The EPA created a false science report and despite warnings by other agencies, used it for enforcement against family farmers. This led to the killing of farms and caused widespread losses to Washington family dairies. Government studies of this significance require independent peer review by federal policy. If properly reviewed the study would never have been published as is or used for enforcement.

The EPA refused to follow federal policy and when challenged, lied about the needed review. After this, they refused to provide the documents needed to prove staff lied to cover up their failed review. Farmers sued for violations of required procedures but EPA moved to dismiss the lawsuit because of statute of limitations saying too much time had passed even while they had refused to provide the documents.

The “smoking gun” document is published here. Why is this a smoking gun that proves EPA staff lied? Because EPA staff and the new Region 10 Administrator have maintained that the 2012-2013 Yakima Nitrate Report was fully peer reviewed and that it was classified as “other”, allowing the EPA full discretion in the level of peer review. The emails here show that while a staff member was directed to submit it as “other” in the 2012 Scientific Review, but was not reported to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for peer review.

Federal policy published by OMB requires government science that affects public policy and private action––as this most certainly did––to be classified as influential. The classification of influential requires review of the science and conclusions by multiple independent reviewers.

In actuality, EPA’s peer review plan did identify it as influential and the internal email from EPA staff attorney Jennifer MacDonald below states she considered the review they did adequate for “influential” science. There was, however, NO independent review of the final document, only one final independent review of the draft and the draft did not contain critical data nor the conclusions of the final report. In fact, the final report’s conclusions contradicted those included in the draft.

The differences led the second independent reviewer of the draft from the USDA to have his name removed as a reviewer. Most importantly, although MacDonald defended the very inadequate review for the “influential” classified study, when meeting with farmers she agreed that it was not classified as influential but “other.”

Farmers across the nation are asking: where is the accountability? Why has this current administration refused to undo the injustice against farmers by the previous administration?

You may not believe that the serious accusations that dairy farmers have been making for years are actually true. However, the evidence is indisputable

Why is this so important to farmers? Because several farms have been destroyed by it and an environmental attorney with very close links to the Region 10 staff continues to use the study in litigation against the Washington State Department of Ecology and numerous dairy farmers.

Until the EPA holds these staff members accountable, retracts this study, and agrees with the farmers’ requests to have the USDA conduct a solid study of nitrate sources in this region, this false science report will continue to harm our state and nation’s remaining family dairy farmers.

Get more information and articles on this study at our directory here:

UPDATE: In mid-July EPA released additional internal emails that further show the study was classified as “influential” but wrongly changed to a lower classification once the lack of peer review was noted by the national science advisor for the EPA. These documents make clear the dishonesty in attempting to justify their lack of peer review, and also exposes that current EPA leaders Chris Hladick and Susan Bodine have been duped by EPA staff or are part of the cover-up.

View the proof of the EPA’s lies in the attached documents, and learn more about the falsified nitrate study here:

SFF-EPA-SmokingGUn-2ndFOIA_compressed SFF-EPA-smoking-gun-docs-presentation_compressed