HomeWashington Letter2021 ▶ Another Win: Censoring Science Court Battle
Another Win: Censoring Science Court Battle

Court action in the challenge to the Trump Administration's Censoring Science rule reached a conclusion this week as the Biden Department of Justice asked the Montana District judge to vacate – or nullify – the Censoring Science rule and remand the rule back to the EPA.  The judge agreed and the Censoring Science rule is officially vacated, completing an important legal win for the scientific community and for protection of research participants’ confidentiality.

As you may recall, the Censoring Science rule required the EPA to make raw data of any study it used be publicly available. For studies whose raw data could not be make publicly available, those studies would be given less consideration by the EPA.  Had the rule been implemented, the likely result would have been a permanent demotion of any study that relied on patient data.

While the ATS was not a named participant in the case, ATS staff and ATS members played a key role in working with the team of lawyers challenging the Censoring Science rule.  "I am thrilled and relieved the court has struck down this rule, which was really a bureaucratic trap to block consideration of studies on the health effects of pollution," says Mary B. Rice MD, chair of the ATS Environmental Health Policy Committee.  “The court’s decision means the EPA can now focus on developing policies that will use the best available scientific evidence to protect our health."

Last Reviewed: February 2021