The Environmental Protection Agency is taking steps intended to “restore public faith” in the agency’s Science Advisory Board, EPA said Monday.

The agency says the changes will tweak the process the SAB uses to "assess the science that informs decisions regarding Agency proposed rules."

“This improved process for engaging the SAB focuses on scientific and technical review to ensure that EPA decisions are informed by the best available science and builds on best practices from the previous years of running this process,” a memorandum from EPA officials says.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the new policy "will allow EPA to effectively engage the Science Advisory Board while ensuring the important independent advisory status of the Board is maintained.”

In a news release, the agency said the new policy would strengthen “the independence of the SAB’s role by scoping and identifying the peer review need for EPA decisions” and also ensure the agency “considers and develops peer reviewed science early in their rule-making development process.”

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“Scientific and technical peer review is essential to assessing the quality of the science supporting EPA decisions and maintaining the integrity of the agency’s regulatory and policy processes,” the memo says.

Thomas Brennan, director of the SAB staff office, said the change is effective immediately. 

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