The Trump Administration is shutting down a federal environmental office that tests the effects of chemical exposure on kids, according to The Hill.
In the latest proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) will merge with other offices at the agency and employees will be assigned elsewhere, sources told The Hill.
NCER provided fellowships to study the harmful effects of chemicals on children’s health.
“At the appropriate time, the science staff currently in NCER will be redeployed to the [Office of Research and Development] labs/centers/offices matching their expertise to organizational needs,” a spokesperson told the Hill. “This reorganization could result in a change of positions or functions. Staff in the affected organizations will retain the grade and career ladder of their position of record.”
The new Office of Resource Management will consist of grants that were managed by NCER, EPA’s Office of Administrative and Research Support and the Office of Program Accountability and Resource Management.
Opponents against this proposed change blasted the EPA’s decision to merge the office saying that it will affect children’s health.
“Those programs have been so successful in advancing our scientific understanding and our ability to address the ways that environmental chemicals can impact children’s health,” said Tracey Woodruff, a former senior scientist and policy adviser at the EPA. “That makes you think, is this really just an efficiency argument masking their real intention to get rid of the research grant program, which they have said they want to do in the past?”
The White House’s 2018 and 2019 budget proposal called for eliminating programs under NCER, according to The Hill.