Save the National Center for Environmental Research
This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed that it will eliminate the standalone National Center for Environmental Research (NCER). This program provides millions of dollars each year to fund research on the effects of chemical exposure on children and adults. By combining the Office of Administrative and Research Support, the Office of Program Accountability and Resource Management, and the NCER into one department, the EPA claims that they will create a more efficient agency.
But we cannot allow our leaders to trade in dedicated funding and programming for vital initiatives like the the Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers for the sake of a smaller agency. And we certainly cannot sit on the sidelines as an important agency that safeguards the health and safety of our communities and environments is gutted.
This is, unfortunately what we’ve come to expect from Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We must demand that Pruitt and Congress not only preserve essential research programs at the EPA, but continue to fight for increased funding for the vital research of the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, funded by the NCER. Though the STAR program supports crucial research into topic areas ranging from the impact of environmental exposures on children’s health to improving community environmental decision-making, it has seen steady decreases in funding. We need answers on how environmental factors affect our lives and and our children’s lives in order to write the policies we need to protect us.
The EPA mandate is to safeguard our health and environment. Keep drinking water safe. Shield vulnerable populations from air pollutants that trigger asthma and heart attacks. Protect communities from cancer-causing chemicals. But under Scott Pruitt, the agency is failing to fulfill even its most basic mandates.
EPA Reorganization will merge science office
More on Scott Pruitt's EPA
Scientists who receive EPA grants cannot serve on EPA advisory committees.
The EPA has canceled talks by EPA scientists related to climate change.
Under his leadership, the Clean Power Plan - which research has shown would benefit the economy, environment, and most importantly, public health - has been repealed.
Recently, Pruitt has also been accused of mismanaging agency resources, including spending $25,000 taxpayer dollars on a soundproof booth for his office and he has also spent $58,000 on charter, military, and first class flights.
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From: Dana Hollern