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“Can Joe Biden Rebuild The Ravaged US Environmental Protection Agency?”

“Scientists reveal further details about the damage sustained under Trump — and the challenges for Biden in restoring science’s standing at the agency.”

“For many scientists at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the past four years working in President Donald Trump’s government have felt like an eternity. Largely sidelined, they could only watch as his administration dismantled science advisory panels , disregarded scientific evidence and weakened pollution regulations.

Expectations are high that the next four years will see improvements under incoming president Joe Biden — and there are clear and positive steps he can take, according to more than a dozen current and former EPA scientists interviewed by Nature. But these insiders also say that Biden will have his work cut out in repairing the damage, including restoring the role of science — and scientists — in crafting environmental rules to protect public health.

They point to changes the Trump administration made that have undermined expert advice and scientific data, and that will take time to undo. “We are not naive,” says one mid-career scientist currently at the EPA who, like other insiders in this story, declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the press. “It’s going to take time.””

Jeff Tollefson reports for Nature December 16, 2020.


Editorial: “How To Rebuild the US Environmental Protection Agency” (Nature)