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The government held yet another hearing Wednesday, about a proposed rule regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of science. Called the “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” rule, it’s been hotly debated since the EPA proposed it. Proponents say it helps to make public information that should be freely available to Americans. Opponents say it’s an attempt to keep the EPA from regulating dangerous chemicals, disguised as concern for scientific integrity. Outcry over the rule forced the EPA to extend its deadline for the public to submit comments and to hold a public hearing in July.
Now the public comment period is long over, although the EPA has not yet said if it will formally adopt the rule. Wednesday’s hearing, held by a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, simply rehashed arguments we’ve seen before. There were a couple of twists, however.