05-19-2014 Goodman Houser AMICI CURIAE Brief

(Unfortunately, Adobe PDF file converter has a tendency to run words together

so I am providing access both through the link below as well as by scrolling down to read the ‘converted file.)

05-19-2014 Goodman Houser DBOC brief

No. 13-1244

————————————————————————

In the Supreme Court of theUnited States

——————

DRAKES BAY OYSTER COMPANY AND KEVIN LUNNY,

Petitioners,

SALLY JEWELL, SECRETARY OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR; ETAL.,

——————

On Petition For WritOf Certiorari To The UnitedStates Court Of Appeals For The Ninth Circuit

——————

BRIEF OF DR. COREY S. GOODMAN AND DR.PAUL R.HOUSER

AS AMICI CURIAE

SUPPORTING PETITIONERS AND REVERSAL

 

PETERS.PROWS

Counsel of Record JOHN BRISCOE LAWRENCE S.BAZEL BRISCOE IVESTER &

BAZEL LLP

155 Sansome Street

Seventh Floor

San Francisco, CA 94104(415) 402-2700

pprows@briscoelaw.net

CounselFor Amici Curiae

 

 

TABLE OFCONTENTS

INTEREST OF AMICI CURIAE…………………………. 1

SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT:SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY IS

CENTRAL TO OUR DEMOCRACY…………… 6

ARGUMENT………………………………………………….. 8

  1. SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT UNDERMINES OUR DEMOCRACY:

THREE EXAMPLES……………………………….. 8

  1. Drakes Bay Oyster Company………….. 8
  2. KlamathRiver DamsRemoval……….. 13
  3. Department of Justice………………….. 16
  1. THERE ISA LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SCIENTIFIC

MISCONDUCT IN GOVERNMENT………… 17

  1. Need For Scientific Integrity

Policy BecomesApparent………………. 17

  1. The Rocky Development And Implementation Of The President’s Scientific Integrity

Policy…………………………………………. 19

  1. COURTS HAVE AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN ENSURING SCIENTIFIC

INTEGRITY IN GOVERNMENT…………….. 22

CONCLUSION……………………………………………… 26

 

Cases

 

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

 

Daubertv.Merrell Dow Pharms.,

509 U.S. 579 (1993)……………………………….7, 22, 23

General Electric,Inc.v. Joiner,

522 U.S. 136 (1997)……………………………………. 25

San Luis & Delta-MendotaWater Auth. v.

Salazar,

(E.D. Cal. no. 1:09-cv-00407)………………………23,24

United States v. Olsen,

737 F.3d 625 (9th Cir.2013)…………………16, 17, 21

Statutes and Other Authorities

33 U.S.C.§1251(a)(2)………………………………………. 9

Fed. R. Evid. R. 702……………………………………….. 22

P.L. 106-554 § 515, 114 Stat. 2763A-153-154

(December 21,2000)…………………………………… 20

Delta Smelt Cases,Bench Rulingon Motion toStay Pending Appeal (Sept. 16, 2011), dkt. no.1056, availableat http://plf.typepad.com/

files/9-16-11-motion-to-stay-final-1.pdf………………… 23

Department of Justice, Scientific and ResearchIntegrityPolicy, at 1,available athttp://www.justice.gov/open/doj-scientific-

integrity-policy.pdf…………………………………….. 21

Department of theInterior, Integrity ofScientific and Scholarly Activities (January28, 2011),available at http://elips.doi.gov/

elips/0/ doc/3045/Page1.aspx………………………… 10

 

 

Emily Yehle, “Rushed USGSReport OnOysterFarm Misrepresented Biologist’sFindings”,Greenwire(May 14, 2013), availableathttp://www.eenews.net/greenwire/

stories/1059981143……………………………………… 20

“In Private Letter, Tim Ragen Admits NoEvidenceFor Seal Study”,Point Reyes Light(August 9, 2012), available at http://www.ptreyeslight.com/article/private-letter-tim-

ragen-admits-no-evidence-seal-study…………….. 13

John Bowman,“Secretary Of InteriorAnnouncesResignation”, Taft MidwayDriller(Jan. 17, 2013), availableat http://www.taftmidwaydriller.com/article/20130117/NEW

S/130119808/0/FRONTPAGE……………………….. 14

John P. Holdren, Director, Officeof Science andTechnology Policy,Memorandum on Scientific Integrity, (December 17, 2010),available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/scientific-

integrity-memo-12172010.pdf………………………. 19

Letter from Dr. Paul Houser, Scientific IntegrityOfficer, Bureauof Reclamation, to theDepartment of theInterior, Allegation OfScientific And Scholarly Misconduct AndReprisal For A Disclosure ConcerningTheBiased Summarization Of Key ScientificConclusionsFor The Klamath River DamRemoval Secretarial Determination Process(February 24, 2012), available athttp://www.peer.org/assets/docs/doi/8_8_12_H

ouser_sci_integ_complaint.pdf…………………. 14-15

 

 

Letter from JonathanB. Jarvis,Director,National Park Service, to Amber D. Abbasi,counsel for Dr. Goodman(Dec. 21, 2012),available athttp://causeofaction.org/assets/uploads/2013/03/FINAL-Report_Exhibits.pdf

at Exhibit 51 (page 1003)…………………………….. 20

Marine Mammal Commission,Mariculture AndHarbor Seals In Drakes Estero,California at

27 (November 22, 2011)………………………………. 12

National Academy of Sciences, ResponsibleScience: Ensuringthe Integrityof theResearchProcess at 27 (1992),availableat

http://nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=1864.…………. 18

National ResearchCouncil, EndangeredAndThreatenedFishes In The Klamath RiverBasin: Causes Of Decline And Strategies ForRecovery at 5-6 (2004), availableat http://

www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10838…………. 13

Presidential Memorandum on Scientific Integrity (March 9, 2009), availableat http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/memorandum-heads-executive-departments-

and-agencies-3-9-09……………………………………. 19

RemarksBy The President At The NationalAcademy Of Sciences Annual Meeting(April28, 2009),available at http://www.whitehouse. gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-the-National-Academy-of-

Sciences-Annual-Meeting………………………………. 6

 

 

RESOLVE,IndependentEvaluationOf TheScientific Record Pertaining To TheAllegations Of Dr. Paul Houser(August 2012)available at http://www.doi.gov/scientificintegrity/upload/DOI-SI-Case-313-

Independent-Report.pdf………………………………. 15

U.S. House of Representatives,Committee onNatural Resources,Officeof Oversight andInvestigations:Holding InteriorWatchdogAccountable, 59-66 (February 21, 2013),available at http://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/oversightreportdepartment

ofinterior.pdf…………………………………………….. 15

William Broad and NicholasWade, Betrayers OfThe Truth: Fraud And Deceit In The Halls Of

Science(1982)……………………………………………. 18

 

 

INTERESTOFAMICICURIAE1

  1. CoreyS.Goodman
  2. CoreyS.Goodman’sinterestinthiscasedatesbacktoApril28,2007whenMarinCountySupervisor Steve Kinsey (then President of the BoardofSupervisors,andtodayChairoftheCalifornia CoastalCommission)contactedDr.Goodman,baseduponhisscientificcredentialsandexperienceinscienceandpublicpolicy,andaskedhimtoanalyzetheNationalParkServicescienceconcerningDrakesEstero.SupervisorKinseyinvitedDr.GoodmantotestifyasanindependentscientistattheMay 8,2007CountyhearingastowhetherPark ServicedatasupportedParkServiceclaims.Atthetime,Dr.GoodmandidnotknowKevinLunny,ownerofDrakesBayOysterCompany.Dr.GoodmantestifiedthatParkServiceofficialsmisrepresentedtheirown dataineverycategoryofenvironmentalharm.HisanalysisshowedParkServicedatadidnotsupportPark Serviceclaims.
  3. Goodman’sknowledgeofthescience involvingtheoysterfarmledhimtowritenumerousreportstoFederal,State,andCountyagenciesandcommittees,toworkwithelectedofficialsatalllevelsofgovernment,andtopublishnumerousarticles/op-edsinlocalmediaabouttheoysterfarmcontroversy

 

 

 

1    Counselforpetitionersis alsocounselforamiciDr.GoodmanandDr.Houser,and,withtheassistanceofamici,preparedthisbriefinitsentirely.Allhardcostsarebeingpaidbyamici,andcounsel’stimehasbeengivenprobono.Amicigavetimelynoticetoallpartiesoftheirintenttofilethisbrief.Allpartiesgavetheirconsenttothisfiling,andthoseconsentsarebeingsubmittedwiththisbrief.

 

 

withafocusonthemisrepresentationofsciencebyNPSandtheirsupporters,andthelackofevidenceshowingenvironmentalharmbytheoysterfarm.Dr.Goodmanalsofiledanamicusbriefinsupportoftheoysterfarm’spetitionforrehearingenbancwiththeNinthCircuitCourtofAppeals.Hisfocushascontinuedtobeontheimportanceofscientificintegrity in guiding policy decisions.

  1. GoodmanwasProfessorofBiologyatStanfordUniversityandEvanRauchChairofNeurobiologyatUniversityofCaliforniaBerkeleyfortwenty-fiveyearsbeforeretiringandmovingintotheprivatesectorwhereheisManagingPartnerofvenBioPartnersLLC,alifesciencesventurecapitalfirm.Dr.GoodmanremainsAdjunctProfessorof AnatomyandBiochemistry&BiophysicsattheUniversityofCaliforniaSanFrancisco.Hehaspublishedover200peer-reviewedscientificpapers.HeisanelectedmemberoftheNationalAcademyofSciences,AmericanAcademyofArtsandSciences,andAmericanPhilosophicalSociety,andrecipientofmany honorsincludingtheAlanT.WatermanAward,CanadaGairdnerBiomedicalAward,March-of-DimesPrizeinDevelopmentalBiology,Reeve-IrvineResearchMedal,andDawsonPrizein Genetics.

Sinceretiringfromhisacademiccareer,Dr.Goodmanhasworkedintheprivatesector,firstasPresidentandCEOofabiotechnologycompanyheco-founded,tookpublic,and thensoldtoalargercompany,thenasPresidentofPfizer’sBiotherapeuticsandBioinnovationCenterandamemberofPfizer’sexecutiveleadershipteam,and todayasmanagingpartnerofaventurecapitalfirmheco-foundedandChairofsixbiotechnologycompanies. Inthesecapacities, hehasoverseentech-

 

 

nologyinnovationsfornewtherapeuticapproachestohumandisease,anddrugdiscoveryanddevelopmentprogramsindiverseareasincludingneurologicaldisease,pain,cancer,metabolicdisease,immunedisease, and cardio-vascular disease.

Amongsthispublicpolicyroles,Dr.GoodmanistodayChairoftheCaliforniaCouncilonScienceandTechnology(advisingtheGovernorandStateLegislature)andisformerChairoftheNationalResearchCouncil’sBoardonLifeSciences(advisingtheFederalGovernment).Inthesecapacities,hehas overseenarangeofstudiesandreportstotheFederalandCaliforniaGovernmentontopicsincludingstemcells,humancloning,waterborne pathogens,thenation’senvironmentalchallenges,reorganizationoftheNationalInstitutesofHealth,hydraulicfracking, and water policy management.

  1. Goodman’sanalysisofthedatabehindtheParkService’sclaimsabouttheoysterfarmhasallbeen done pro bono as a public service.
  2. PaulR.Houser’sinterestinthiscase focusesonitsscientificintegrityandethicalissues. Dr.Houseriskeenlyinterestedintheissueofscientificintegrity,andhaspursuedinitiativestorestore public trust in government science.
  3. Houserisaninternationallyrecognizedexpertinsurface-atmosphericremotesensing,in-situobservation,numericalsimulation,hydrologicdataassimilation,scientificintegrityandpolicy, andglobalwaterandenergycycling.Hiscareerbeganin1988exploringsurfacewaterqualityissuesintheYakimaRiverBasin(WashingtonState)attheU.S.Geological Survey, followed by thedevelopmentoflandfill cover technology at Los Alamos National

Dr.PaulR.Houser

 

 

Laboratoryin1991.In1997,Dr.HouserjoinedtheNASA-GSFCHydrologicalSciencesBranchandtheDataAssimilationOffice,servedasmanagerofNASA’sLandSurfaceHydrologyProgramfrom1999-2000,andservedasbranchheadoftheHydrologicalScienceBranchfrom2000-2005.In2005,Dr.HouserjoinedtheGeorgeMasonUniversityClimateDynamicsProgramandtheGeographyandGeo-informationSciencesDepartmentasProfessorofGlobalHydrology,andformedtheCenterforResearchforEnvironmentandWaterwiththe missiontoquantifyandpredictwatercycleandenvironmentalconsequencesofearthsystemvari-ability and change.

  1. Houserhaslednumerousscientificcontributions,includingthedevelopmentofLandDataAssimilationSystems,theHydrosphericStatesMission, theLand InformationSystem, theNASAEnergyandWatercycleStudy,andtheWaterCycleSolutionsNetwork(WaterNet).Hehaspublishedover120peer-reviewpublications.In2000,Dr.HouserwonthePresidentialEarlyCareerAwardforScientistsandEngineers(PECASE),andin2005hewon the NASA Softwareof theYear Award.

In2011-2012,Dr.Houserserved asScience AdvisortotheU.S.BureauofReclamation,wherehe wasresponsiblefordevelopingscientificintegrity,peerreview,anddatastewardshippolicies,aswellascoordinatingReclamationactivitieswithotheragenciesandthescientificcommunity.Afterraisingconcernsaboutthescientificintegrityofbiased sciencereportingconcerningtheproposedKlamathdamremovals,Dr.HouserwasfiredfromReclamation.HeraisedhisconcernstotheOfficeofSpecialCouncilinaformalwhistleblowercase,andwith the Department of the Interior in a formal

 

 

scientificintegrityallegation.The whistleblowercasewassettledwithafavorableoutcome,andthescientificintegritycasewasdismissedlargelybecauseanindependentreviewfoundthatbiasin science-basedpressreleaseswasstandardbusinesspracticeattheDepartmentoftheInterior.Dr.HouserhadnofiduciarytiesorconflictsassociatedwiththeKlamathRiverdecisionprocess.Heisnotfororagainstdamremoval,butratherisforthebestscienceinformingpolicydecisionsthatobeythelaw,protect the environment and advance society.

  1. HouserhasauniqueperspectiveontheDepartmentoftheInterior’sScientificIntegrityPolicybecausehe:(i)servedontheteamthatwrote Interior’sScientificIntegrityPolicy;(ii)servedasReclamation’sScientificIntegrityOfficerwhere heprocessedscientificintegrityallegations(e.g.,JudgeWanger’sSeptember2011allegationsonDelta-Smeltissues);and(iii)wasthesubjectofwhistleblowerretaliationrelatedtohisscientificintegrityconcernswiththeKlamathDamremoval.HehasusedhisuniqueexperiencetoofferacritiqueofDOI’sScientificIntegrityPolicy(August2012)whichispartiallyreportedin this brief.
  2. Houserhashadnoinvolvementin decisionsaboutDrakesBayOysterCompany,andisnotadvisingthecompanyinitslitigationagainsttheDepartment of the Interior.

 

 

 

SUMMARYOF ARGUMENT:SCIENTIFICINTEGRITYIS CENTRAL TO

OUR DEMOCRACY

TheEinsteinMemorialoutsidetheNationalAcademyofSciencesbuildinginWashingtonD.C.isinscribedwithaquotationfromAlbertEinstein:Therighttosearchfortruthimpliesalsoaduty;onemustnotconcealanypartofwhatonehasrecognizedto be true.”

Inthesamevein,PresidentObamareceivedastandingovationfromthecountry’stopscientistsattheNationalAcademyofSciencesannualmeetingin2009whenhesaid:“thedaysofsciencetakingabackseattoideologyareover.Ourprogressasanation–andourvaluesasanation–arerootedinfreeandopeninquiry.Tounderminescientificintegrityis to undermine our democracy.”2

Nowherearetheseprinciplesmoreimportantthaningovernment decision-making. WhenCongresspasseslaws,agenciesmakedecisions,andcourtshanddownrulings,people’slivesandlivelihoods—andtheenvironmentalfutureofourplanet—areontheline.Ensuringthatdecisionsusethe best science is central to good government.

Buttoooften,asthisbriefexplains,scientificmisconduct—definedasfabrication,falsification,plagiarism,orretaliation—isusedtosupportgovernmentdecisions. Thegovernmentdecisionat

 

 

2   RemarksByThePresidentAtTheNationalAcademyOfSciencesAnnualMeeting(April28,2009),availableathttp://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-the-National-Academy-of-Sciences-Annual-Meeting.

 

 

issueinthiscasewasthedenialofanewpermittoahistoricoysterfarminCalifornia.Thatdecisionwasbasedinpartonanenvironmentalanalysisthatfalselyclaimedtofindasignificantadverseimpact,eventhoughtheagency’sownanalysisofthedata,confirmedbytheagency’soutsideexpert,found“no evidence”ofanyimpact.Thefalseclaimofharmfollowedayears-longpatternofotherfalse,andnowretracted,claimsbytheParkServicethattheoyster farmcausesenvironmentalharm.Inothercases,agencieshaveoverstatedprojects’benefitswhilehidingnegativeimpacts,retaliatedagainstwhistleblowers,andhidexculpatorylaboratoryevidence from the criminally accused.

Worse    still    is     the     persistent    lack    ofaccountability    for    scientific   misconduct.                        Theexecutivebranchhasrecentlydevelopedascientificintegritypolicy,andyetmisconductcomplaintscanstill go unaddressed and scientific whistleblowersstillsufferretaliation. Andinthiscase,thefederalcourtshavedeclaredthattheylackjurisdictiontosetasideagencydecisionsforabuseofdiscretionevenwhen they are based in part on scientificmisconduct.

Althoughmostjudgesprofessnospecialscientificexpertise,theydohaveanimportantroleinensuringscientificintegrityingovernmentdecision-making.InDaubert,theSupremeCourtrecognizedthatjudgescanandshouldactasgatekeepersto screenunreliablesciencefromthereliable. Theabuseofscienceinthiscasegoes far beyondharmlesserrors,unreliabledata,differencesofopinion,orhonestmistakes.TheCourtshouldtake thiscasetomakeclearthatjudgescanandshouldprovidearemedywhengovernmentdecisionsarebased on scientific misconduct.

 

 

 

ARGUMENT

 

  1. SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCTUNDERMINES OURDEMOCRACY:THREE EXAMPLES

A.          Drakes Bay Oyster Company

OnthewesterncoastofthecontinentalUnitedStates,inPointReyes,California,justnorthofSanFrancisco,isan80-yearoldfamily-runoysterfarm,DrakesBayOysterCompany.When Point ReyeswasacquiredbytheNationalParkService(creatingPointReyesNationalSeashore),thePark Serviceandeveryinterestedcivicandenvironmentalgroupsupportedthelong-termcontinuationofthefarm.Itwasahistoriccollaborationbetweenenviron-mentalistsandagriculturalistsinwhathasbecomeahugelysuccessfulmodelfortherestoftheworld–thatproductionofwholesomefoodcanexistin harmonywith protectionof the environment.3

Forthepasteightyears,however,apatternhasdevelopedoftheParkServiceandsomeofthosesameenvironmentalgroupsmakingonefalseclaimofenvironmentalharmafteranotheragainstthe oysterfarm.Thefalseclaimsofenvironmentalharmbeganin2006,whenlocalParkServiceofficialsbeganclaimingthattheoysterfarmwaspolluting

 

 

3    ForanextendeddiscussionofthesupportthefarmenjoyedfromtheParkService,andenvironmentalgroupsliketheSierraClubandtheEnvironmentalActionCommitteeofWestMarin,duringthecreationoftheSeashoreandthepassageofwildernesslegislationthere,seegenerallyBriefOfDr.LauraWatt,AmicusCuriaeInSupportOfPetitionForRehearingEnBanc(Oct.25,2013),NinthCircuitdocket(“CA9dkt.”)no.78-1.

 

 

the water,smotheringeelgrass,harmingfish,anddegradingtheecology.Mostalarmingly,in 2007,ParkServiceofficialssaidtheoysterfarm’sownersshouldbeprosecutedforcommitting“environmentalfelonies”becausethefarmallegedlycausedan80%declineinthelocalharborsealpopulation,a protected marine mammal.4

Thesechargesweresurprising.Clams,oysters, and other shellfish were an important part oftheenvironmentalbaselineforDrakesEstero,5justastheywereforSanFranciscoBayandothercoastalbaysandestuariesaroundtheworldbeforemostwerefishedoutordestroyedbypollution.Oystersactuallyprovideenvironmentalbenefitsbyclarifyingwater.Thosebenefitsarewhyoystersarebeingrestoredinprojectsaroundtheworld.AndthosebenefitsarewhyCongress,intheCleanWaterAct, listedthe“protectionandpropagationof…shellfish”asoneofthegoalsofreducedpollutionandcleanerwater.33 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2).

TheParkService’ssurprisingchargespromptedthePresidentoftheMarinCountyBoardofSupervisorstoaskDr.Goodmantoreview theParkService’sdata.Dr.Goodmanfoundthatthepubliclyavailabledatadidnotsupporttheclaimsofmajoradverseimpactsonwaterquality,sediments,eelgrass, fish, or the ecology.

TheParkService’sharborsealclaimswerealsofalse. HarborsealpopulationsinDrakesBay

 

 

4Districtcourtdocket(“N.D.Cal.dkt.”)no.39-1at38.ReferencestopagenumbersindocumentsfiledbelowaretothepagenumberECF-stampedtothetopofthedocument.

5N.D.Cal.dkt.no.39-2at20.

 

 

werestable,withsomedisturbancescomingfromwildlife,othersfromparkvisitors,butnonefromtheoysterfarm.Threeyearslater,theParkServiceformally retracted its 80%-decline claim.

In2009,theNationalAcademyreleasedareportontheParkService’sclaims.6ItfoundthattheParkServicehad“selectivelypresented,overinterpreted, ormisinterpreted”the availabledata,andconcludedthat,atDrakesBay,“thereisa lackofstrongscientificevidencethatshellfish farminghas major adverse ecological effects”.7

Bythatpoint,theParkServicehadretractedmostoftheclaimsitmadeagainsttheoysterfarmin2006.InJanuary2011,theDepartmentoftheInteriorreleasedascientificintegritypolicy.8Aroundthesametime,theSolicitor’sOfficeoftheDepartmentofInteriorconcludedthatParkServicescientistsshowed“bias”,“advocacy”,a“troublingmind-set”,andthatfiveemployeeshad“violated[theParkService]CodeofScientificandScholarlyConduct”.9

With the retractionof the false claims, rebukesbytheNationalAcademyandtheParkService’sownlawyers,andtheinstitutionofanewscientificintegritypolicy,therewasreasontohopethattheParkService’suseofscienceconcerningtheoyster

 

 

 

 

6Id.

7Id.at85-86,99.

8DepartmentoftheInterior,IntegrityofScientificandScholarlyActivities(January28,2011),availableathttp://elips.doi.gov/elips/0/doc/3045/Page1.aspx.

9N.D.Cal.dkt.no.40-1at36-37.

 

 

farmwouldimproveasthedecisionontherenewalofthe farm’s permit approached in 2012.

Instead,thepatternoffalseclaimscontinued.Again,themainculpritwastheParkService’sclaimsaboutadverseimpactstoharborseals.In2009,theNationalAcademyconcludedthatinadequatedataexistedtosupporttheParkService’sclaimthatthefarmdisturbstheseals,butrecommendedthatthecontroversycouldberesolvediftheParkServiceestablishedacamerasurveillancesystem.10Infact,suchaprogramhadsecretlybeeninplacesince2007,collectingphotographsofsealsandoysterboatseveryminuteofthedayduringpuppingseasonforoverthreeyears—foratotalofmore than 300,000 photographs.11                                                                 TheParkService’sprivateanalysisofthosephotographswaswithheldfromtheNationalAcademyandthepublic,presumablybecausethatanalysisdidnotrevealdisturbances by the farm.12

Inearly2012,theParkServicecontractedoneoftheworld’sforemostmarinemammalbehaviorexperts,Dr.BrentStewart,tore-analyzethephotos.Dr.StewartsubmittedhisreportinMay2012.13Dr.Stewartfound“noevidenceofdisturbance”ofsealsbyoysterboats.14Dr.Stewart’sreportshouldhavefinally put the issueto rest.

 

 

 

 

10N.D.Cal.dktno.39-2at59-60.

11N.D.Cal.dktnos.40-1at17and41-3at5.

12N.D.Cal.dktno.40-1at13-14.

13ExcerptsofRecord(“ER”)279-285.

14Id.; see also N.D. Cal. dkt. no. 52-1 at 29-35 (Dr.Goodman’sanalysisofDr.Stewart’sreport).

 

 

Unfortunately,itdidn’t.OnNovember20,2012,theParkService released anenvironmentalimpactstatement(EIS)ontheoysterfarm.TheEISconcludedthattheoysterfarmhasasignificant “adverseimpact” onharborseals.15Dr.Stewart’sfinding of “noevidence of disturbance”wastransformedintoafalsefindingthatthefarmdidinfactcauseseriousdisturbances.16Thismanipulationofresearchresultsisaformofscientificmisconduct known as falsification. SeePart II.A below.

Aweeklater,SecretarySalazardecidednottorenewtheoysterfarm’spermit,citing,inpart,theconclusionsaboutenvironmentalharmintheEIS.17Ideology had triumphed over science.18

 

 

 

15SupplementalExcerptsofRecordat58.

16ER284-285.

17Petitioners’Appendixat162.

18Inthedistrictcourt,Dr.Goodman’sopinionthattheEIS“misrepresents”Dr.Stewart’sconclusionsaboutharborsealswentunrebutted.ER188.InitsbrieftotheNinthCircuit,InteriortriedtodefendtheEISbycitingastudyfromtheMarineMammalCommission(“MMC”).CA9dkt.no.36-1at55n.10.ButtheMMCreportdoesnothingtosupporttheEIS’sharborsealconclusions.AfterreviewingthethreeyearsofParkServicephotographsatissuehere,theMMCdescribedasinglepotentialoyster-boat-relateddisturbanceonMay15,2008,andadvisedthata“fullerexamination”ofthephotographswasnecessarytoformanyconclusions“withareasonablelevelofconfidence”.MarineMammalCommission, Mariculture AndHarbor Seals In DrakesEstero,Californiaat27(November22,2011).Dr.Stewartconductedjustsuchafullerexaminationofthephotographs,andheconcluded,withparticularreferencetothepotentialdisturbanceonMay15,2008,thatthere

 

 

B.          KlamathRiverDams Removal

WateruseintheKlamathBasininOregonandCaliforniahasbeenasourceofconflictbetweentribes,farmers,environmentalists,apowercompany,andthegovernmentsfordecades.In2002,manyblamedamassiveChinooksalmonkillonanallegedlypoliticallymotivateddecisiontodivertwatertofarmersratherthantoinstreamflows.A2004NationalAcademyofSciencesreportcomplicatedthepicturebyconcludingthatpoorwaterquality,ratherthanlowinstreamflows,wasthemainrisktothreatenedandendangered species.19

WhentheObamaadministrationcameintooffice,itbeganconsideringabillion-dollarprojecttoremovefourdamsontheKlamathRiver.Therewasnevermuchdoubtabouttheoutcome:in2009,InteriorSecretarySalazariswidelyreportedtohave

 

 

 

 

 

 

was“noevidenceofdisturbance”.N.D.Cal.dkt.no.52-1at15.TheDirectoroftheMMClateradmittedinalettertoDr.Goodman(blindcopiedtotheParkService)thattherewasnoevidencesupportingtheMMCclaimsofharborsealdisturbancesbytheoysterfarm.Editorial,“InPrivateLetter,TimRagenAdmitsNoEvidenceForSealStudy”,PointReyesLight(August9,2012),availableathttp://www.ptreyeslight.com/article/private-letter-tim-ragen-admits-no-evidence-seal-study.

19NationalResearchCouncil,EndangeredAndThreatenedFishesInTheKlamathRiverBasin:CausesOfDeclineAndStrategiesForRecoveryat5-6(2004),available              at             http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10838.

 

 

proclaimed that the proposal to remove the dams“will not fail”.20

InApril2011,theBureauofReclamation(anagencywithinInterior)hiredDr.PaulHouserasitsScienceAdvisorandScientificIntegrityOfficer—apositioncreatedafterInteriorreleaseditsscientificintegrity policy in January 2011.

InSeptember2011,InteriorreleasedadraftEISforthedamremovalproject.Dr.HousercomplainedtohissuperiorsthatthedraftEISanditsaccompanyingpressreleasemisrepresentedthesciencepanelreportsthathadbeencommissionedonthedamremovalproject,emphasizingthepositivebenefitswithouttheuncertaintiesornegativesidentifiedbythepanel.InFebruary2012,justonemonthbeforeSecretarySalazarwasscheduledtoformallymakehisdecision,Dr.Houserwasterminated.HebelievedthiswasretaliatoryandintendedtopreventhimfrominvestigatingwhetherthefinalEISwasalsotaintedbyscientificmisconduct.Inresponse,hefiledawhistleblowercomplaintwithInterior’sInspectorGeneralaswellasascientificmisconductcomplaintwithInterior’sScientific Integrity Officer.21

 

 

20JohnBowman,“SecretaryOfInteriorAnnouncesResignation”,TaftMidwayDriller(Jan.17,2013),availableathttp://www.taftmidwaydriller.com/article/20130117/NEWS/130119808/0/FRONTPAGE.

21LetterfromDr.PaulHouser,ScientificIntegrityOfficer,BureauofReclamation,totheDepartmentoftheInterior,AllegationOfScientificAndScholarlyMis-conductAndReprisalForADisclosureConcerningTheBiasedSummarizationOfKeyScientificConclusionsForTheKlamathRiverDamRemovalSecretarialDeterminationProcess(February24,2012),availableat

 

 

InMarch2013,InteriorreleasedareportonDr.Houser’sscientificintegritycomplaint.22ThereportwaswrittenbyanoutsideconsultantwhosemainclientisInterior.23Interiortaskedtheconsultantwithansweringagivenasetofquestions,andtheconsultantdidnotinterview witnesses.24Thereportdismissedthechargeof“misconduct”asbut“normalpractice”.25Interior’sScientificIntegrityOfficer,whoreportstotheSecretaryofInterior,agreed and closed the case.

InMay2013,theHouseofRepresentatives CommitteeonNaturalResourcesreleasedareportonInterior’sInspectorGeneral,highlightingtheKlamathRiverscientificintegritycomplaintbecauseofwhattheCommitteeconcludedwerefailuresofbothInteriorandInterior’sInspectorGeneral(IG).26The   House   Committee   reported   that   an   IG

 

 

http://www.peer.org/assets/docs/doi/8_8_12_Houser_sci_integ_complaint.pdf.

22RESOLVE,IndependentEvaluationOfTheScientificRecordPertainingToTheAllegationsOfDr.PaulHouser(August2012)(“RESOLVEreport”),availableathttp://www.doi.gov/scientificintegrity/upload/DOI-SI-Case-313-Independent-Report.pdf.

23      SeeRESOLVEReportsandPapers,availableathttp://www.resolv.org/resources/reports-papers(listingRESOLVEreportsdoneforInterior).

24   RESOLVEreport,supra,at4-7.

25   Id.at9.

26U.S.HouseofRepresentatives,CommitteeonNaturalResources,OfficeofOversightandInvestigations:HoldingInteriorWatchdogAccountable,59-66(February21,2013),availableathttp://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/oversightreportdepartmentofinterior.pdf.

 

 

investigatorthoughtitwaslikelythatDr.HouserwasterminatedbecauseInteriordisagreedwithhisscientificanalysis.Theinvestigatorsthoughtthe reasonscitedbyInteriorfortheterminationwere“trivial”.Still,Dr.Houserhasnotbeenreinstated,andbothhiswhistleblowerandscientificmisconductcomplaintshave been quietly dismissed.

C.          DepartmentofJustice

Inawidelynoticedrecentdissent,ChiefJudgeAlexKozinskioftheNinthCircuitCourtofAppealscriticizedan“epidemic”ofDepartmentofJusticeprosecutorsfailingtodiscloseexculpatoryscientificinformationtodefendantsandthecourts.UnitedStatesv.Olsen,737F.3d625,626(9thCir.2013)(Kozinski,C.J.,dissentingfromdenialofreh’genbanc),petitionforcertiorarifiledApril24,2014(no.13-1287).InOlsen,theprosecutorfailedtodisclosethatthekeypieceofforensicevidence—labresultsfindingthatpillswerelacedwith poison—wascreatedbyapolicetechnicianwhohadbeenterminatedfor“grossmisconduct”incontaminating manyotherlabsamplesinothercases.Id.at627.ChiefJudgeKozinskiconcludedaboutthescience:“nearlyeverythingthedistrictjudgeunderstood tobetrue was false”.Id.at 628.

But that was not an isolated case.ChiefJudge Kozinskicitedthe“distressinglycommon”phenomenonthathascometolightinrecentyears,involvingmanythousandsofcases,oflabtechniciansfalsifyingtheirresultstosupportaprosecution.Id.at632.AndprosecutorsfromJusticehavetoooftenobliged:“IwishIcouldsaythattheprosecutor’sun-professionalismhereistheexception…[b]utitwouldn’tbetrue”.Id.at631.Insupport,hecited29publishedappellateopinionsfromjustthelastten yearsinwhichcourtsaroundthecountryfoundthat

 

 

prosecutorshadfailedtodiscloseexculpatoryevidence.Id.at631-632.Presumablymanymorecaseshavegoneundiscoveredbecause“alltheincentivesprosecutorsconfrontencouragethemnottodiscoverordiscloseexculpatoryevidence”.Id.at630.

ChiefJudgeKozinskirecognizedthatscientific misconductbyJusticeiscorrosivetooursystemofgovernment,andthatcourtshaveashareoftheresponsibility:

Whenapublicofficialbehaveswithsuchcasualdisregardforhisconstitutionalobligationsandtherightsoftheaccused,iterodesthepublic’strust inourjusticesystem,andchipsawayatthefoundationalpremisesoftheruleoflaw.Whensuchtransgressionsareacknowledgedyetforgivenbythecourts,weendorseandinvite their repetition.

  1. at632.Heconcludedbyurgingcourtsto“sendprosecutorsaclearmessage”byvacatingthe“ill-gotten conviction”. Id.at 633.

 

II.         THEREISALACKOF ACCOUNTABILITYFOR SCIENTIFICMISCONDUCTINGOVERNMENT

  1. Need For Scientific IntegrityPolicyBecomesApparent

Historically,scientificresearchreliedonaself- regulatinghonorsystem.Inthe1980’s,however,thescientificcommunitywasrockedbyaseriesofhighlypublicizedcasesofscientificmisconduct.Asaresult,thefederalgovernmentsetintomotionpoliciesto

 

 

oversee research conduct, and adjudicate researchmisconduct.

In1981,asubcommitteeofCongress,undertheleadershipofthen-CongressmanAlGore,heldhearingsonfraudinbiomedicalresearchinresponsetowidespreadreportsofscientistsfalsifyingtheirdata. Such cases wereexposedin several books.27

Congress,thepublic,andmanyothersinthescientificcommunitywantedoversightoffederally fundedresearch.CongressionalhearingscalledforinvestigationoftheNationalInstitutesofHealth(“NIH”)andotherfederalagencies.Inresponse,variousscientificsocietiesissuedguidelinesforresearchconduct.Thetwofederalagenciesthatsponsorthemostfederallyfundedresearch,NIHandtheNationalScienceFoundation(“NSF”),releasedscientificmisconductpoliciesinthemidtolate1980’s.Bythelate1980’s,theNationalAcademyofScienceswasaskedtoproposeaunifiedfederalpolicy.

In1992,theNationalAcademyrespondedbyreleasingareportthatproposedadefinitionofscientificmisconduct:“fabrication,falsification,orplagiarism,inproposing,performing,orreportingresearch”.28(NSFaddedretaliationagainstwhistleblowerstoitsdefinition.)ThereportrecommendedthatanofficeintheWhiteHouse,the

 

 

27E.g.,WilliamBroadandNicholasWade,BetrayersOfTheTruth:FraudAndDeceitInTheHallsOfScience(1982).

28NationalAcademyofSciences,ResponsibleScience:EnsuringtheIntegrityoftheResearchProcessat27(1992),availableathttp://nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=1864.

 

 

OfficeofScienceandTechnologyPolicy(OSTP),establishcommongovernment-widedefinitionsandproceduresforconfrontingtheproblem.Aunifiedfederalpolicy,soitseemedatthetime,waswithingrasp.

Eightyearslater,in2000,OSTPfinallyissueda“FederalPolicyonResearchMisconduct”thatinstructedagenciestoimplementthepolicy.Someagenciescomplied; others—including theDepartment of the Interior—did not.

B.          The RockyDevelopmentAndImplementationOf The President’sScientificIntegrityPolicy

InMarch 2009,shortly aftercoming into office,PresidentObamareleasedaMemorandumonScientificIntegrityanddirectedOSTPtoprovidedetailed guidelines within120 days.29

ThePresident’spolicygotofftoarockystart.IttookOSTPeighteenmonthstoreleaseamerefourpagesofguidelines.30Thoseguidelines providedlittleguidance.Insteadofprovidingconcretestan-dardsorcommonproceduresforeverygovernmentagencytofollow,astheNationalAcademyhadrecommendedin1992,theguidelinesgaveindividualagencies     nearly     complete     discretion     by

 

 

29      Presidential      Memorandumon  Scientific     Integrity(March          9,         2009),          available           at           http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/memorandum-heads-executive-departments-and-agencies-3-9-09.

30   John P. Holdren, Director, Office of Science andTechnologyPolicy,MemorandumonScientificIntegrity,(December     17,             2010),              available                         at         http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/scientific-integrity-memo-12172010.pdf.

 

 

recommendingthateachagencydevelopitsownpolicies.Andtheguidelinessaidnothingatallabouthowscientificmisconductshouldbeinvestigatedorhowerrors shouldbe corrected.

TheshortcomingsofthePresident’sscientificintegritypolicyandtheOSTPguidelinesaremanifest in each of the cases discussed in Part I.

InthecaseofDrakesBayOysterCompany,effortstogetthefalsifiedscienceintheEIScorrectedhavebeenrejectedorignored.InDecember2012,theParkServiceDirectordismissedaformalcomplaintundertheDataQualityAct31onthegroundthattheSecretary’sdecision“mooted”anyrequirementtocorrectthescienceintheEIS.32AndtheDepartmentofInteriorhasstillnotevendecidedwhether itwill openaformalinvestigation intoaformalscientificmisconductcomplaintDr.GoodmanfiledoneyearagoinMay2013.33(Todate,nearlyeveryoneinvolvedwiththeParkService’sfalsescience in this casehas been promoted.)

Meanwhile,initsbriefstotheNinthCircuitin this case, Interior has continued to cite the EIS’s

 

 

31P.L.106-554§515,114Stat.2763A-153-154(December

21,2000).

32 Letter from Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director, NationalPark Service, to Amber D. Abbasi, counsel for Dr.Goodman          (Dec.         21,         2012),         available          athttp://causeofaction.org/assets/uploads/2013/03/FINAL-Report_Exhibits.pdfatExhibit51(page1003).

33See Emily Yehle, “Rushed USGS Report On OysterFarm Misrepresented Biologist’s Findings”, Greenwire(May     14,               2013),               available                  at           http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059981143   (describing complaint).

 

 

conclusionsaboutadverseimpactstoharborsealsasareason why the farmshould be removed.34

InthecaseoftheKlamathRiver damsremovalproject,thewhistleblowerDr.Houserwasfiredandhismisconductcomplaintshavebeendismissedbyaprocessripewithconflictsandlacking independence, transparency,and accountability.

AndintheOlsencase,thegovernmenthassofarnotconcedederror,andtheJusticeprosecutorwhohidtheexculpatoryevidencehas(toourknowledge)notbeenheldaccountable,eventhoughJusticehasascientificintegritypolicythatacknowledgesthattheDepartmentis“entrustedwithawesomeresponsibilities”andcommitsto“pursue,relyuponandpresentevidencethatiswell-foundedinfactand veracity”.35

Unfortunately,thePresident’sscientificintegritypolicyandOSTP’sguidelineshavefailedtoensureindependentinvestigations,accountabilityfor

 

 

34InopposingDrakesBay’smotionforaninjunctionpendingappeal,InteriorquotedtheParkService’sEIS’sconclusionthatDrakesBaycauses“long-termmoderateadverseimpacts”toharborsealsinsupportoftheargumentthat“thepublicinterestinthequalityoftheDrakesEsteroenvironmentweighsagainstaninjunction”.CA9dkt.no.17-1at20-21.AndinInterior’soppositiontoDrakesBay’smotionforastayofthemandatependingcertiorari,Interioragainarguedthat“theParkService’sinterestinprotectingharborsealsinDrakesEsteroduringpuppingseasonisanequitablefactor”supportingclosureofthefarm.CA9dkt.no.105at11-12.

35   DepartmentofJustice,ScientificandResearchIntegrityPolicy,at1,availableathttp://www.justice.gov/open/doj-scientific-integrity-policy.pdf.

 

 

scientificmisconduct,whistleblowerprotections,andcorrectionof egregious errors.

 

III.       COURTS HAVE ANIMPORTANTROLEINENSURINGSCIENTIFIC INTEGRITYIN GOVERNMENT

Twentyyearsago,inDaubert,thisCourtheldthatfederaljudgeshavethe“gatekeeping”roleinensuringthatonly“scientific…knowledge”isusedasexpertevidenceincourt.Daubertv.MerrellDowPharms.,509U.S.579,590,597(1993)(quotingFed.

  1. Evid.R.702).Whatconstitutesscientificknowledge?ThisCourtexplainedthatitisbasednoton“subjectivebelieforunsupportedspeculation”,buton“themethodsandproceduresofscience”(i.e.,thescientificmethod).Id.at590(internalcitationandquotationmarks omitted).

Mostjudgesarenotscientists,andmany openlystrugglewithscreeningscientificknowledgefromtheunscientific.OnremandinDaubert,forexample,(then)JudgeKozinskicandidlyacknowledgedthatthisCourt’sholding“putsfederaljudges in an uncomfortable position”:

[S]cientistsoftenhavevigorousandsinceredisagreementsastowhatresearchmethodologyisproper,whatshouldbeacceptedassufficientprooffortheexistenceofa“fact,”andwhetherinformationderivedbyaparticularmethodcantellusanythingusefulabout the subject under study.

Ourresponsibility…istoresolvedisputesamongrespected,well-credentialedscientistsaboutmatterssquarelywithintheirexpertise,inareaswherethereisnoscientificconsensusas

 

 

towhatisandwhatisnot“good science,”andoccasionallytorejectsuchexperttestimonybecauseitwasnot “derived by the scientific method.”

Daubertv.MerrellDowPharmaceuticals,43F.3d1311, 1315-16 (9th Cir. 1995).

Ratherthanshirkingthisresponsibility,JudgeKozinskivowedto“takeadeepbreathandproceedwith this heady task”.Id.at 1316.

Intheyearssince Daubert,federaljudgeshaveprovencapableofmanagingthistask. JudgeOliver

  1. WangeroftheEasternDistrictofCalifornia,forexample,presidedoverextremelycomplexandcontentiousEndangeredSpeciesActlitigationabouttheDeltasmelt.SanLuis&Delta-MendotaWaterAuth.v.Salazar(the“DeltaSmeltCases”)(E.D.Cal.no.1:09-cv-00407).ThemainissueinDeltaSmeltCaseswaswhetherthesciencejustifiedrestrictingwaterexportsinCaliforniainordertoprotectthesmelt.Atthecloseofthetrialcourtproceedings,JudgeWangerfoundthatthetestimonyofthegovernment’sexpertslackedcredibility.36ToJudgeWanger,thoseexpertsweredrivenbyapolicygoaltorestrictexports,regardlessofwhatthescientificdatashowed.JudgeWangerexpectedbetterfromthegovernment:

I’mgoingtobemakingafindinginthiscaseofagencybadfaith.Thereissimplynojustification.Therecanbenoacceptance by a Court of the United

 

 

36    DeltaSmeltCases,BenchRulingonMotiontoStayPendingAppeal(Sept.16,2011),dkt.no.1056,availableathttp://plf.typepad.com/files/9-16-11-motion-to-stay-final-1.pdf

 

 

Statesoftheconductthathasbeenengagedininthiscasebythesewitnesses.

And I am going to make a very clear andexplicitrecordtosupportthatfindingofagencybadfaithbecause,candidly,theonlyinferencethattheCourtcandrawisthatitisanattempttomisleadandtodeceivetheCourtintoacceptingwhatisnotonlynotthebestscience,it’snotscience.37

JudgeWangerstressedthatthegovernmenthas a “duty” to use good science in its decisions:

[T]heUnitedStates,asasovereign,hasadutynotonlyindealingwiththeCourt,butindealingwiththepublictoalwaysspeak thetruth,whether itisgoodorbad.It’sneveraboutwinningorlosing,it’s always about doing justice.38

JudgeWangersawpasttheagency’spolicygoalsandtheflawedtestimonyofitsscientistsandruledthatthesciencedidnotsupporttheproposednewrestrictions,showingtheextremeimportanceofthe court’s role in scientific integrity.

Inthepresentcase,however,thepanelthrewupitshandsatthescience.Itproclaimedthatit lackedjurisdictiontoreviewpetitioners’claimsthatSecretarySalazar’sdecisionwasanabuseofdiscretionbecauseitwasbased,inpart,onfalsescience.PetitionforCertiorariat11-12.Andit createdaruleof“harmlesserror”inwhichagencies

 

 

37Id.at17:15-25.

38Id.at33:18-22.

 

 

canavoidresponsibilityforscientificmisconductsimplybyassertingthattheirdecisionsarenotbasedon flawed data. Id.at 32-33.

Thepanel’sdecision,ifallowedtostand,createsadangerous precedent.Ifcourtslack jurisdictiontoreviewclaimsthatagencydecisionsarebasedonscientificmisconduct,andifcourtsare requiredtoforgivescientificmisconductwheneveranagencymakesassurancesthatthemisconductwasimmaterial,thenagenciesarelikelytofeelless constrainedaboutfalsifyingscientificinformationtothecourtsandthepublic.Thisdecisionislikelytoresultinmorescientificmisconductingovernmentdecisions,and thus undermine our democracy.

TheSupremeCourtshouldtakethiscaseto makeclearthatthecourtscan,andshould,remedyscientificmisconduct.SeeGeneralElectric,Inc.v.Joiner,522U.S.136,146(1997)(courtscanrejectscientificclaimswhen“thereissimplytoogreatananalyticalgapbetweenthedataandtheopinionproffered”).Scientificmisconductisnotqualitativelydifferentfromthekindsofissuescourtshavenotroubleadjudicatinginothercaseseveryday.Ineventhemostcomplexbreachofcontractcases,forexample,courtsareroutinelyaskedtodetermine whetherapartyhasmadeamaterialmisrepresentationofthefacts.Inanalyzingthesetypesofclaims,courtscananddocomparetheunderlyingfactsagainsttherepresentationtoassesswhether they are consistent.

Thescientificmisconductclaimhereisreallynodifferent.ThefactsarethattheinternalanalysisbytheParkServiceanditsoutsideexpertwasthat thereisnoevidencethattheoysterfarmdisturbsharborseals.SeePartI.Aabove.Andyettherepresentation in the EIS, relied upon by the

 

 

Secretaryinmakinghisdecision,wasthattheoysterfarmcausessignificantadverseimpactstoharborseals.Thiswasnotacase wherethecourtwasaskedtochoosebetweenconflictingexpertopinions.Itisnotaboutunreliabledataorharmlesserrors.Thereisnothing“harmless”aboutaneight-yearpatternofParkServicemisrepresentationsaboutahistoricfamilyfarm.Thisisacasewheretheagencysimply falsifiedthescience,andthepanelshouldnothaverefusedto say so.

 

CONCLUSION

The petitionshould be granted.

 

Respectfully submitted,PETERS.PROWS

Counsel of Record

BRISCOEIVESTER&BAZELLLP

155 SansomeStreet,

Seventh Floor

San Francisco, CA 94104(415) 402-2700

pprows@briscoelaw.net

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