Lucas, Peterson Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen EPA Independent Scientific Advice

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Congressman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) today introduced H.R. 1029, the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015, legislation to ensure the science guiding EPA’s regulatory policy is objective, independent and available for public review. The bipartisan bill establishes guidelines for membership to the Science Advisory Board, which advises the EPA’s regulatory decisions. Companion legislation was also introduced today in the Senate by Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

“I appreciate Congressman Peterson joining me in this bipartisan effort to ensure the best experts are free to undertake a balanced and open review of regulatory science. The Science Advisory Board (SAB) informs the EPA on regulations that impact the lives of millions of Americans,” said Congressman Lucas. “The heavy costs of these regulations warrant some degree of public oversight to ensure SAB’s findings are free from bias or conflicts of interest and not simply provided by a set of handpicked advisors. The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act addresses these issues by ensuring the science guiding EPA’s regulatory policy is open to review by the public and requiring members who serve on this board to disclose their professional backgrounds.”

The Science Advisory Board’s work is important to making sure the EPA considers all scientific information when writing regulations that will impact American farmers, families and small businesses. This legislation builds on the work done in the 2014 Farm Bill and is necessary to ensure the EPA takes into account the best information possible, with input from the public and independent stakeholders. A balanced and independent Science Advisory Board will help alleviate some of the unintended consequences surrounding EPA regulations,” said Congressman Peterson.

Background:

The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015 amends the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1978 to:

  • Protect the independence of the Advisor Board
  • Provide clear membership requirements of the Advisor Board
  • Make the Board’s advice and comments, including dissenting views, publically available
  • Strengthen and encourage public participation
  • Protect the integrity of scientific advice and process

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