In February we FOIA-ed EPA for an explanation of why/how a report describing an illegal experiment exposing children to diesel exhaust was deleted from its data base. EPA responded to our request today.
You can read the EPA’s response (collection of e-mails between technical staff) for yourself, but the bottom line appears to be:
- JunkScience did not imagine the deletion. The deletion did in fact occur;
- The deletion was unusual. It was the first deletion of its kind in the EPA databases’s 13 years of existence; and
- The miscreant remains undiscovered. Although the mechanics of the deletion are understood, no one knows what caused it to occur.
- Cover-up? An EPA higher-up stated, “this situation is very disconcerting in that [EPA Research Triangle Park staff] as of yet has no idea what caused the problem to occur in the first place.”