Influential EPA air advisory panel faces turnover

By Sean Reilly | 03/01/2024 04:22 PM EST

The panel has been a powerful force in shaping changes to ambient air quality standards.

The Dave Johnson coal-fired power plant.

The Dave Johnson coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the morning sun in Glenrock, Wyoming, in 2018. With EPA eyeing three major reviews of air quality standards, an advisory panel that will play a central role in the reviews is facing a shake-up. J. David Ake/AP

With three major reviews of air quality standards in their early stages, EPA is poised to reshape the expert advisory panel that will play a central role in moving them forward.

Starting Monday, the agency opens a monthlong window for nominations to the seven-member Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, with a particular interest in candidates with expertise in epidemiology, environmental engineering, biostatistics and a half-dozen other disciplines, according to the upcoming Federal Register notice.

This fall, at least three vacancies will open up as the current incumbents rotate off after serving the customary two three-year terms. Those include committee Chair Lianne Sheppard, a University of Washington biostatistics professor; Judy Chow, an atmospheric sciences research professor at the Nevada-based Desert Research Institute; and Mark Frampton, a retired University of Rochester pulmonologist.


After EPA’s Science Advisory Board Staff Office vets the nominees, it will be up to Administrator Michael Regan to name replacements for the three. While the first terms of another three incumbents also expire Sept. 30, it’s customary for committee members to win reappointment to a second term. The final decision, however, rests with Regan.