Improving the Government's Environmental Science
Breaking the Logjam: Environmental Reform for the New Congress and Administration Paper
36 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2009 Last revised: 30 Jun 2014
Since the beginning of the modern environmental legal framework in the early 1970s, the credibility of government science has been the focus of constant scrutiny and controversy. This article examines the role of science in environmental regulatory decisions and identifies some persistent problems and recent controversies over the role of science in regulatory decisions. It then proposes two new alternative institutional innovations for improving the science on which the government's environmental decisions rest: a Scientific and Engineering Investigation Board, which would be appointed by EPA and work with key stakeholders to frame and promote progress on scientific issues at the early stages of the regulatory process, and an Institute for Scientific Assessments, which would be an independent agency that would review and resolve key issues of science for use in regulatory decisions. Both proposals seek to minimize the influence of politics on science.
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