Scott Pruitt's New EPA Rule Would Transform the Agency - The Atlantic
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-04-26
"In one sweeping move, the Trump administration may soon not only destabilize the last three decades of clean air and water rules, but also completely overhaul how the Environmental Protection Agency uses science in its work. If EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s recently-proposed rule gets enacted, it will spark a revolution in environmental regulation. But the question is—will it stand up in court? Pruitt proposed the regulation on Tuesday, describing it as an effort to increase transparency. It would require the EPA to publish all the underlying scientific data used to support studies which guide clean-air and clean-water rules. It would forbid the use of studies that do not meet this standard, even if they have been peer-reviewed or replicated elsewhere. Crucially, the proposed rule does not carve out an exemption for medical data, which is tightly regulated by federal law. As such, it could immediately disqualify many historic or long-running studies—especially those documenting the dangers of pesticides or air pollution—as the researchers who ran those studies never secured their subjects’ permission to openly reveal their medical data. Under federal law, scientists can face criminal penalties if they publish confidential medical information about someone without first securing their permission...."