WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Rick Allen (R-Ga.-12) this week voted for two pieces of legislation passed by the House that improve transparency in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory process and strengthen opportunities for public input.
The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015, H.R. 1029, which passed yesterday, would boost accountability at the panel responsible for evaluating the science behind EPA’s regulatory decisions. The legislation takes steps to restore independence of the Board and promote more public participation.
Today, the House also passed H.R. 1030, the Secret Science Reform Act of 2015, which makes studies EPA uses to create new regulations available to independent scientists and the public.
Congressman Allen stated upon voting in favor of these bills, “For too long, heavy-handed regulations from the EPA have placed enormous burdens on Georgia families and business owners, particularly in agriculture, our state’s top industry. What’s more, these regulations are often formed behind closed doors and without input from those subjected to their high costs and onerous compliance requirements. These bills passed by the House improve transparency at an agency facing a huge trust deficit by giving Americans a voice in EPA’s rulemaking and ensuring the science behind these rules is open and unbiased. We all want a healthy environment, and this legislation strengthens scientific integrity at the EPA while protecting Americans from misguided regulations.”
Additional background information
The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 1029):
· The Science Advisory Board was established by Congress in the 1970s to evaluate the science behind EPA’s regulatory decisions and offer advice to Congress and the agency.
· Yet, over the course of recent years, public participation and input from state and private sector experts during the Board’s meetings has been limited. Meanwhile, members of the panel have often voiced specific policy views, despite the fact that the Board was designed to provide impartial scientific advice.
· H.R. 1029 would enhance transparency by strengthening public comment opportunities. It also takes steps to improve the make-up of the Board through peer review requirements and reducing conflicts of interest.
The Secret Science Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 1030):
· When proposing previous major and costly new regulations, the EPA has often used undisclosed research and studies.
· H.R. 1030 simply prohibits EPA from introducing or enforcing rules based upon science and research that is not available to the public, which ensures independent scientists have the opportunity to examine EPA’s research and prevents the agency from forming new regulations based on secret data.