GAO: EPA skirted procedures in overhaul of science panels

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Government Accountability Office says the Trump administration skirted some procedures and ethics rules in remaking the Environmental Protection Agency’s science advisory boards.

The GAO findings come after Democratic senators requested the probe. The EPA has remade the membership of some key advisory panels, adding industry representatives and cutting the number of academic scientists.

The GAO said Monday the EPA failed to follow some procedures and ethics rules in picking appointees.

The EPA denies any wrongdoing in how it considered candidates. EPA spokesman Michael Abboud says the agency has doubled its career ethics attorney staff to make sure the agency properly handles all financial disclosures.

One of those seeking the review, Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, says the EPA rigged its advisory boards in favor of polluters.

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