EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a proposed rule designed to increase scientific transparency by requiring that data used to support regulatory actions be publicly available rather than those studies with confidential information withheld. “The rule will ensure that the regulatory science underlying agency actions is fully transparent, and that underlying scientific information is publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent validation,” the agency said. That includes dose-response data and models. EPA says the proposed rule is in line with the scientific community’s moves toward increased data sharing to address the “replication crisis”—a growing recognition that a significant proportion of published research may not be reproducible. Environmental groups were quick to criticize the proposal. “This has nothing to do with transparency and everything to do with helping out Pruitt’s industry benefactors,” said Ana Unruh Cohen, climate scientist and managing director of government affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council. NRDC said “medical studies, clinical reports, and real-world field studies all include data and information that cannot be made public without violating confidentiality and patient protection rules” under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPPA. The proposal will be subject to a 30-day comment period.
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