A committee of scientific advisers, including a number of appointed by President Donald Trump, says some rollbacks of clean-air and car rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are based on weak scientific analysis and must be revised, based on draft reports revealed on Tuesday.
The EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB), which is tasked with providing unbiased input for agency coverage, revealed four draft reports on the last day of the year analyzing the scientific bases to the agency’s recommendations to clean-water, mercury, car fuel-efficiency, and scientific transparency rules.
In the case of the EPA’s proposed modifications to mercury and air toxics regulations for power plants, the advisers told the EPA to “instigate a brand new risk assessment” of the scientific basis of its 2018 proposal that includes “all related health outcomes for neonates, children, and adults” and widens its research of consumption of fish affected by mercury.
In a different report, the advisers proposed a number of suggestions geared toward strengthening the agency’s car emission regulation, which would scale back the Obama administration’s vehicle emissions standards for vehicles for models up to 2026.
In one other report analyzing the agency’s modifications to the Waters of the U.S. rule, which defines which waterways can be federally regulated, the committee stated the agency’s new definition was “not fully in step with established EPA recognized science” … “to revive and maintain the chemical, physical and organic integrity of the Nation’s waters.”
In response to the advisory panel reports, an EPA consultant defended the rulemakings examined by the advisers and said their findings weren’t final.