The Scientist has presented an important problem, the appropriate use of science within the Environmental Protection Agency.1 If the agency gets really serious about this objective, then it could adopt a model pioneered by the sister agency, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
The NRC has an atomic safety and licensing board panel whose membership includes lawyers, scientists, and engineers. When important cases arise, they are referred to a licensing board for an initial decision, reached by a multidisciplinary panel. While the NRC has not used this panel for rulemaking or policy determination, referrals to a licensing board for advice on scientific matters is something the EPA could take seriously. Why not have a board of independent scientists prepared to give the EPA advice?
former Administrative Judge
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Toronto, ON M6H 3B2 Canada
1. H.I. Miller, "Environmental protection, in name only," The Scientist,...