Why is EPA’s Transparency Proposal Controversial?

Eileen J. O'Connor

EPA recently proposed a new rule it calls “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.”  Its stated purpose is to improve the data and models underlying the rulemaking process by making them publicly available for further analysis and validation.  The proposed rule was welcomed by those who believe it will improve rulemaking and public understanding of it.  And it has been condemned by those who believe it will have the opposite effect, limiting the data that could be used in the agency’s rulemaking process.

In this Public Interest Comment, Susan Dudley, Director of The George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center, examines the proposed rule and compares it to the existing practices of scholarly journals and other federal agencies.  She concludes that clearer explanations of rulemaking rationales will encourage more openness and constructive discussion, ultimately improve policy decisions, and engender greater acceptance of policy choices.

In this Forbes column, Dudley summarizes the Public Interest Comment, and recommends that critics and supporters of the proposed rule read it and file comments on it.   Originally scheduled to close May 30, EPA has extended the public comment period to August 17, and has scheduled a public hearing for July 17.

Eileen J. O’Connor

Eileen J. O'Connor, PLLC


Federalist Society’s Administrative Law & Regulation Practice Group

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