EPA fails to explain deletion of illegal diesel experiment on children from data base

In February we FOIA-ed EPA for an explanation of why/how a report describing an illegal experiment exposing children to diesel exhaust was deleted from its data base. EPA responded to our request today.

You can read the EPA’s response (collection of e-mails between technical staff) for yourself, but the bottom line appears to be:

  • JunkScience did not imagine the deletion. The deletion did in fact occur;
  • The deletion was unusual. It was the first deletion of its kind in the EPA databases’s 13 years of existence; and
  • The miscreant remains undiscovered. Although the mechanics of the deletion are understood, no one knows what caused it to occur.
  • Cover-up? An EPA higher-up stated, “this situation is very disconcerting in that [EPA Research Triangle Park staff] as of yet has no idea what caused the problem to occur in the first place.”

It should also be noted that several efforts to learn more about the study from the University of Southern California, where the experiment seems to have occurred, have gone unacknowledged/unanswered.

Related reading:

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6 responses to “EPA fails to explain deletion of illegal diesel experiment on children from data base

  1. Accidental deletion–the new paper shredder!

  2. They’re saying na-na-na-na we’re only doing stuff like this by word of mouth these days and you’ll never find a document referring to it anywhere, hahaha.

  3. They undoubtedly regularly back up their database. They should be able to restore it from one of their backups. If they refuse to do that, or if they claim there is no backup, or if they claim the backup could not be restored, then I suspect there is more than one person involved in the coverup.

  4. “as of yet has no idea what caused the problem to occur in the first place”

    Translation: we admit it was deleted but we refuse to admit that we deleted it.

  5. I read the EPA emails and it believes the loss data occurred when personnel attempted to reduce100 gigabyte database so it would accept queries. Anyone who has worked with databases is aware that one modification can have unexpected consequences.

  6. Only an IDIOT would modify a database without at least one backup copy (and require such a backup before anyone gets to make changes). Really bright IT guys make two. Sorry, I don’t by the excuse.

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