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A November 12 news release from EPA addressed a New York Times (NYT) article published November 8 and titled, EPA to Limit Science Used to Write Public Health Rules. The newspaper reported on a leaked, preliminary draft supplemental Federal Register notice (FRN) EPA crafted to clarify and modify certain provisions included in the 2018 proposed rule, Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science, also known as the “secret science rule”.

The NYT reporter claimed that “unlike a proposal that surfaced in early 2018, this one could apply retroactively to public health regulations already in place.” EPA asserts that this claim is completely false and clarifies that although the agency is taking comment on the FRN, it is not a new proposal and is simply supplemental to the 2018 proposed rule. The NYT article goes on to report that the proposed rule “would require scientists to disclose all of their raw data, including confidential medical records,” which again, EPA refutes.

The supplemental FRN has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review, though EPA states this document is a different version than the one leaked to the New York Times. The release of this story coincided with a House hearing on transparency in regulatory science held by the Committee for Science, Space, and Technology.