Greenwire’s Robin Bravender and Amanda Peterka apparently can’t even manage he-said-she-said journalism. EPA said everything was okay and, well, what else matters — especially if you’re a journalist who wants to have access to EPA in the future?
As you read the article, you’ll note that Bravender/Peterka never even approach the central fact in this controversy:
EPA has repeatedly determined, testified and claimed that the air pollutants being tested can cause health effects as extreme as immediate death even at exposure levels far below regulatory levels.
If this fact is true (click here for a summary of EPA’s claims), then EPA has violated every law and regulation issued since World War II for the protection of humans participating in scientific experiments. That is, it is per se illegal to treat people as guinea pigs by exposing them to dangerous substances in non-therapeutic experiments just to see what happens to them. Moreover, this illegality is further compounded by failing to disclose to the subjects the agency-determined health risks of the experiment.
EPA cannot tell the public that airborne particulate matter can cause death within hours even at normal ambient levels but then not make the same disclosure to the study subjects — who will be tested at levels up to 70 times greater than ambient air. Because this disclosure was never made, the required informed consent could not be obtained. This conduct not only violates federal law and regulations, but also state laws — especially in the case of the physicians participating in the experiments. These are civil and even criminal violations of law.
The only way EPA and its researchers do not have these liabilities is if the agency has been lying to the public and Congress about the dangers of the tested pollutants — in which case EPA should have a whole new set of problems, starting with its credibility.
There is no third option. It is one or other other. EPA has lied to someone. Readers of this page know who EPA has lied to — and an honest and competent journalist would likely come to the same conclusion. Even the EPA Inspector General validated our side of the story, a fact apparently lost on Bravender and Peterka.
Bravender and Peterka failed to bring up the scandal’s central issue in their lengthy report — an issue that we first spotlighted when news of the scandal broke in April 2012. Instead, the bulk of their article merely parrots EPA’s lame-ass cover-up excuses. It is unfortunate that they lack the skills and/or integrity to do their jobs properly. Wake us when they decide become journalists rather than EPA mouthpieces — and we will applaud them louder than we denounce them now.