist on the board said he had never before seen a person not reappointed to the board during a presidential transition.

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