Trump EPA’s Censored Science Rule Jeopardizes Scientific Integrity and Public Health

Statement of EDF Senior Attorney Ben Levitan – January 5, 2021

January 5, 2021
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718,

“News reports say that, as expected, EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler has finalized a rule that will restrict the science the agency can use to protect public health. It’s a nasty parting shot from an administration that has undermined science and jeopardized our foundational environmental and public health protections from its beginning.

“Wheeler’s Censored Science Rule will limit EPA’s ability to consider rigorous scientific studies if all the underlying data are not available to third parties – even if those studies rely on confidential patient information, or there are other legal, ethical or practical barriers to disclosure. When EPA is prevented from using the best available science, the result will be policies that don’t adequately protect the health and safety of all Americans.

“The Censored Science Rule also includes vague and ambiguous language allowing the EPA administrator to grant exceptions for some scientific studies. This will introduce political maneuvering into what should be a purely scientific process.

“The Censored Science Rule will hobble EPA’s ability to do its job and will expose Americans to more health risks from pollution. Even EPA’s own Science Advisory Board warned this policy could “reduce scientific integrity” at the agency. The Biden administration should add this to the long and growing list of bad policy decisions that should be reversed as soon as possible.”

- Ben Levitan, EDF senior attorney

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