WASHINGTON (February 28, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the implementation of a new process by which the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) will evaluate scientific data that informs decisions about proposed rules by the Agency. The new process will restore opportunities for peer review and strengthen the independence of the board. The improved process is based on the principle that early engagement with the Scientific Advisory Board is a priority and will best enable EPA to benefit from the expert advice received from the board.
“Everything we do as an agency must uphold the highest standards of scientific integrity, and today’s action is a major step toward stronger, independently reviewed science,” said APE Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This new process, Science Supporting EPA Decisions, will allow EPA to effectively engage the Science Advisory Board while ensuring that the Board’s important independent advisory status is maintained.”
This new Science Supporting EPA Decisions process strengthens peer review at EPA by:
- Restore the role of the SAB by having structured opportunities to conduct peer review of critical scientific and technical actions developed by the EPA.
- Strengthen the independence of the SAB’s role by delineating and identifying the need for peer review for EPA decisions.
- Ensure that the EPA considers and develops peer-reviewed science early in its rulemaking process.
- Restore public confidence in the EPA by ensuring the use of peer-reviewed scientific data to inform decision-making.
“The Science Supporting EPA Decisions process is a win for peer-reviewed science and will lead to better EPA regulatory decisions” said Thomas Brennan, director of the SAB personnel office. “This process is effective immediately.”
The Biden-Harris administration is committed to restoring the central role of science and evidence to address many public health and environmental challenges, including climate change, environmental justice, PFAS, health children, air quality, water quality, contaminated land and many more. others. Sustainable EPA decision-making depends on the credibility of the science that informs those decisions. The credibility of science depends on adhering to well-established and proven processes and procedures for peer review that ensure scientific integrity, and strong peer review depends on engaging independent external experts in a timely and rigorous manner. Today’s action responds to these objectives.
A memo from Associate Administrator for Policy Victoria Arroyo, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Research and Development Christopher Frey and Director of the SAB Personnel Office Thomas Brennan describes the enhanced process for engaging EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) in reviewing the scientific and technical basis for EPA’s proposed rulings. This memorandum was issued at the request of the Administrator and supersedes previous procedures.
The memo was posted on February 28, 2022 and is available at SAB Personnel Office website: https://sab.epa.gov/ords/sab/sab_apex/r/files/static/v403/Science%20Supporting%20EPA%20Decisions.pdf.