Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, recently led a group of Democratic senators to demand information and documents about the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent dismissal and appointment of members to its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, its decision to disband two key scientific air pollution advisory panels and its invitation for public comment on the nomination of 174 scientists to EPA’s Science Advisory Board.

The senators point out that the scientists on federal advisory committees are supposed to provide independent, scientific and technical advice to EPA administrators on major agency programs.

“These actions, taken together with past similar actions, could have the effect of jeopardizing the environment and human health, because they are likely to result in the replacement of renowned scientists who can provide EPA with advice on how to best protect people from the effects of environmental pollution with less qualified, industry representatives who may also have conflicts of interest,” the senators wrote.

The letter was also signed by Sens. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts; Margaret Hassan, D-New Hampshire; Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts; Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York; Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland; Ron Wyden, D-Oregon; Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut; Kamala Harris, D-California; Cory Booker, D-New Jersey; Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire; Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii; Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois; and Tina Smith, D-Minnesota.

A copy of the letter can be found at