U.S. News

EPA ends Trump-era 'transparency' rule that ignored certain science studies

By Zarrin Ahmed   |   May 26, 2021 at 1:10 PM
EPA Administrator Michael Regan, pictured here during a congressional hearing on April 20, said Wednesday ending the rule allows the agency to "move forward with urgency."  File Photo by Chip Somodevilla/UPI

May 26 (UPI) -- The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday finalized a rule to end a "secret science" regulation that was imposed under former President Donald Trump that excluded certain studies that didn't make all data publicly available.

The agency announced the end of the rule on Wednesday.

The move allows the EPA to consider studies that don't make available all data, which is sometimes done to protect privacy.

Trump's administration billed the restriction as a transparency measure, but critics argued that it might ultimately do more harm than good for an agency that values such varying scientific data like the EPA.

"This action ensures that EPA can utilize the best available science and data to support our work to protect the public from pollution," EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.

"The Biden-Harris Administration has an unwavering commitment to scientific integrity, and to listening to experts and scientists so we can move forward with urgency to deliver on EPA's mission."

The rule made it more difficult to use major health studies to guide pollution regulations, according to Science Magazine, and health scientists warned that the policy would interfere with current and future research.

Trump's administration imposed the restriction before he left office in January. A federal court threw out the rule in February after a request from new President Joe Biden. The court said a previous ruling eliminated the legal basis for the rule.