Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

The Environmental Protection Agency headquartersin Washington, D.C. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Officials appointed by former President Trump interfered to overrule career scientists in a safety assessment for a toxic chemical linked to health issues at the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA said Tuesday.

Why it matters: EPA career scientists found in a review that conclusions made by the officials in regards to the chemical, PFBS, "were compromised by political interference as well as infringement of authorship and the scientific independence of the authors' conclusions," according to a statement by President Biden's EPA.

"This constitutes a violation of the agency’s Scientific Integrity Policy and the documents have been removed from the EPA website while the agency completes its review."
— EPA statement
  • The chemical affected by the January changes to the safety assessment has been linked to the contamination of drinking water affecting some 860,000 Americans.
  • Politico reported at the time that Trump-appointed officials had "overruled the agency's career scientists to weaken" the assessment.

What they're saying: "Issuing documents, like the PFBS Toxicity Assessment, that include conclusions purporting to reflect science when in fact they are the product of biased political interference undermines the agency’s scientific integrity policy," said Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, acting assistant administrator for the Office of Research and Development and the agency’s acting science advisor.

  • It "erodes the trust that the American public has in EPA, the quality of our science, and our ability to protect their health and the environment," she added.

What's next: A Trump administration release and the agency’s website will be updated to indicate the removal of the assessment and provide transparency around the agency’s actions.

The big picture: Biden has ordered a government-wide review of over 100 Trump-era policies and direct agencies to prepare a suite of emissions and energy efficiency rules, after four years of the former president rolling back a slew of Obama-era regulations.

  • Biden has issued a memorandum on restoring "trust in government through scientific integrity and evidence-based policymaking."

For the record: The EPA's statement comes one day after CDC director Rochelle Walensky told the Washington Post that "minority" of the health agency's COVID-19 pandemic response guidelines had been "politically swayed" by some Trump-appointed staff.

The other side: In January, an EPA spokesperson with the Trump administration defended the changes, telling Politico it's "routine" to consult with others in the agency.

  • "This collaboration is important as other program offices have information and expertise that can improve the scientific quality of the work product under review," she said.

Go deeper

Juneteenth forces U.S. to confront lasting impact of slavery economy

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Corbis, Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Juneteenth, a once-obscure commemoration of emancipation of enslaved people in Texas, has transformed into an annual reminder about how slavery robbed Black Americans of generational wealth.

Why it matters: That lack of generational wealth still denies Black families the economic security that many white families take for granted.

Biden to meet with U.S. financial regulators on Monday

Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

President Biden will meet with financial regulators on Monday.

Driving the news: "The meeting will cover regulatory priorities including climate-related financial risk and agency actions to promote financial inclusion and to responsibly increase access to credit," said press secretary Jen Psaki, according to a press pool report.