Public health leaders call for withdrawal of controversial EPA proposal

Letters signed by 60 public health school deans and program directors, including Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Dean Michelle Williams were sent on November 26, 2019 to President Donald Trump and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler expressing strong opposition to an administration proposal that would restrict the EPA from using certain types of data to help create public health-related regulations. According to the authors, the proposed rule would undermine the science that underpins important government policies that protect health.

The proposed rule would require that any studies used to set EPA regulations be based on data that is publicly available. But critics have pointed out that many important studies rely on confidential health information, and that the scientific community judges high-quality science not on data transparency, but on rigorous peer review.

The public health deans and program directors wrote, “We strongly urge the administration and the EPA to withdraw its proposal to restrict scientific research and follow the current, effective measures in place to ensure the use of robust, uncensored scientific research to protect the health of our citizens and our communities.”

The proposal is currently under review at the Office of Management and Budget.

Read a post from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and the letters to President Trump and EPA Administrator Wheeler

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Trump plan would limit research used to protect public health (Harvard Chan School news)