Washington Watch: Attorneys General Challenge EPA Science-Denial Plan

Washington Watch: Attorneys General Challenge EPA Science-Denial Plan

Last week, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein joined the attorneys general of 14 other states and D.C. to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to ignore most scientific studies in its development of regulations.

The joint letter said a rule proposed by disgraced former EPA director Scott Pruitt “would severely limit the scientific evidence that EPA can consider when adopting rules and standards to protect human health and the environment.”

Specifically, the proposed rule would bar the EPA from considering any study for which not all the underlying data is publicly available. Many scientists regard the proposed EPA rule as one of Pruitt’s gimmicks for ignoring scientific studies he didn’t like.

Stein’s comments noted the problem when he pointed out that the rule “would cause EPA to ignore many key health studies, since legally-required confidentiality protections prevent making those studies’ data public.”

The joint letter urged acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to withdraw his predecessor’s proposed rule, and suggested that a legal challenge would be forthcoming if it isn’t withdrawn. The letter was signed by the Attorneys General of New York, New Jersey, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and the District of Columbia; the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; and the Attorneys of King County (WA) and the cities of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

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