Committee targets EPA’s ‘secret science’

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee voted Tuesday to advance a bill that would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to disclose the data it uses to write regulations.

The committee’s bill is intended to stop what Republicans said is widespread use at the EPA of “secret science” to make rules.

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“The EPA’s regulatory process is both hidden and flawed. It hides the data and then handpicks scientists to review it,” the panel’s chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), said in a statement.

“The legislation requires that EPA science be available for validation and replication. Americans impacted by EPA regulations have a right to see the data and determine for themselves if the agency’s actions are based on sound science or a partisan agenda,” he said.

Republicans have long said EPA relies on a secretive process that does not allow for independent review of its regulations.

The EPA has fought back against the accusation, saying its scientific process is sound.

“If EPA is being accused of 'secret science' because we rely on real scientists to conduct research, and independent scientists to peer review it, and scientists who’ve spent a lifetime studying the science to reproduce it — then so be it,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in April.