More Fraud, Misconduct at EPA

A report issued by the EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) found “hundreds of weaknesses—missing data, no log books, falsified measurements—not noted by EPA. The office had found many of the same problems in 1999, and they were identified again by EPA in 2002,” according to Kate Raiford of Raw Story. But EPA did nothing about them and now tries to downplay the issue.

“Fraud in even just one lab can have a significant impact on several thousands, millions of people,” said a spokesman for the EPA OIG. “We think this is an area vulnerable and susceptible to fraud.” The fraud involves both drinking water and wastewater laboratory testing. It includes manipulating equipment to make it look like the experimental protocol was followed or the correct result was produced. EPA OIG also found evidence of altered signatures on reports, no maintenance records on instruments, and numerous quality control failures.

EPA has a long history of scientific malpractice. Both the General Accounting Office and the Congressional Research Service have been severely critical of EPA's policies and procedures on a variety of issues. EPA has violated its own risk assessment guidelines and debased scientific standards regarding secondhand smoke. It was found guilty of violating six federal statutes for using harassment and intimidation to try to compel employee support for its policy on secondhand smoke. It has fraudulently misrepresented the findings of other scientists in order to make it appear they supported conclusions EPA favored. A dozen career employees of EPA wrote a letter to the Washington Times “risking our careers rather than choosing to remain silent” about “egregious misconduct” at EPA. Internal documents available under the Freedom of Information Act show that EPA exaggerated claims and promulgated unwarranted policies. EPA has gone against the advice of it own Science Advisory Board (see, for example, its history of action on particulates.) EPA fraudulently manufactured fake “scientific” studies in order to support its views on sulfur dioxide (see my book MAKERS AND TAKERS for fuller explanation of this.) EPA has funneled taxpayer money to lobby groups that support political action on policies—even unscientific ones—that EPA wants to promote.

I explained in an essay EPA's role in producing the largest groundwater pollution in U.S. history—the MTBE affair—and called for the abolition of EPA on the basis of this and other examples harmful to the environment and human health as well as violative of science and even basic honesty.

And don't forget EPA's decision to ban DDT. Since EPA banned it in 1972, 50 million people have died from malaria. Dr. Robert White-Stevens has called it “Authorized Genocide.” In my book, I state: “Several times as many human beings die every year because of bans on DDT and other pesticides as were killed by Hitler's holocaust, by both sides in all the years of the Viet Nam war, and by the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.” At EPA's hearing on DDT some 300 technical documents were introduced and 150 scientists testified, all in favor of DDT. The world's major scientific organizations testified on behalf of DDT. The judge declared: “The uses of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect of freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife.” But EPA administrator Ruckelshaus—who never attended any of the hearings—nevertheless decided to ban DDT. He later admitted he made a political decision rather than a scientific one.

In MAKERS AND TAKERS, I also explain that Third World countries simply follow the lead of the U.S., not only because they lack the resources to do their own investigations but because they are under financial pressure to do so. They were told, for example, that continuing to use DDT would result in a loss of U.S. financial aid. And DDT isn't the only example. I point out that 300,000 Peruvians contracted cholera—and at least 3,156 died—when local authorities stopped chlorinating drinking water because EPA said chlorine might cause a slight increase in cancer.

Furthermore, banning DDT led to the substitution of far more dangerous chemicals, such as parathion. At the EPA hearing, no evidence was ever presented of even a single person ever dying from DDT. But, according to British entomologist Kenneth Mellanby, “hundreds of human deaths” resulted from the substitution of more dangerous chemicals that replaced DDT.

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