Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Chesapeake Bay Foundation: New EPA Rule Limits Access To Sound Science

On January 5, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule that hamstrings the agency’s ability to use all available sound science in its work, including setting and revising standards essential to restoring the Chesapeake Bay and its waterways, according to the
Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The “Strengthening Transparency in Pivotal Science Underlying Significant Regulatory Actions and Influential Scientific Information,” rule places unnecessary and unworkable restrictions on the agency’s ability to use scientific research that does not make public its underlying data.

Many existing standards are based on studies, such as Harvard’s seminal 1993 Six Cities Study definitively linking premature deaths to air pollution, that protect participants’ private medical information.

This rule effectively bars EPA from using these and other peer-reviewed studies that represent the best available science precisely because they draw on this confidential data.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Vice President of Environmental Protection and Restoration Alison Prost released the following statement:

“This rule needlessly hampers EPA’s ability to use the best available science on the cynical pretense of promoting transparency. It will cripple the agency’s ability to set the water and air quality safeguards essential to ensuring public health and restoring the Chesapeake Bay and the local rivers and streams that feed into it.

“Sound science is the foundation of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint’s plan to put the Bay and its waterways on the path to restored health and productivity by 2025. We cannot save this national treasure or protect the health of the watershed’s 18 million residents when EPA adopts disingenuous rules that run counter to its mission.

“After four years of fighting the current administration’s anti-science agenda, CBF looks forward to working with the incoming Biden-Harris administration to return sound science to its rightful place as the basis for setting standards that protect human health and the environment.”

For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here to support their work.

Also visit the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership to learn how you can help clean water grow on trees.

CBF has over 275,000 members in Bay Watershed.

[PA Chesapeake Bay Plan

[For more information on how Pennsylvania plans to meet its Chesapeake Bay cleanup obligations, visit DEP’s PA’s Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan webpage.

[Click Here for a summary of the steps the Plan recommends.

[How Clean Is Your Stream?

[DEP’s Interactive Report Viewer allows you to zoom in on your own stream or watershed to find out how clean your stream is or if it has impaired water quality using the latest information in the draft 2020 Water Quality Report.].


Post: EPA Finalizes Rule To Limit Science Behind Public Health Safeguards

Resource Link:

-- EPA Final Rule - Strengthening Transparency in Pivotal Science Underlying Significant Regulatory Actions and Influential Scientific Information

Related Articles This Week:

-- Chesapeake Bay Foundation Reports Bay Health Down Slightly, But There Is Hope

-- Foundation For PA Watersheds Schedule For Spring, Fall Grant Applications

-- PA Organization For Watersheds & Rivers Hosts Jan. 15 Webinar On Stream Hydrology And Geomorphology In Restoration Planning 

-- NRCS-PA Hosts Jan. 13 Online Program On Requesting Farm Conservation Assistance

-- Lower, Middle Susquehanna RiverKeepers Urge Public To Use Water Report App To Report Water Quality, Fishing Conditions 

-- Susquehanna River Basin Commission Adopts General Permit For Groundwater Remediation Projects

[Posted: January 5, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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