Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Tell the EPA: Withdraw the "Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science" proposal that restricts the use of the best available science

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a rule that would restrict the agency's ability to rely on the best available science to ensure that we have clean air and clean water. This is nothing more than an attempt to undermine the EPA's mission to protect public health and the environment. Our air, water, and health all rely on the EPA using the best available science in decision making.

Submit your comment by August 16 at 11:59 p.m.

Feel free to use the sample letter below as a starting place for your public comment.  It's best to share your personal story about how restrictions on science would harm your health and the environment. The more people who file comments, the less the EPA can ignore the weight of the evidence.

Sample Letter:

To: Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

I am writing to express my objection to and concern about the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science" proposal (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2018-0259). I believe that science plays a pivotal role in ensuring our health and safety, preserving our environment, and informing evidence-based policy. This new proposal would undermine the EPA's mission of preserving public health and the environment.

For the EPA to utilize the best available science to shape public health and environmental safeguards, the agency needs to have the ability to use the best research and information. While this proposed rule promises "transparency," it reduces confidentiality and privacy protections by requiring the raw data from these studies to be made public. Consequently, the best available scientific studies in numerous public health fields, where patient privacy prohibits sharing the raw data, would be sidelined. This arbitrary rejection of data from research on air quality, public health, drinking water, hazardous waste, and so many other fields would inhibit the EPA's ability to implement science-based protections.

When policies play a role in our health, safety, and environment, the EPA needs to use the best available evidence and research when finalizing safeguards. This ill-advised proposal would significantly limit the EPA's ability to make the informed policy decisions that the agency is required to under landmark public health and environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

I urge you to reconsider this proposed rule and withdraw it immediately.


Go to the public comment page to submit your individual comment now.

Be sure to submit your comment by August 16 at 11:59 p.m., and check your email for a receipt confirmation.

The Union of Concerned Scientists put together a few resources to assist you in writing your comment:
• Check out our helpful guide for writing a public comment.
• Watch our Public Comments 101 webinar on making effective public comments to the EPA.

More information on the proposal:

Scott Pruitt’s Crusade Against “Secret Science” Could Be Disastrous for Public Health - The New Yorker

Response to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” proposed rule

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