EPA Scientists Responsible for Preparing Chemical Assessments Reassigned

Silencing Science Tracker

EPA Scientists Responsible for Preparing Chemical Assessments Reassigned

An investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that several scientists in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) had been reassigned. According to GAO, the scientists were forced to stop work on chemical assessments, after EPA officials commenced a review of the IRIS program’s priorities. Pending the outcome of that review, IRIS program scientists were directed not to release any chemical assessments, unless formally requested to do so by program office leadership. Thus, with their work on hold,┬áseveral scientists were reassigned to the Office of Pollution Prevention (OPPT). GAO found that:

“[I]n September 2018 — 3 months after IRIS assessments were stopped from being released because of ongoing EPA leadership deliberations — 5 of approximately 30 IRIS staff were supporting OPPT with 25 to 50 percent of their time. In October 2018 — 4 months after IRIS assessments were stopped from being released — 28 of approximately 30 IRIS staff were supporting OPPT with 25 to 50 percent of their time.”

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