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Simpson Supports House Passed Bills to Improve EPA Transparency

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Washington, March 18, 2015 | comments

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson this week supported a series of bills to bring greater transparency and accountability to actions by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  H.R. 1029, the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015, and H.R. 1030, the Secret Science Reform Act of 2015, were both passed by the House of Representatives with bipartisan support.

The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, which would make a number of reforms to the EPA’s Science Advisory Board to ensure that EPA’s decisions are made on qualified and independent science, complements Simpson’s efforts to address concerns about the EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program.  In recent years the IRIS program has drawn harsh criticism from the science community.  H.R. 1029 takes action based on findings from a National Academy of Sciences study that Simpson commissioned in 2011 when he chaired the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee.

“The public needs to be able to trust that EPA’s policy decisions are based on good science and not swayed by politics,” said Simpson.  “When we first examined the IRIS system, we found a broken process that lacked scientific accountability, and I’m pleased that Congress has taken up addition efforts to improve transparency and accountability and increase public participation in EPA’s decision making process.”

The Secret Science Reform Act would ensure that EPA is accountable and transparent to taxpayers by making scientific data used by the agency available to the public. This bill addresses the lack of transparency often demonstrated by the Obama Administration when issuing new regulations that have significant impacts on the American people.

“I have been a strong advocate for strict EPA oversight so Americans can avoid the burdensome regulations that federal agencies far too often create,” said Simpson. “Without public availability of scientific data, there is no way for the science community to participate in a fully vetted process. These bills would bring much needed transparency and accountability to the EPA.”

H.R. 1029 passed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday by a vote of 236-181 and H.R. 1030 passed today by a vote of 241-175. Both pieces of legislation now head to the Senate for consideration.

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