Environmental PolicyAmerican Government

EPA to Restrict Use of Scientific Research

Posted on in Environmental Policy · American Government

Leaked documents published by the New York Times indicate that the Environmental Protection Agency is planning a rule change, which would require that all scientific research data used to inform regulatory guidelines—including confidential medical records—be made public. This change would limit the types of science that can inform policy, because of personal health confidentiality.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for EPA Rule Change


“EPA plans to restrict the science experts can use for health rules: report”

“E.P.A. to Limit Science Used to Write Public Health Rules”

“EPA Proposal Could Restrict The Science That Informs Public Health Laws”

“EPA to make regulatory decisions using questionable science”

“The EPA Says It Wants “Scientific Transparency”. What It Really Wants Is Control Over Research”

“Should the Public Have Access to the Science Used to Regulate It?”

“The New York Times’ Several Glaring Inaccuracies “That’s Fit To Print””


  • Writing: Describe the EPA’s mission under the Trump Administration. How does this mission differ from the Obama-era mission? Is there any evidence of bureaucratic drift? Of agency capture?
  • Debate: The EPA’s proposal to require raw, sometimes confidential data to be made public will limit the quality of future environmental regulation.
  • Poll: Does this new EPA proposal promote ‘scientific transparency’ or does it restrict research by jeopardizing confidential medical records?
  • Short Answer: What does this new ‘scientific transparency’ proposal mean for future environmental impact studies?

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