Trump’s EPA Wants To Dramatically Restrict The Science It Uses
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-04-25
"The Environmental Protection Agency announced long-expected plans on Tuesday to stop using “secret science” — meaning studies that don’t make all of their data publicly available — when making rules. Because this science includes medical studies with confidential patient information, it effectively means that the agency would restrict the public health research that’s now used to support pollution laws. EPA chief Scott Pruitt announced the proposal at a closed-door event at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, DC, calling it a big step forward for increasing transparency at the agency. It comes as he faces growing scrutiny from Congress, the White House, and government watchdogs for his travel, spending, and treatment of staff on the job. According to the proposal, which will go through a public comment period, the EPA wants to increase public access to the data and mathematical models used for regulations, and possibly also the data used for permitting and enforcement efforts. The proposal echoes multiple legislative attempts by Republicans in Congress — the HONEST Act of 2016 and the Secret Science Reform Acts of 2014 and 2015 — to require the agency to publicly share all the underlying data in the science studies it uses. The last two proposals were made by Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, who chairs the House Science Committee, and they failed to pass in Congress. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s review of the 2015 proposed rule, implementing the bill would cost about $250 million a year for multiple years — working out to between $10,000 and $30,000 for each study used. “This is really a great day,” Pruitt said on Tuesday, adding, “It’s a banner day because it represents us taking action here at the agency based upon the work” of Rep. Lamar Smith and others. Smith attended the event, as did members of conservative groups such as the Heartland Institute and the Institute for Energy Research. “Administrator Pruitt’s announcement ensures data will be secret no more,” Smith said...."