Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the pre-publication version of the “Strengthening Transparency in Pivotal Science Underlying Significant Regulatory Actions and Influential Scientific Information” final rule, which was signed by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on December 30. The final rule would prohibit the Agency from properly considering scientific studies in its regulatory process that do not make their underlying data publicly available for independent validation. EPA is seeking to have the rule take effect as soon as it is published in the Federal Register, rather than adhering to the mandatory 30-day implementation delay required by the Administrative Procedure Act.
Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) made the following statement.
“This midnight regulation represents one of the Trump Administration’s most pernicious efforts to roll back environmental protections and undermine the integrity of federal scientific policymaking. As long as the rule remains in place, it will hinder the EPA in fulfilling its mandate to use the best available science to protect public health and the environment. The Trump Administration’s determination to rush this rule across the finish line and implement it immediately, in violation of the law is a cynical exercise that runs directly counter to the public interest. When President-Elect Biden takes office on January 20, I will urge his Administration to act swiftly and decisively to undo this rule so that the EPA can return to carrying out its critical mission on behalf of the American people.”