“The EPA has stacked the panel, which is required by law to be independent and unbiased, with researchers who have received over $190 million in discretionary grants from the EPA,” said Steve Milloy, an attorney and senior fellow with E&E Legal. “This clearly violates the law and makes a mockery of the notion of ‘independent’ scientific review.”

“We are asking the court to prevent the EPA from convening the panel until the panel can be formed in a balanced manner in compliance with applicable laws,” said Dr. David Schnare, E&E Legal’s general counsel and a 33-year veteran of the EPA.

The EPA’s regulation of ambient airborne fine particulate matter, soot or dust in outdoor air also called “PM2.5” has been scientifically controversial since the EPA began the process of regulating it in the early 1990s. The EPA claims that any inhalation of PM2.5 can cause death within hours and that PM2.5 in outdoor air kills hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. Not only has the EPA hidden from public scrutiny for more than 20 years key scientific data that its PM2.5 regulation relies on, but also the agency stacks the legally required CASAC panel with EPA-paid researchers.

The EPA’s claims about the lethality of PM2.5 have been a primary basis for the agency’s justification of its air quality standards for particulate matter and ozone, as well as regulations key to the Obama administration’s so-called “war on coal,” including the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, Mercury Air Transport Standard and Clean Power Plan. State implementation of EPA’s PM2.5 standards is also quite costly as evidenced by E&E Legal member Western States Trucking Association, whose own members are forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars retrofitting truck engines to comply with California state PM2.5 emissions requirements as mandated by the EPA.

“Not only does the EPA pay researchers to produce controversial research that advances its PM2.5 regulatory agenda, but the agency pays the very same researchers to review their own controversial work,” said Milloy. “Of the 26 members the EPA selected to be on the CASAC PM Panel, 24 of them have been paid or are currently being paid by the EPA a total sum in excess of $190 million. The EPA’s supposedly ‘independent’ review process is entirely rigged to advance EPA’s agenda.”