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Bonamici Presses EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on EPA’s Dismissal of Science

September 19, 2019
Press Release


WASHINGTON, DC [9/19/19] – Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), a leader on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, questioned Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler about the Agency’s proposed rule to censor science. This was the first time a Trump-appointed EPA Administrator appeared before the committee.


The proposed “censoring science” rule, titled Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science, would force the EPA to ignore valuable scientific information. In his testimony, Administrator Wheeler acknowledged the need to issue a supplemental rule to address the inconsistencies and flawed logic in the proposed rule.


In a series of questions, Bonamici pressed Wheeler to justify the EPA’s reversal of its existing policy, which allows consideration of scientific studies in the regulatory process. She questioned whether the Administrator and the EPA are committed to a comprehensive review process of the proposed rule. Bonamici also raised concerns about the potential retroactive application of the proposed rule on landmark environmental laws like the Toxic Substances Control Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Clean Water Act.


“I join many in the science community who are deeply concerned about the EPA's proposed censoring science rule,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “By intentionally limiting the scope of science the EPA can consider in making decisions, the proposed rule would impede, if not eradicate, the EPA’s ability to fulfill its mission to protect the environment and health of our communities.


“The proposed rule is an attack on the role of science itself at EPA. We cannot ignore the facts: this effort to censor science undermines scientific integrity at the EPA, jeopardizes bedrock public health and environmental standards, and endangers the well-being of every person who benefits from clean air and clean water.”


Bonamici has long been a vocal opponent of the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine and ignore science. Last year, she testified at the EPA against the proposed censoring science rule, and joined her colleagues in sending a letter to the EPA in opposition to the proposed rule.


In June, the House passed Bonamici’s amendment to increase funding for the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) to comprehensively review the proposed rule. The EPA previously limited the scope of the SAB’s review of the proposed rule.