On Thursday news broke that the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to remove its Office of the Science Advisor. The science advisor serves as a counsel to the EPA administrator to update them on scientific research focused on health and environmental regulations, and to make sure the highest quality science is integrated into the agency’s policies. The decision has not officially been made public.
President Trump took longer than usual to nominate a person to lead the Office of the Science Advisor, but eventually nominated meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier in August. Kelvin has already gone through the Senate Confirmation process, but the latest plans by the EPA put his position in limbo.
John Konkus, a spokesman for the EPA, emailed the New York Times a statement from the current science adviser, Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, in which she said that the decision to dissolve the office would “combine offices with similar functions” and “eliminate redundancies”.
Many people took to Twitter to disagree with the proposed plans:
On Tuesday the EPA placed Dr. Ruth Etzel, the head of the EPA’s Office of Children’s Health, on administrative leave. Etzel was asked to give up her badge, keys and cellphone. The EPA has declined to comment on personal matters.
In an email obtained by BuzzFeed, Etzel said, “I appear to be the ‘fall guy’ for their plan to ‘disappear’ the office of children’s health. It had been apparent for about 5 months that the top EPA leaders were conducting ‘guerrilla warfare’ against me as the leader of OCHP, but now it’s clearly official.”
Dr. Etzel has received an abundance of support, including calls to reinstate her to her position: