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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been arguing for years that small particulates such as diesel engine emissions and the smokestack vapor from coal-fired power plants are killing Americans.

The premise is behind Barack Obama’s stated intent to shut down coal operations and put coal miners out of work, a goal toward which he’s made great strides as president.

But now a team of scientists is calling for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences to punish “scientific misconduct” by the EPA in its research of the issue.

Because it either was misconduct or the EPA is pushing a campaign based on a lie, they contend.

A policy brief submitted to the National Research Council by the Heartland Institute said the EPA has been “sponsoring experiments on human subjects involving exposures to small particle air pollution that EPA has declared publicly and repeatedly to be toxic, lethal, and carcinogenic.”

“This creates a dilemma for EPA: Either it broke the law by sponsoring human experiments forbidden under law and medical ethics, or its repeated claims to Congress and the American people about the health threat of exposure to low levels of particulate matter were a lie.”

Several scientists and physicians from the institute – a think tank headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois, dedicated to discovering, developing and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems – recently addressed an NRC meeting on the issue.

They asked that appropriate measures be taken to punish the federal agency for its actions in exposing people to what it considers lethal conditions as part of its testing procedures.

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“Either EPA has been lying all along – and low levels of small particulars from coal-fired power plants and other sources do not constitute a public health hazard, and do not warrant the costly, draconian, extremely strict standards that EPA is imposing, or the agency and its hired researchers are guilty of violating legal and ethical standards by having human test subjects (including people with heart and respiratory problems, senior citizens, and even children) breathe what the agency claims are dangerous, carcinogenic, toxic, and lethal air contaminants,” said Paul Driessen, a senior policy adviser with the organization.

“EPA cannot have it both ways, and the National Academy of Sciences and its National Research Council must not allow EPA to do so. Moreoever, either way, EPA officials have clearly violated their oaths of office, by misleading the public and their test subjects.

“There have to be repercussions for this,” he said.

Dr. John Dale Dunn, M.D., the author of the policy brief, told WND that the EPA apparently had tried to have the private, nonprofit National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, through its National Research Council, somehow legitimize its studies and use of test subjects.

He said the National Academies held a series of meetings on the issue and admitted that that “EPA has performed controlled human-exposure studies to help understand exposure to and potential health effects of common air pollutants, such as particulate matter.”

The meetings were to “assess the potential health risks to test subjects who participated in recent studies of air pollutants at EPA’s clinical research facility and comment on the degree of actual risk imposed by the exposures in those studies.”

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The goal was to determine if future studies should be allowed.

Dunn told WND the organization was wrapping up its work when the Heartland experts found out and insisted on another meeting to expose the problem.

“I assert that ambient small particle air pollution is benign and isn’t killing anybody,” he said. “In 45 years of medical practice I am still waiting for a death from small particle exposure. Unreliable epidemiology makes possible the scare about air pollution, but it is an empty vessel.”

He continued: “Epidemiology is not junk science, it’s just limited to be less than proof of causation because it is so uncontrolled, but epidemiology can become deceitful if done without recognizing the limits of the methods and the uncertainties. I see this US EPA air pollution research project – that has been funded by billions, from mostly government sources – as a gigantic deceit, built on uncontrolled observational studies and projecting non-proof small associations to create big claims of deaths in particular.”

Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast said the EPA has been “twisting” science for a long time but now will face the music.

“Assuming, that is, that the National Academy of Sciences doesn’t ignore its legal and ethical mandate to perform an honest evaluation of EPA’s misconduct.”

In reporting on the dispute, the institute headlined its commentary “Will the National Academy of Sciences Allow EPA to Get Away With Murder?”

The EPA did not reply to a WND request for comment Wednesday.

Heartland Research Fellow on Energy Policy Bette Grande wrote: “It is very simple: EPA is either lying or it sponsors deadly human experiments. Either this is just another example of agenda-driven ‘findings’ or EPA is channeling Dr. Mengele. Which is it? If NAS is to have any credibility, this question must be asked and answered.”

Richard Trzupek, environment policy adviser at the institute, said the “root of this scandal is not about the ‘what,’ but about the ‘why.'”

“Over the decades, EPA’s primary mission has morphed from preservation of the environment and protection of human health into preservation of the EPA and protection of its funding,” he said.

“In that context, the agency cannot allow the story of the ‘great clean up’ – America’s incredibly successful efforts to drastically reduce air, water, and ground pollution over the last 50 years – to be become part of our national narrative. The EPA needs a continuing crisis, or rather the appearance of a continuing crisis, in order to justify its self-proclaimed mission and funding.

“Pretending to practice science by exposing ill-informed test subjects to harmless concentrations of air pollutants and then twisting logic into knots by claiming those subjects were not harmed even though the pollutant concentrations were harmful and thus justified new regulations is par for the environmentalist course. Like any creature, EPA’s top priority is self-preservation. Thus almost any measure, no matter how ridiculous or unethical, can be justified in the agency’s eyes if that measure serves what it perceives to be the greater good.”

Dunn told WND the group’s appearance before the National Research Council happened just last week, and the council is expected to deliver a decision soon.

They had been asked by the EPA to investigate and evaluate the experiments on humans, he said, after the EPA’s inspector general “gave them an ambivalent assessment.”

The question is one of standard scientific work, he noted.

“There is no code, guideline, or otherwise, for human experiments that allows researchers to consciously expose someone to harm,” he said.

“The rules are, you can’t do it.”

But the institute’s investigative work on the EPA found, through sworn statements, that is exactly what was happening.

Dunn said in defending the program the EPA said the subjects were exposed to nothing more than what they would have otherwise been exposed to in their ordinary activities. But he pointed out that that fact conflicts with the EPA’s insistence that particulates are lethal and the nation must spend billions to reduce them.

Dunn told WND that the studies that purport to link deaths to particulates actually are all “well within the range of random natural variations.”

Steve Milloy, who has been an attorney for the SEC, an investment manager, a coal company executive and operates online under the name Junk Science, said: “What impact will the meeting have on EPA’s effort to whitewash its crimes? That remains to be seen. By the time we intervened in June, the whitewash (which began a year earlier) was nearly over. No doubt much of the NAS report has already been written. That said, it’s not clear how the NAS Committee can ignore the evidence we presented. Then again, all you need do is look at how Hillary Clinton is able to escape justice. If you are too big to fail/jail, then anything is possible.”

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Dunn, who not only is a physician but also an inactive attorney admitted to the Texas and Louisiana bars, told the committee the explanation for the EPA’s insistence on experiments on humans came from Robert Devlin, a senior research scientist in the “EPA North Carolina School of Medicine Human Experiments” project.

Devlin said, “Controlled human exposure studies conducted by EPA scientists and EPA funded scientists at multiple universities in the United States fill an information gap that cannot be filled by large population studies.”

Dunn then pointed out, “Human exposure experiments with subjects exposed to air pollutants certainly might seem to be a gold standard, but there is a problem – if EPA’s epidemiology based claims asserted that small particles are toxic, lethal and carcinogenic, no human should ever be intentionally exposed [to] such an allegedly toxic and deadly air pollutant.”

Dunn also told the committee that Martin Case, an EPA researcher in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who was involved in the human experimentation, did not explain to the subjects “that EPA considered small particles lethal, toxic and carcinogenic at any level.”

“There is obviously a scam involved,” Dunn charged. “It is important for the [science academy] committee to consider this question: What if the subjects looked to EPA publications and found out that they were being exposed to what EPA thought was toxic, lethal, and carcinogenic concentrations of small particles?”

“We know that none of the signed consent forms used in the EPA sponsored human experiments revealed the official EPA position that small particles are toxic, lethal, and carcinogenic at any level,” he said.

“Such [controlled] experiments have been conducted in the past by monsters who caused great harm to innocents and, in some cases, were convicted and executed,” he said.

What to do now?

“The committee could solve this dilemma very easily by declaring the epidemiology research claims on air pollution made by EPA, the environmental community and the researchers a fraud, unreliable research evidence that does not prove small particles are toxic, lethal, carcinogen, that there are not hundreds, thousands, millions of deaths from small particles and that the claims of the EPA are the product of deceitful scientific methods,” Dunn said.

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