EPA announces new process for rulemaking
Compiled by Georgia Farm Bureau
On Feb. 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the implementation of a new process by which its Science Advisory Board (SAB) will assess the science that supports decisions regarding agency proposed rules affecting the use of crop protectants, endangered species and water, among other things.
According to an EPA press release, the new process will restore opportunities for peer review and strengthen the independence of the board. The updated process builds on the principle that early engagement with the Science Advisory Board is a priority and will best enable EPA to benefit from the expert advice received from the board.
The process includes the following:
• Early engagement of the SAB in peer-review activities;
• Formation of a new SAB work group to examine, screen and identify potential actions proposed by the EPA that may call for SAB review. The work group would take its recommendations to the full SAB for consideration;
• EPA submission to the SAB staff office of information regarding planned actions in the agency’s semiannual regulatory agenda expected to undergo interagency review;
• EPA transmittal to the SAB staff office of all proposed actions sent to the Office of Management and Budget for interagency review, as well as the relevant supporting scientific and technical information;
• Periodic internal preparatory meetings of the new SAB work group to examine planned actions, identify aspects that may need review and prepare a report with recommendations for or against peer review for each planned action;
• Public meetings of the full SAB to decide whether to conduct recommended SAB peer reviews.
These details were outlined in a Feb. 28 EPA memo, which can be accessed at https://sab.epa.gov/ords/sab/sab_apex/r/files/static/v403/Science%20Supporting%20EPA%20Decisions.pdf.