EPA Wipes Trump-Era Censored Science Rule from the Books

May 28, 2021
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718, sstein@edf.org

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is formally removing the text of the dangerous Trump-era Censored Science Rule from the books. The action implements a federal court decision from earlier this year striking down the rule after Environmental Defense Fund and its partners filed suit.

“The Censored Science Rule would have undermined EPA’s vital mission to ensure that families in every community across America are protected from dangerous pollution and toxics,” said EDF senior attorney Ben Levitan. “EPA can now fulfill its legal obligation to develop public health and environmental protections without this unlawful roadblock that the Trump administration tried to leave behind.”

The Censored Science Rule would have impeded EPA’s ability to protect public health and the environment by fundamentally undercutting the ways in which the agency may have considered scientific evidence. It would have restricted EPA’s ability to use rigorous, peer-reviewed medical research for which underlying data are not publicly available – even when legal and ethical rules, like medical privacy laws, would have prohibited making that data public.

EDF partnered with Montana Environmental Information Center and Citizens for Clean Energy to file a lawsuit against the Censored Science Rule in January. The litigation resulted in a federal district court in Montana overturning the Censored Science Rule on February 1 – just weeks after the rule was finalized.

EPA is now upholding the court’s decision by removing the text of the Censored Science Rule from the Code of Federal Regulations. The agency’s removal of the Censored Science Rule will be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, June 2.

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