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Report: EPA Experienced Political Interference (4/25)

April 25, 2008
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The Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmentalist group, released a report this week in which a large number of EPA scientists claim they have experienced political interference during the Bush administration.

The group polled 5,500 EPA employees from various programs and laboratories among the 10 EPA regions, out of which 1,586 responded. Of those, according to the report, 889 respondents said they personally experienced at least one incidence of political interference in the last five years. However, among EPA veterans of 10 or more years, only 43 percent said the political interference had increased over the last five years from the previous five years. Just seven percent said they had frequently or occasionally been “directed to inappropriately exclude or alter technical information from an EPA scientific document.”

The safety blog, The Pump Handle, suggested that EPA is not the only federal agency where workers are claiming political considerations are taking precedence over their findings. “Like UCS’s previous investigations on the Food and Drug Administration, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and federal climate scientists, this one found significant administration manipulation of science that is supposed to serve our health and environment,” wrote Liz Borkowski, a contributor to the blog.

However, the watchdog group’s Web site only included one incidence of similar political interference with OSHA, a 2006 asbestos warning. A Government Accountability Office Report in August 2007 also noted the 2006 asbestos incident as the only documented case of political interference at OSHA.

Read the report by clicking the link below.

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