EPA Responds to NY Times Article on Evidence Used for Health Rules

In the November 12, 2019 print version, the New York Times published E.P.A. Plans Limit On Evidence Used For Health Rules.  The article indicated the Trump administration is preparing to significantly limit the scientific and medical research the government can use to determine public health regulations, overriding protests from scientists and physicians who say the new rule would undermine the scientific underpinnings of government policymaking.

On November 12, EPA responded with a news release, which stated the NY Times article inaccurately describes a draft supplemental federal register notice EPA submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review on November 8, 2019.  According to the news release, EPA prepared the supplemental notice to clarify, modify and supplement certain provisions included in the 2018 proposed rule “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.”

Claims of Inaccurate Portrayal
Among the inaccuracies identified is the NY Times article’s statement “unlike a proposal that surfaced in early 2018, this one could apply retroactively to public health regulations already in place.”  EPA stated the proposal and supplemental notice will not apply to regulations already in place and characterized the NY Times article on this issue as “completely false.”

The news release also disputed the NY Times article’s statement that the supplemental notice would require scientists to disclose their raw data, including confidential records.  EPA stated it will continue protecting confidential health information, just as other agencies do.

Opportunity for Public Comment on the Supplemental Notice
EPA also mentioned the public will have the opportunity to comment on the supplemental notice once it is formally published and the final rule will address all comments.

To see EPA’s news release https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/new-york-times-several-glaring-inaccuracies-thats-fit-print