restricted science


EPA Should Cancel Plans to Restrict Science Once and For All

, Lead science and policy analyst

Today, UCS submitted our comment on the Environmental Protection Agency’s flawed strengthening transparency rule. In our view, this is a proposal beyond fixing. It rests upon an erroneous assumption that the EPA’s regulatory science is not sufficiently accessible to the public. The rule would create a path for opportunistic representatives from regulated industries to challenge the science the EPA uses, tie up the agency in reanalysis paralysis, and saddle external researchers with excess work to arbitrarily give access to underlying data. It has got to go. Read more >

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EPA Refused to Hold a Hearing on its Science Rule, So We Held It for Them

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

On March 18th, a date when many of us were already sheltering in place, the EPA announced a proposal to restrict how the agency uses science to protect public health. The EPA gave the public thirty days to provide comment. Held no virtual public hearings. In the middle of a pandemic. We urged the agency, repeatedly, to hold a virtual hearing on the proposal. Each time, they refused. So UCS decided that if the EPA would not do its job, someone would need to do it for them. EPA would get the feedback and the science advice whether they wanted to or not. Read more >

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Timeline: 23 Years of Attempts to Restrict Public Health Science at EPA

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

The Environmental Protection Agency is advancing a broad proposal to restrict the use of science at the agency with no official public hearings and a limited sixty-day comment period, which ends on May 18. The rule is the culmination of 25 years of attempts to weaken the Clear Air Act and other critical public health laws. For the first two decades, these attempts came directly from industry and occasionally from Congress. But the attacks began from inside once polluter-friendly appointees took over the agency at the beginning of the Trump administration. They know they can’t win on the science, so they want to exclude it. Below is a timeline of attempts to restrict how science is used at EPA. If you see anything missing, drop me a note. Read more >

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EPA Advisory Board’s Restricted Science Advice Is Too Little, Too Late, and Comes During a National Crisis

, Lead science and policy analyst

In a strange turn of events, EPA issued a press release welcoming and quoting its Science Advisory Board’s (SAB’s) final recommendations report on the so-called Strengthening Transparency rule. The paragraph quoted in the press release was not in the SAB’s harsher draft letter, and I would argue it is incorrect in assuming good intentions behind EPA’s rule.

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Photo: Alex Edelman/AP Images
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Roundup: Sidelining Science Hits New Lows in Response to Public Health Crisis

Liz Borkowski, , UCS

The first three months of 2020 provided an immediate and terrible demonstration of what can happen when an administration ignores and misrepresents evidence on a threat to public health, in the form of a rapidly mounting death toll from COVID-19.  Despite the pandemic, the Trump administration pushed ahead with a dangerous rule at the Environmental Protection Agency. Advocates are pushing back against damaging actions while highlighting the value of transparency and whistleblowers. Read more >

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