Court upholds USEPA policy barring grantees from advisory panels

“This is an action arising out of a directive by the Environmental Protection Agency that prohibits scientists in receipt of certain EPA grants from serving on the agency’s federal advisory committees. The complaint alleges that the directive was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. §§ 701-706.

Defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), on grounds of lack of standing, finality, ripeness, and justiciability, and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).

It is perhaps worth noting at the outset what this case does not involve. It is not about the best way to develop and implement our national environmental policies, or who are the proper people to assist in that process. And of course it is not about the wisdom or effectiveness of those policies. Rather, this case involves a fairly narrow set of issues: in substance, whether a specific EPA conflict-of-interest directive violates federal law, and whether plaintiffs are the proper parties to assert such claims. Based on established federal law, and for the reasons set forth below, the challenged directive is not subject to judicial reversal, and accordingly the complaint will be dismissed.” click here

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