WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), released the following statement on the directive from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to strengthen and improve the independence, diversity and breadth of views on EPA federal advisory committees.
“The Environmental Protection Agency is taking important steps to make sure all of America is included during its policy making process,” said Barrasso. “For too long, the agency’s advisory committees were not representative of the whole country. Today’s directive from Administrator Pruitt will ensure that the unique perspectives of Wyoming and other rural states are not left out of the conversation.”
Pruitt’s directive will strengthen advisory committee member independence, increase state and local government participation, and enhance geographic diversity. Key advisory committees at EPA include the Science Advisory Board, the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, and the Board of Scientific Counselors.
On July 27, 2017, Senator Barrasso sent a letter to Pruitt regarding needed reforms to the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). In the letter, Barrasso called on Pruitt to “revisit past CASAC practices to make them compliant with the statute.” CASAC is supposed to provide independent counsel to the administrator on issues specifically listed in the Clean Air Act related to the federal National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).