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EPA Clarifies Transparency in Regulatory Science Rule

Posted on March 24, 2020 by Lauren Scott

On March 18, EPA released a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) in the Federal Register to clarify the scope of the 2018 proposed rule “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science,” which is to be housed at 40 CFR Part 30. The original rulemaking was designed to make information that influences certain EPA rulemakings publicly accessible.
The SNPRM broadens the scope of the information required to be accessible by the 2018 proposed rule to include influential scientific information as well as significant regulatory decisions. More specifically, it adds “data and modules underlying pivotal science and pivotal regulatory science.” The SNPRM also modifies how the data, modules, and significant regulatory decisions would be made available.
EPA is accepting comments submitted here until April 17, 2020.

2018’s Proposed Rule

On April 30, 2018, EPA posted a proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to require that “pivotal regulatory science” data used for regulatory decision-making be made available to the public “in a manner sufficient for independent validation.”
EPA’s intent with this rulemaking is to “enhance the transparency and validity of the scientific information relied upon by EPA.” In the proposal, EPA cites a “replication crisis” in scientific literature and states that they are following the example of certain scientists who are arguing in favor of more stringent requirements for reproducibility of published data.
See the 2018 proposed rule here.
To house the proposed provisions, EPA plans to add a Part 30 to 40 CFR, titled “Transparency in Regulatory Decisionmaking.”

What These Rulemakings Mean for You

The 2020 update allows employers, EH&S compliance managers, hazardous waste workers, and the public as a whole to access the information that goes into many EPA decisions that affect US facilities. Employers and employees alike will be able to use this information to influence their own Standard Operating Procedures in the workplace.

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