July 14, 2021 — The Society of Environmental Journalists wrote a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan calling on him to make clear that EPA scientists and staff are permitted and even encouraged to share their expertise and work with journalists. This comes on the heels of a leaked internal email reminding EPA employees in one of the agency's offices that they are not allowed to respond directly to press queries. Shortly after he took over, Regan had reaffirmed a pledge made by EPA's first and longest serving administrator, William Ruckelshaus, to operate the agency "in a fishbowl." The letter says that requiring agency experts to refer all press queries to the press office is not in keeping with the transparency he characterized as essential to restoring and maintaining public confidence in the agency's actions.
- Full text of SEJ's July 14, 2021 letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan. Note: The letter includes an attachment which quotes the passages in the EPA's Scientific Integrity Policy to which SEJ objects.