The Environmental Protection Agency has tapped Francesca Grifo, a top staffer at the Union of Concerned Scientists, as its next scientific integrity official, the agency announced Monday.
Grifo is a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit advocacy group that presses for green policies and "scientific integrity" at federal agencies.
"Science is, and continues to be, the backbone of this agency and the integrity of our science is central to the identity and credibility of our work," said Gina McCarthy, administrator for EPA. "Dr. Grifo brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to EPA that will help continue our work to implement the agency’s scientific integrity policy."
Grifo recently praised the EPA for its scientific integrity in a report she led for the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Grifo’s appointment comes at a time when congressional Republicans are assailing the agency for not releasing the scientific data used to justify some of its more controversial regulations.
As part of a deal brokered with Senate Republicans, led by Sen. David Vitter (R., La.), the EPA agreed to release more data and improve its overall transparency.
However, Vitter, the ranking Republican on the Committee on the Environment and Public Works, and other GOP members say the EPA has not yet fulfilled that promise.
"‘Scientific integrity' is a moot point when the science remains secret, no matter who's in this role," a spokesman for Vitter’s office said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. "There's currently no method to independently analyze or verify their science or its integrity."