House Passes Lucas Bill to Promote Scientific Integrity at EPAWed, 18 Mar 2015 11:28:48 CDT
The House of Representatives Tuesday passed the bipartisan EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act (H.R. 1029), introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Vice-Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). The bill brings fairness, transparency, and independence to the EPA's expert panel.
"The EPA's Science Advisory Board was intended to provide a meaningful, balanced, and independent assessment of the science that informs federal regulatory decisions," said Congressman Lucas. "However, the EPA systematically silences voices of dissent on the Science Advisory Board, ignores calls for independence and balanced participation, and prevents the Board from responding to Congressional requests. This is a good-government bill; it reflects the values we should uphold regardless of which side of the political aisle we are on. The bill recognizes the important role science should play in our policy debates and provides safeguards to give the public confidence in science. It restores the independent Science Advisory Board as a defender of scientific integrity."
The SAB was created in 1978 to provide independent expert advice to the EPA and Congress on scientific and technical information that may be used to justify federal regulations. Over the past decades, shortcomings with the current process have arisen, including limited public participation, EPA interference with expert advice, and potential conflicts of interest.
The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act:
-- Strengthens public participation and opportunities for the public to comment
-- Reinforces peer review requirements and reduces conflicts of interest
-- Provides opportunities for dissenting panelists to make their views known
-- Requires communication of uncertainties in scientific findings and conclusions
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