The Obama-appointed Elkins turned a blind eye to actual Obama EPA crimes. But no triviality escapes him in the Trump EPA.
EPA’s Arthur Elkins: A partisan inspector general
By Steve Milloy
Federal inspector generals are not supposed to be partisan. But I can think of no other way to describe the Environmental Protection Agency’s Arthur Elkins.
The Obama-appointed Elkins just released an interim report of his investigation into the various and petty allegations related to EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s management of EPA.
But Elkins is setting some sort of speed record with his investigation into Pruitt. Consider my own experience with Elkins and the EPA IG office.
In 2012, I had obtained information via the Freedom Of Information Act that EPA scientists had been conducting what can only be described as illegal human experiments at their laboratory in the University of North Carolina medical school.
Briefly, my information indicated that EPA was conducting experiments in which agency “scientists” placed elderly and sick people one-at-a-time in a gas chamber and exposed to them diesel exhaust from a truck idling outside the laboratory. EPA had previously told the public and testified to Congress that the levels of diesel exhaust involved could cause death within hours after inhalation.
The purpose of these experiments, as EPA later essentially admitted in federal court as part of a lawsuit that I had filed, was to see if the pollutants actually did hurt or kill people. Moreover, EPA had failed to inform any of its human guinea pigs that the agency had previously determined that the air pollutants could cause death within hours after inhalation.
These ghastly experiments were patently illegal, violating everything from the Nuremberg Code governing the use of human subjects in medical experiments to related federal regulations to state law concerning informed consent in medical procedures.
Though Elkins did not respond to me, by October 2012, Congress had gotten a hold of Elkins and forced him to conduct an limited investigation. Despite the slam-dunk nature of my complaint, Elkins dragged out his investigation, finally issuing a report in March 2014 – almost two years after my original letter to him.
Although the body of Elkins report confirmed everything I had accused EPA of doing, he had dishonestly tried to defuse the explosive news with the report’s first and totally false sentence – “The EPA followed The EPA followed applicable regulations when it exposed 81 human study subjects to concentrated airborne particles or diesel exhaust emissions in five EPA studies conducted during 2010 and 2011.”
But even the mainstream media wasn’t fooled as the Associated Press, Washington Post and New York Times all more accurately reported the story with headlines like the AP’s “EPA Fails to Disclose Risks in Human Tests.”
Even though I was the original complainant and knew the most about what EPA was doing, I had not heard from Elkins. He never interviewed me and never requested any additional information. – that is, until Donald Trump was elected President.
In December 2016 – more than four-and-one-half years after my original letter to him – Elkins’ office finally got back to me and requested a meeting to discuss my allegations. Possibly my position on the Trump EPA transition team also had something to do with this sudden interest in my evidence and views.
In January 2017, I met with three of Elkins staff for 90 minutes. They seemed interested. But then in an August 2017 follow-up report that once again falsely claiming that all is well with EPA’s human experiments, there was no mention of any information I had presented them.
I had caught EPA and its staff physicians committing hundreds if not thousands of counts of prosecutable felonies. But as far as Arthur Elkins was concerned, it was hear-no-evil, see-no-evil and most of all, speak-no-evil about the serious wrongs committed by the Obama EPA.
But now a pay raise for an EPA staffer in the Trump administration? Well now, I guess that’s something that gets Elkins attention.
Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is the author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA (Bench Press, 2016).
April 17, 2018 at 11:41AM