WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2017 - Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has issued a new directive prohibiting members of any of its 22 scientific advisory committees from receiving EPA grants. “Members shall be independent from EPA, which shall include a requirement that no member of any of EPA’s federal advisory committees be currently in receipt of EPA grants, either as principal investigator or co-investigator, or in a position that otherwise would reap substantial direct benefit from an EPA grant,” the agency said in a news release. “This principle would not apply to state, tribal or local government agency recipients of EPA grants.” Environmental groups and Democrats have been critical of the new policy. New Mexico Democratic Senator Tom Udall said, “Now, instead of independent science guiding the way, hired guns for industry will be steering EPA policy on central issues affecting clean air, clean water, and public health.” But supporters such as House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said Pruitt is “restoring the EPA advisory boards to their original purpose – to provide the administrator objective advice on science and technology policies.” Click here to see a list obtained by E&E News of some members of the agency’s Science Advisory Board and Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee.