Nov. 21, 2019 by Sean B. Hecht

EPA's Draft Update to Its 'Science Transparency Rule' Shows It Can't Justify the Rule

Originally published on Legal Planet. Reprinted with permission.

Over a year ago, EPA issued a proposed rule, ostensibly to promote transparency in the use of science to inform regulation. The proposal, which mirrors failed legislation introduced multiple times in the House, has the potential to dramatically restrict EPA's ability to rely on key scientific studies that underpin public health regulations.

The rule, on its face, would require EPA to take actions inconsistent with statutory mandates, including requirements to use the best available science in its regulatory processes. Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic provided an informative discussion of the proposed rule last year. The latest draft proposed update to the proposal, discussed at a House Science Committee hearing this week, further confirms that the Trump administration isn't really interested in reining in agencies' power relative to Congress, or in other professed conservative values. In this bizarre apparent move (which, to be fair, is only in draft form at this point), EPA makes clear it's relying on a manifestly inapplicable law as its only legal authority. By doing so, the administration is making clear its goal is just to make it harder for EPA to use science to justify more stringent regulation …

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Nov. 21, 2019

EPA's Draft Update to Its 'Science Transparency Rule' Shows It Can't Justify the Rule