Pentagon warns against EPA’s science proposal

Pentagon warns against EPA’s science proposal
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The Pentagon is criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to boost “transparency” standards for the science it uses in decisionmaking.

Patricia Underwood in the Department of Defense’s office of energy, installations and environment told the EPA last week that the proposal could unnecessarily exclude sound science from the agency’s use.

“While we agree that public access to information is very important, we do not believe that failure of the agency to obtain a publication’s underlying data from an author external to the agency should negate its use,” she wrote.

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“It is improbable that EPA will be able to obtain underlying data from all authors, this should not impede the use of otherwise high-quality studies.”

Underwood’s comments were first reported by Greenwire Tuesday.

They were in response to a landmark proposal, first pushed by former EPA head Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas MORE, to restrict the agency’s use of scientific findings and studies in regulations, enforcement and elsewhere, unless all of the underlying data can be made available to the public.

Health advocates, environmental groups and some scientists have criticized the proposal as a veiled attempt to handicap the EPA’s regulatory authority by prohibiting the use of major scientific findings in fields like epidemiology.

But conservatives and many regulated industries support the proposal and say it would shine a much-needed light on the EPA’s activities.

The EPA received thousands of comments on the proposal before the deadline last week. It must review the comments before potentially making the regulation final.