Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator E Scott Pruitt issued a directive intended to strengthen and improve membership on the agency's advisory committees. Consistent with applicable laws and regulations, the directive calls for the EPA to apply the following principles in setting membership on its advisory committees:
- strengthen member independence;
- increase state, tribal and local government participation;
- enhance geographic diversity; and
- promote fresh perspectives.
To achieve the first goal, the directive bars existing recipients of EPA grants as principal investigators or co-investigators, as well as those "in a position that otherwise would reap substantial direct benefit" from such grants, from serving on EPA federal advisory committees. Administration supporters in Congress have applauded the move, while critics have expressed concerns that it will mean an undue role for industry stakeholders.
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