March 15, 2019

EPA’s Controversial Proposed “Secret Science” Rule

Maurissa J. Rushton and Thomas J. Grever

The Trump administration may soon overhaul the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) use of science in the rulemaking process. See Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science, 83 Fed. Reg. 18,768 (proposed Apr. 30, 2018) (to be codified at 40 C.F.R. pt. 30). As proposed, the new EPA rule would exclude from agency consideration any scientific studies that are not publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent validation. The rule is designed to change agency culture and practices, and ultimately could lead to vast changes in environmental regulation. Not surprisingly, responses toward this bold and aggressive rule have been widely polarized.

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