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Public Comments Sought for EPA’s Proposed Science and Transparency Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board will convene from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. June 5 and then again from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the next day, according to the Federal Register.

Suspiciously missing from the notice is that the agenda for the meetings includes a “Discussion of EPA’s Proposed Science and Transparency Rule.”

This omission from the notice is troubling.

Here’s why: The proposed “Science and Transparency” rule was introduced in April 2018 and was controversial from the outset.

An article in The Atlantic warned that adopting this rule “would essentially bar the EPA from consulting most large-scale medical studies when creating rules about air pollution, toxic chemicals, and water contaminants.”

The proposal could also force the agency to revoke decades of clean-air protections.

SAB has already registered concerns with the rule: In a June 2018 letter to the EPA, the board wrote, “[a]lthough the proposed rule cites several valuable publications that support enhanced transparency, the precise design of the proposed rule appears to have been developed without a public process for soliciting input specifically from the scientific community.”

You can read the SAB letter to the EPA and the EPA’s response online here.

If you are able to submit testimony for—or at least listen in on—the June 5-6 meetings, it could potentially make a huge difference in the future of clean-air and other environmental regulations.

Those interested in finding out more may view the webcast or call in to listen to the meeting can do so online or via teleconference.

Those interested in submitting testimony should follow the guidance provided by the SAB for “Public Involvement in Advisory Activities.”

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