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EPA, Pruitt may face lawsuits over advisory board changes

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Pruitt, EPA may face lawsuits over advisory biard changes

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt may face legal challenges over his decision to block grant recipients from serving on advisory committees.

Environmentalists, Democrats and scientific societies have slammed Pruitt over the new policy, saying it unnecessarily blocks the best experts in their fields from giving the agency advice, while allowing industry officials to continue to have influence through the panels.

Legal experts say the dispute is certain to end up in federal court, where the EPA could face an uphill battle to prove that blocking certain scientists from its boards serves legitimate government interests.

Michael Burger, executive director of Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, allowed that it was possible a specific scientist might have a specific conflict on a specific policy because of federal funding.

But he said the broad policy outlined by Pruitt made little sense.

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