HomeWashington Letter2018 ▶ ATS Requests Extension in Public Comment Period for Proposed EPA Data Rules
ATS Requests Extension in Public Comment Period for Proposed EPA Data Rules

This week, the ATS lead a sign-on letter campaign comprised of 15 medical and public health organizations requesting that EPA grant a 60 day extension of the public comment period, and hold public hearings, regarding its proposed news requirements for scientific research considered by the agency.  While the letter is neutral on the content of the proposed rule itself, it does note the potential for sweeping changes caused by the proposal, and requests additional time to submit thoughtful comments on the proposed policy.

The proposed EPA rules, published April 30, 2018, include substantial changes in how the agency will use scientific data for the purposes of policy setting.  Under the proposed rules, all research studies used by the agency would have to make all original data sets, methodology and other research tools publicly available to allow independent verification of the research conclusions and ensure research findings are reproducible. 

The current comment deadline is May 30, 2018. 

While EPA leadership has described the policy as an attempt to ensure “transparency”, “public access”, and “reproducible science” in its decision-making process, the ATS is concerned the actual policy goals are less noble.  There are many examples of scientists hired by the tobacco or industry, who, when granted access to data from studies that show adverse health effects from tobacco -exposure or air pollution, have contorted the data sets to reach findings more favorable to industry. These actions intentionally cast doubt on the original research and give the industry cover to delay or prevent more effective regulatory policy. 

Regardless of the comment deadline, the ATS will submit comments expressing concern with the proposed policy.

Last Reviewed: May 11, 2018