Scientific experts who were kicked off an EPA panel last year assessing air quality standards are going to issue their report on pollution anyway. The EPA plans to issue its findings reached without these experts later this month, NBC reports. The 20 scientists and researchers now working independently said the EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee has just seven members now, and they're not qualified to decide air quality standards. "They fired the particulate matter review panel, and they said the chartered CASAC would do the review," said a former staff director of the EPA's Scientific Advisory Board. "In the history of the agency this has never happened."
The 20 former panel members formed the Independent Particulate Matter Review Panel and held open meetings this week in Washington. "Nothing like this has been done before," one member said, per E&E News. "Nothing like this has ever been necessary." The process mimics the EPA's, and another member called it "our alternate universe." Their emphasis is fossil fuels particles that can cause illness. The EPA is trying to roll back regulations, said Christopher Frey, chair of the new group, adding, "Science is being sidelined." The 20 plan to provide the scientific expertise they say the government panel no longer has, whether the EPA wants it or not. (Read more Environmental Protection Agency stories.)