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EPA chief Michael Regan. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan has reinstated one of two key advisory boards, both of which he dismantled in March as a commitment to "scientific integrity," AP reports.

Why it matters: These panels help provide scientific guidance to the agency that can inform its rule-making on air quality standards and other environmental policies.

  • Regan, some Democrats and watchdog groups have said the Trump administration's appointed advisers were viewed as overly friendly to business and favored the chemical and fossil fuel industries.
    • Former President Trump's first EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, removed several academic scientists from the panels before resigning amid a slew of ethics scandals. His successor, Andrew Wheeler, largely continued his policies.
  • The March "reset," as Regan termed it, helped to overhaul the clean-air panel and Science Advisory Board, removing more than 45 members from the two boards.
  • The reinstated panels will allow EPA to return to relying on guidance from a balanced group of experts, according to Regan.

What they're saying: "From the very beginning of my tenure, I have committed to ensuring that science is restored as the backbone of everything EPA does to protect people and the environment from pollution," Regan told AP.

  • The new advisory panel will provide "credible, independent expertise to EPA’s reviews of air quality standards that is grounded in scientific evidence," he added.

Go deeper

Sep 22, 2021 - Health

FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people at high risk of severe COVID-19 and people 65 years and older.

Driving the news: The approval comes just days after an FDA advisory panel recommended boosters for the two groups but overwhelmingly voted against the third shots for younger Americans.

Updated 38 mins ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.