Pruitt explains plan for scientific transparency initiative at EPA

Pruitt explains plan for scientific transparency initiative at EPA
© Greg Nash

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Flint residents can sue EPA over water crisis | Environmentalists see victory with Green New Deal blitz | March global temperatures were second hottest on record | EPA told to make final decision on controversial pesticide Court orders EPA to make final decision on banning controversial pesticide Former EPA chief Scott Pruitt registers as lobbyist in Indiana MORE said Sunday he plans to increase transparency in how the department uses scientific analysis to create rules and regulations.

Pruitt told radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York that he's found much of the research used to create EPA rules comes from third parties.

"One of the things that we're changing here soon is to say, look, if third parties are used as the basis of rulemaking as we adopt rules, it’s important for the American people to have transparency on the data that was reviewed," Pruitt said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT

As a result, Pruitt said the EPA will be announcing its transparency initiatives "very soon." When a third party group conducts an analysis for the EPA, the findings will include the data and methodology as well, Pruitt said, "so people can form their own opinions on whether it was done right."

"It goes to the heart of what we should be about as an agency, which is making sure, as we get comments from citizens across the country on our rules, that they can make informed comments," he added.

Pruitt's attempts to reshape the EPA's transparency rules come as he faces intense scrutiny over a litany of recent ethics controversies.

Pruitt is facing probes and pressure to resign over reports he rented a Capitol Hill condo from the wife of a prominent energy lobbyist for $50 a day only on the days he stayed at the condo.

In addition, recent reports have revealed his travel and security habits have cost taxpayers millions of dollars, and that he reportedly approved raises for two staffers despite the White House rejecting the requests for pay increases.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE and some Republicans have defended Pruitt, praising him for cutting regulations at the EPA.