Issue 1 - YES Francesca

Issue 1 - YES Francesca - Written Testimony of Francesca T....

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1 Written Testimony of Francesca T. Grifo, Ph.D. Senior Scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists Director of the Scientific Integrity Program Before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Hearing on “EPA’s New Ozone Standards” May 20, 2008 This testimony is presented by Dr. Francesca Grifo, Senior Scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a better world. The full testimony is submitted for the record and Dr. Grifo will summarize her statement for the Committee on the problem of political interference in the work of federal government scientists. Good morning, my name is Dr. Francesca Grifo. I am a Senior Scientist and the Director of the Scientific Integrity Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. I would like to thank Chairman Waxman, Ranking Member Davis and the Members of the Committee for the opportunity to speak to you this morning about the problem of political interference in the work of federal government scientists. This written testimony contains a brief introduction (p. 1), an overview of the issue of scientific integrity (p. 3), a summary of the report Interference at the EPA: Politics and Science at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released April 23, 2008 (p. 6), a detailed analysis of political interference in the EPA’s ozone decision (p. 11), a summary of reforms needed to restore scientific integrity to the federal policy making process (p. 17) and some concluding thoughts (p. 23). Also included are a timeline of abuses of science compiled by UCS (p. 24), selected essay responses from UCS’s survey of EPA scientists (p. 27), a statement on Scientific Freedom and the Public Good endorsed by many prominent scientists (p. 32), and brief summaries of four past surveys of federal government scientists conducted by UCS (p. 33). I. Introduction The United States has enjoyed prosperity and health in large part because of its strong and sustained commitment to independent science. As the nation faces new challenges at home and growing competitiveness abroad, the need for a robust federal scientific enterprise remains critical. Unfortunately an epidemic of political interference in federal science threatens this legacy, promising serious and wide-ranging consequences. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been especially harmed by political interference in its work to protect human health and the environment. The flagrant political interference in EPA’s decision regarding the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone is emblematic of this epidemic.
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2 Despite the unanimous recommendation from the EPA’s scientific advisors that the ozone NAAQS should be set no higher than 70 parts per billion (ppb), in March 2008 EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson issued the final ozone standard at 75 ppb – a level not based on
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Issue 1 - YES Francesca - Written Testimony of Francesca T....

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