EPA Scientific Transparency Rule and Public Comment

AAAS Policy Alert 5-1-18

As reported in this week's   AAAS Policy Alert 5-1-18.pdf, the Environmental Protection Agency recently posted in the Federal Register for public comment a proposed rule that would require the EPA “to ensure that the regulatory science underlying its action is publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent validation.” The agency is proposing that data, associated protocols, computer codes and models, recorded factual materials, and “detailed descriptions of how to access and use such information” be publicly available for it to be utilized in EPA policies and regulations. The proposed rule notes that information made public must be “consistent with law” and should protect privacy, national and homeland security interests and confidential business information. AAAS CEO Rush Holt issued a statement expressing concern that this “proposal appears to be an attempt to remove valid and relevant scientific evidence from the rule-making process.” In addition, the journal Science, along with other scholarly journals, issued a statement in response to Administrator Pruitt’s assertion that the proposed EPA policy reflects the standards of peer-reviewed scientific journals. Public comments are due May 30, 2018, and AAAS encourages its members to review the proposal and submit comments as appropriate.