The conflict of interest policy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (http://www.nationalacademies.org/coi) prohibits the appointment of an individual to a committee authoring a Consensus Study Report if the individual has a conflict of interest that is relevant to the task to be performed. An exception to this prohibition is permitted if the National Academies determines that the conflict is unavoidable and the conflict is publicly disclosed. A determination of a conflict of interest for an individual is not an assessment of that individual’s actual behavior or character or ability to act objectively despite the conflicting interest.
Michael Stenstrom was determined to have a conflict of interest in relation to his service on the Committee on Improving the Next-Generation EPA Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Stormwater Discharges because he serves on the Santa Susana Stormwater Expert Panel, a committee constituted to provide guidance to Boeing and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board on stormwater management at the Santa Susana site.
The National Academies concluded that in order for the committee to accomplish the tasks for which it was established, its membership must include at least one person with current experience in, and knowledge of, statistical and numerical methods in the analyses of industrial stormwater data. As described in his biographical summary, Dr. Stenstrom has extensive current experience developing models to estimate pollutant discharges in stormwater runoff, and in applying mathematical modeling and statistical methods to the analysis of urban and industrial stormwater data.
The National Academies determined that the experience and expertise of Dr. Stenstrom was needed for the committee to accomplish the task for which it has been established. The National Academies could not find another available individual with the equivalent experience and expertise who does not have a conflict of interest. Therefore, the National Academies concluded that the conflict was unavoidable.
The National Academies believed that Dr. Stenstrom would serve effectively as a member of the committee, and the committee can produce an objective report, taking into account the composition of the committee, the work to be performed, and the procedures to be followed in completing the study.
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