Pushing for Transparency in Science

NSSGA submitted a Statement for the Record to the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight in support of their efforts to ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bases regulations and guidance on transparent science.

The association supports legislation that asks regulators to release data, models and studies so that academics and interested parties are provided the opportunity to validate the findings—so that regulations are based on sound science.

“Society’s need for a healthy environment must consider the needs of all those affected by its regulations. A transparent regulatory process—informed by accessible, reproducible scientific methods, data and findings—provides the best opportunity for achieving both imperatives,” the association wrote in the official statement to the committee. “EPA’s proposal recognizes and catalogs ample convincing evidence that the Agency’s present rulemaking process is inadequate and should be modernized.”

Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rounds said that the Oct. 3, 2018, hearing titled “Oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Implementation of Sound and Transparent Science in Regulation,” was focused on exploring opportunities to improve the transparency of science used by EPA to create regulations.

“I have, in the past, been concerned that the broad discretion and lack of transparency at the EPA has led the agency to seek out the science that supports a predetermined policy outcome, rather than relying upon the best available science before coming to conclusions,” said Rounds. “Failing to do so results in regulations that overly burden our economy without having a substantial impact on human health or environmental protections.”

Andrew Wheeler, acting EPA administrator, recently told attendees of NSSGA’s Legislative & Policy Forum that sound science must be the foundation of everything the agency does. “Americans deserve to know the science guiding EPA decisions that may impact their lives, especially when it’s funded with taxpayer dollars,” he said.

Read NSSGA’s comments in this PDF, and watch the hearing any time at the Subcommittee’s website.