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CRS: EPA Ignores Stakeholder Concerns, Nominates Insider to Serve on CASAC


In the face of criticism from Capitol Hill and others across the country, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doubled down and nominated Donna Kenski, a tried and true Administration ally, to serve again on the Clean Air Science Advisory Committee (CASAC). In doing so, EPA ignored nearly one hundred comments that supported qualified candidates who would have brought both a fresh perspective and balance to a committee that has long been accused of being insular and out of touch.

“The Obama-EPA’s decision to retain Donna Kenski to serve on a second term on CASAC demonstrates that the Agency does not care about independent voices and fresh perspectives,” said Karen Kerrigan, on behalf of the Center for Regulatory Solutions (CRS), a project of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. “Remember, the EPA had numerous, highly qualified nominees to choose from. This decision proves that CASAC is simply a tool of the EPA – with candidates selected on their predisposition to agree with EPA’s predetermined conclusions.”

CASAC was established by Congress to provide independent advice to the EPA Administrator on the scientific and technical bases of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and other pollutants. However, many in Congress argue that that CASAC is not independent from EPA. Of the nominees before the agency, Dr. Robert Blanz with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Mr. Craig Butler of the Ohio EPA, Dr. Michael Honeycutt of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Dr. Jim Boylan of the Georgia Department of Natural Resource, and Mr. Tom Moore with the Western States Air Resources Council, each represented an opportunity for EPA to select a candidate who would have improved CASAC’s understanding of the challenges currently unrepresented states are facing as a result of EPA’s controversial new ozone standard.

Instead, Administrator McCarthy selected Donna Kenski – someone who has already served a three year term on CASAC and already expressed her belief that the Ozone NAAQS should be lowered to an unattainable 60 parts per billion. Clearly, EPA’s selection does nothing to bring a fresh perspective or balance to the controversial panel.

About CRS

The Center for Regulatory Solutions is a project of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, a 501c(4) advocacy, research, education and networking organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For twenty-three years, SBE Council has worked to educate elected officials, policymakers, business leaders and the public about policies that enable business start-up and growth.