August 16 was the last day for public comment on the “science transparency” rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which would prohibit the agency from taking many scientific and medical studies into consideration when making policy decisions that impact human and environmental health.
The EPA received nearly half a million comments on its controversial proposal. Among them were comments we at the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund submitted explaining our opposition to the rule.
“CSLDF opposes this proposed rule because it will do harm to important public health safeguards, and will also negatively impact researchers and the scientific endeavor generally. The proposed rule’s attempt to exclude perfectly reliable scientific studies from EPA’s consideration is a thinly veiled attempt to allow the EPA to ignore sound science at its discretion if that science does not conform with the current Administration’s political agenda,” we wrote.
We’ve been following the progress of this proposed rule since Scott Pruitt, former EPA Administrator, unveiled it in late April. In May, we filed a letter urging the EPA to allow more time for discussion on its’ impact. In response to the many requests like ours it received, the EPA extended the comment period and scheduled one lone hearing on it for July 17. Augusta Wilson, one of our staff attorneys, attended the hearing and spoke about why we oppose the rule.
Andrew Wheeler, current EPA Administrator, must now decide whether to finalize the rule. We’ll keep tabs on his decision and report on the outcome.