For third time, judge tosses suit over advisory panel makeup

Science | AAAS | 3/27/2019 | Staff
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A federal judge today dismissed a third lawsuit challenging a far-reaching EPA restriction on advisory committee membership, likely dealing a fatal blow to opponents’ hopes of overturning the policy anytime soon.

In the ruling, U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor said the Union of Concerned Scientists had failed to show that the 2017 directive by then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Saylor, based in the District of Massachusetts, also said the Boston-based advocacy group had failed to state a legal claim for which relief could be granted.

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Group - Acronym - UCS - Suit - January

The group, often known by its acronym UCS, filed the suit in January 2018, three months after Pruitt had generally barred EPA grant recipients from serving on agency advisory committees. Federal judges in other states also recently threw out two challenges brought by a variety of other organizations. Taken together, the three rulings make it probable that the policy will survive through the end of President Trump's current term in January 2021.

In an email, EPA spokesman James Hewitt said the agency is reviewing the decision and is pleased that Saylor granted its dismissal motion.

UCS - Genna - Reed - Group

UCS’s Genna Reed said the group is looking at its...
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