HomeWashington Letter2021 ▶ Court Delays Implementation of Censoring Science Rule
Court Delays Implementation of Censoring Science Rule

This week, a Montana District Court Judge delayed implementation of the “Censoring Science” rule, which was issued in the final days of the Trump Administration.  The rule required that EPA share with the public the underlying “raw” data of any scientific study the agency was relying on for significant rule making.  The Trump Administration had made the rule effective immediately, in order to force the Biden Administration to implement a policy that the new Administration opposed. 

Environmental groups sued in federal court, saying that the Trump Administration violated the Administrative Procedures Act by making the rule immediately effective (most major regulations have 30 - 90-day effective dates).  The court agreed that the EPA erred in making the rule immediately effective. The judge also took the unusual step of suggesting that the substance of the rule also was illegal, however the court’s decision was narrowly limited to the immediate implementation date.

The Biden Administration had already issued an executive order directing the EPA and the Office of Management and Budget to take steps to reverse the rule.  The practical effect of the court’s ruling is that the Biden EPA will not have to implement this concerning rule and can instead revoke the rule with minimal effort. 

While the ATS was not a named participant in the court challenge, ATS members and ATS staff worked closely with the legal team submitting the court challenge to the immediate implementation of the rule.


Last Reviewed: January 2021