In DepthU.S. Regulatory Science

EPA expands controversial ‘transparency’ plan

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Science  13 Mar 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6483, pp. 1180
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6483.1180

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Summary

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has expanded the scope of controversial proposal for how the agency considers scientific studies when crafting regulations. The initial plan, released in 2018, had drawn withering criticism from many U.S. science and environmental groups, who had seen it as a way to exclude relevant science on the health effects of pollution. The EPA proposal generally bars the agency from using studies that have not made their underlying data and mathematical models available to the public. Critics argue that the new version, released for public comment last week, is more troubling because it greatly expands the kinds of science that the policy might put off limits. EPA is asking for comment on an approach to sharing some confidential health data modeled on a program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An alternate idea, EPA suggests, would be to allow regulators to consider all relevant studies, regardless of their transparency, but to put a greater weight on those that have released data.

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