WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a lead author of the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, released the following statement in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that shows EPA is hindering the ability of the Science Advisory Board (SAB) to comply with the law:
“This GAO report shows a need to reform the Science Advisory Board. EPA’s flawed regulatory process has resulted in costly and burdensome regulations on Arkansans and all Americans. Bringing openness and transparency to the creation of the agency’s policies will strengthen the process and hold EPA accountable. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act so we can make these recommended improvements,” Boozman said.
Boozman and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, S. 543, in February. This legislation would improve confidence in the fairness and transparency of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and rulemaking by reforming the science advisory process, to makes changes to the SAB by increasing transparency, enabling SAB reviews of EPA “risk or hazard assessments” that are used to justify regulations, ensuring that the dissenting views of scientists on review panels are not silenced, standardizing the SAB member selection process to make it consistent with practices at the National Academies and other federal agencies, limiting non-scientific policy advice, increasing SAB disclosures, and eliminating SAB conflicts of interest.
In May, a Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee held a hearing to discuss the Boozman-Manchin legislation.The SAB was established by the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 (ERDDA) to provide scientific advice upon the request of the EPA Administrator and Congressional Committees, but improvements need to be made.