WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Tuesday a new ordinance that would limit the type of scientific studies that the agency could use to develop policies. A move that critics say will permanently weaken the agency's ability to protect public health.
Under the measure that E.P.A. Demands that the underlying data be publicly available for all scientific studies used by the Agency for the formulation of air and water legislation. This would sharply limit the number of studies available for consideration, as much research relies on confidential health data from study participants.
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"The science we use will be transparent, it will be reproducible," said Mr. Pruitt.
Both advocates and critics say that the policy will have far-reaching consequences that will limit the EPA's ability to regulate Carbon emissions Air pollution and pesticides could limit.
The new ordinance implies that some of the key research of recent decades – for example, studies that associate air pollution with premature deaths and exposure of Measuring people's exposure to pesticides – unavailable to policy makers were unwilling to break the confidentiality agreements they had made with study participants to collect sensitive personal information.
Adopting politics as a regulation How the EPA intends to do so will come accepting public entrants and going through a lengthy bureaucratic process. However, once completed, the measure would be difficult to solve for future administration.
Public health and environmental groups have vowed to challenge the move in court.
Richard J. Lazarus, professor of environmental law at Harvard, said Mr. Pruitt would "go into a minefield of justice" if he told the EPA not to consider certain studies in decision-making by agencies.
That, Mr. Lazarus said, would be considered as an arbitrary and capricious decision under the Administrative Procedure Act governing the Agency's rules and would "subject any regulatory requirement to the authority to be issued based on such erroneous record in order to obtain a judicial annulment . "
Proponents of the plan, which include the chemical and fossil industries as well as prominent representatives of climate change, say the ordinance will ensure the future EPO guidelines are based on science that can be independently verified.
The proposed regulation was not available online in the Federal Register when Mr. Pruitt spoke, but a lead copy of the New York Times stated that the measure created "the transparency and validity of E.P.A. regulatory science" and stressed the financial burdens of federal regulations.
"If EPA develops regulations, including regulations, for which the public is likely to bear the costs that come from public funds, EPA should require that the underlying scientific information be accessible to the public," reads the summary the regulation.
The public will have 30 days to comment on the proposal before final drafting is envisaged in the draft. The E.P.A. did not respond immediately to a request for a comment.
The announcement comes as Mr Pruitt prepares to face Congress on Thursday to discuss several questions about his frequent first-class travel, great security details and other use of taxpayers' money. His supporters said they were encouraged that the cloud of ethics hanging over him did not prevent Mr. Pruitt from pursuing ambitious new strategies.
"That's the most important thing he can do," said Steven J. Milloy, a longtime champion of the measure, who has worked on the EPA of President Trump's transition team and a website that aims to establish the established one To undermine science of man-made climate change. "This will be E.P.A.'s science and public."
In an interview on Sunday at WNYM-AM in New York, Mr. Pruitt said the measure would allow the public to test the results of the scientists for themselves.
"It gives people time to peer review, it's about what we should act as an agency," Pruitt said.
John Schwartz contributed reports from New York.