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There is no longer an Environmental Economics Advisory Committee at the EPA

From the inbox:

Dear colleagues,

I want to inform you of recent decisions regarding standing committees under the auspices of the Science Advisory Board (SAB).   On the recommendation of the SAB Staff Office, the SAB, unanimously agreed, at our 5/31/18 administrative meeting, to retire three of our current seven standing committees.   The committees being retired are Ecological Processes and Effects Committee (EPEC), the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee (EEAC) and the Environmental Engineering Committee (EEC).  This decision was made after considering numerous management issues including projected workload and consideration for the efforts and responsibilities of getting Special Government Employees (SGEs), such as yourselves, hired by the Agency.  Things we considered included: the amount of effort it takes to hire SGEs (both on your end and at EPA), the ethics responsibilities that comes with being an SGE, and the significant public process needed to empanel these groups in accordance the Federal Advisory Committee Act.  For all these reasons, I feel it is my responsibility to ensure we have a workload to justify the process and hours of work done by the public, the SGEs and the Agency.  In the case of EPEC, EEAC, and EEC, the decision was made by the SABSO and the Board that the workload does not justify the effort.  To that end, today I have instructed my staff to post the following message on our SABSO web site announcing the decision.

On May 31, 2018, the Science Advisory Board unanimously voted to restructure its supporting standing committees from seven to four. The Board discussed the recent and anticipated matters to come before the Board and found the mix of expertise represented by its current members, the use of ad hoc panels, or augmenting standing committees provides a necessary, responsible, and sufficient approach to provide advice to the Administrator.  The SAB approved retiring the Ecological Processes and Effects Committee (EPEC), the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee (EEAC) and the Environmental Engineering Committee (EEC).   When issues arise in these three areas, the current make-up of the Board sufficiently represents expertise to oversee work on these subject matters and convene panels as statutorily authorized.  For any future advisory requests on ecology, economics or engineering, the SAB Staff Office plans to create ad hoc panels chosen specifically for the topic under consideration.  The SAB’s decision was designed to enhance efficiency based on anticipated workload and upcoming activities.  The four remaining standing committees are the Agricultural Science Committee (ASC), the Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee (CAAC), the Drinking Water Committee (DWC) and the Radiation Advisory Committee (RAC).

Thank you all for your willingness to serve the Agency and the Unites States in your critical role as SGEs.  The SAB can undoubtedly benefit from your expertise. I hope that we may consider you for service on future SAB committees or panels. We appreciate your time and effort, and hope that you will continue working with the SAB as new opportunities arise. The SAB Staff Office thanks you for your participation and willingness to be considered. 

If you wish to discuss this further please feel free to reach out to me.   

Tom Brennan

Acting Director, Science Advisory Board Staff Office

US Environmental Protection Agency

Desk # 202 564 6953

Mobile # 703 581 9300

For your reference, here is the list of eminent scholars unceremoniously dismissed from giving advice to the EPA on matters of Environmental Economics (just wanted to put this here before we disappear from the EPA website):


Boyle, Kevin   Virginia Tech Blacksburg VA Brandt, Sylvia University of Massachusetts Amherst MA Carson, Richard   University of California, San Diego La Jolla CA DeShazo, J.R. (George) University of California at Los Angeles. Los Angeles
CA Evans, Mary   Claremont McKenna College Claremont CA Gray, Wayne Clark University Worcester MA Haab, Timothy   Ohio State University Columbus OH Johnson, F. Reed Duke University Durham NC Kotchen, Matthew   Yale University New Haven CT Neidell, Matthew Columbia University New York NY Opaluch, James   University of Rhode Island Kingston RI Phaneuf, Daniel University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison WI Plantinga, Andrew   University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara CA Ready, Richard Montana State University Bozeman MT Smith, V. Kerry   Arizona State University Tempe AZ Swallow, Stephen K. University of Connecticut Storrs CT Van Houtven, George   RTI International Research Triangle Park NC Wu, JunJie Oregon State University Corvallis OR Zhao, Jinhua   Michigan State University East Lansing MI


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