She added, "The EPA is treating this scientific advisory board like its members are political appointees when these committees are not political positions".
According to The New York Times, EPA spokesman J.P. Freire suggested that Scott Pruitt is not interested in maintaining the science-only direction of the board.
EPA spokesman J.P. Freire said the agency wants to consider new nominees, including those who may now work for regulated industries.
On 5 May 2017, Michigan State University environmental economist Robert Richardson tweeted that his appointment on the Environmental Protection Agency's Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) was terminated, stating that the news was both unusual and surprising.
EPA spokesman J.P. Freire said in an email that "no one has been fired or terminated", and that Pruitt had simply made a decision to bring in fresh advisers.
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Courtney Flint, a professor of natural resource sociology at Utah State University who has served on the board since 2014, said she was surprised by the dismissal. "EPA is stressing here that this is supposed to be an open and competitive process; no one was ever supposed to be guaranteed a second term".
Pruitt has been attacked by critics for his closeness to the energy industry, raising concerns from environmentalists that he will move to replace the board members with more individuals from the energy sector.
The board is comprised of top academic experts in a variety of environment-related fields, and the board's role is to ensure that the EPA carries out its mission based on the best available science.
Republican President Donald Trump signed an order in March undoing the Clean Power Plan and other climate change rules that had been imposed by his predecessor, Democratic President Barack Obama. "This approach is what was always intended for the Board and we're making a clear break with the last administration's approach". At a February House hearing, he said the Science Advisory Board members are "rubber stamps who approve all the EPA's regulation".
The move - which has been criticized by government watchdog groups and associations of scientists - is out of the playbook of U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, who represents parts of Central and South Austin and who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Dropping experts who could challenge the scientific basis for his decisions might sound depressing, but it's wholly consistent with everything else we've seen so far.
Conservative federal legislators have complained that the EPA's Scientific Advisory Board (a 47-member panel that works with the Board of Scientific Counselors) lacks "balance", although the board is independent and composed of relevant experts who can assess underlying science that informs EPA policy.