House passes bill that would impact EPA rulemaking

By Erin Voegele | November 20, 2014

On Nov. 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that aims to prohibit the U.S. EPA from proposing regulations based on science that is not transparent or not reproducible. The bill, titled “The Secret Science Reform Act of 2014," or H.R. 4012, was introduced by Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., in February. The measure passed by a vote of 237 to 190.

Since its introduction, 53 members of Congress signed on to cosponsor the legislation. The bill was addressed by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Subcommittee on Environment.

According to the text of the bill, the EPA would be prevented from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating a covered action unless as scientific and technical information relied on to support such action is specifically identified and publicly available online in a manner that is sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results. The term covered action is defined as meaning a risk, exposure, or hazard assessment, critical document, standard, limitation, regulation, regulatory impact analysis or guidance. The term scientific and technical information is defined to include materials, data and associated protocols necessary to understand, assess and extend conclusions, along with computer codes and models involved in the creation and analysis of such information. Recorded factual materials and detailed descriptions of how to access and use such information also fall under the term.

A full copy of the bill is available on the Congress.gov website here. https://www.congress.gov/113/bills/hr4012/BILLS-113hr4012eh.pdf