The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule on Tuesday that would limit the kinds of scientific research it can use in crafting regulations, an apparent concession to big business that has long requested such restrictions.
Under the new proposals, the EPA will no longer be able to rely on scientific research that is underpinned by confidential medical and industry data. The measure was billed by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt as a way to boost transparency for the benefit of the industries his agency regulates.
But scientists and former EPA officials worry it will hamstring the agency’s ability to protect public health by putting key data off limits. “The science that we use is going to be transparent, it’s going to be reproducible,” Pruitt told a gathering at the EPA.