Research Grants Suspended by EPA

Silencing Science Tracker

Research Grants Suspended by EPA

On January 20, 2017, Trump administration official ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend all research grants. The order reportedly came hours after President Trump was sworn into office. Following the swearing in ceremony, EPA employees received an email stating:

“New EPA administration has asked that all contract and grant awards be temporarily suspended, effective immediately. Until we receive further clarification, which we hope to have soon, please construe this to include task orders and work assignments.”

Myron Ebell, who led the Trump administration’s transition team for EPA, told reporters that the suspension is intended to “make sure nothing happens they don’t want to have happen, so any regulations going forward, contracts, grants, hires, they want to make sure to look at them first.” Ebell described the suspension as consistent with actions taken by previous administrations, stating “[t]his may be a little wider than some previous administrations, but it’s very similar to what others have done.” Some EPA staff, however, said the suspension is unprecedented.

UpdateOn January 26, 2017, five Democratic Senators wrote to President Trump to express concern about the suspension. They wrote:

“The suspension of EPA’s grants and contracts . . . puts the air American’s breath and the water we drink at risk. EPA’s grants and contracts support billions of dollars’ of worth of research and development funding, clean-up of toxic Superfund sites, local air and water quality monitoring and testing, assessments of risks to human health from environmental hazards, measures to enhance water security, radioactive and hazardous waste removal, radiation protection, and containment assessments for underground fuel storage tanks . . .

EPA awards most grants on a competitive basis, which must remain merit-based and free from political influence. This action seems to result in the opposite outcome.”

The Senators requested information from President Trump about the suspension, including a list of all grants and contracts affected.


« Silencing Science Tracker home

Submit Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *