Last week, several national news outlets reported on EPA’s consideration of internal policy changes impacting the way it receives, considers, and publishes the scientific information it uses in writing environmental regulations. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is reportedly supportive of requiring the agency to only consider scientific studies that make their underlying raw data available for public scrutiny. While supporters of this policy argue that public release of the data would allow other scientists to review each study’s findings, opponents claim that the effect of the policy would be to drastically reduce the information available to inform agency decisions, since many studies rely on personal health data or confidential business information that cannot be disclosed. The internal policy proposal is based on the HONEST Act, a bill introduced by House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX).
April 9, 2018