EPA puts off final decision on science transparency rule

October 17, 2018 by Ellen Knickmeyer

The Environmental Protection Agency says it is putting off for at least a year any final announcement on a controversial proposal overhauling how the agency evaluates science. Critics say it could bar the use of landmark public health studies.

EPA spokesman Michael Abboud said Wednesday the agency now expects no published action on the proposal for at least 12 months.

The rule was one of the most contentious proposed by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who stepped down last summer amid ethics scandals.

Supporters say the so-called transparency rule would help the public understand the science behind EPA regulations. Critics say it could block use of the kind of confidential patient data that underpins major environmental regulations.

The EPA says it received almost 600,000 public comments on the proposal.

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