EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, center, and supporters at Oct. 31 announcement, including 2004 ARTBA Award winner Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), far right.

By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory affairs & assistant general counsel, ARTBA

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator E. Scott Pruitt has outlined new guidelines to ensure the independence of key agency scientific advisory panels.

At an Oct. 31 event attended by ARTBA staff, Pruitt said members of the agency’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), Science Advisory Board (SAB) and Board of Scientific Counselors will no longer be able to receive EPA grants.

ARTBA deals most often with the CASAC, having submitted numerous comments to the committee regarding the Clean Air Act’s (CAA) National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The committee can have a big impact on the transportation construction industry, since federal highway funds can be withheld from counties not meeting CAA standards.