Aug. 5, 2011 by Matt Shudtz

Platinum Industry Tries a DQA Complaint the Bush Administration Wouldn't Even Accept

On Monday, the International Platinum Group Metals Association submitted a Data Quality Act complaint (pdf) to EPA regarding a draft toxicological review of halogenated platinum salts and platinum compounds. This one ought to go straight to the agency’s recycling bin.

IPA, as the trade group calls itself, is complaining that the draft document, released by EPA’s IRIS office in 2009 for peer review and public comment, does not meet the standards of objectivity and utility required under the DQA and its implementing guidelines. In IPA’s view,

EPA’s exclusive reliance on a single and inappropriate study, as well as the proposed reference concentration derived based on that study, constitutes erroneous information, the dissemination of which -- even in “external review draft” form -- contravenes the DQA.

I won’t go into the scientific debate here because it’s irrelevant to how EPA should handle the DQA complaint. 

Under both OMB’s government-wide and EPA’s agency-specific (pdf) guidelines for handling DQA complaints, the trade association’s complaint is “frivolous” and the agency is well within its rights to decline to review it. The guidelines state that EPA need not review DQA complaints “for which a response would be duplicative …

Aug. 4, 2011 by Matt Shudtz

On Tuesday, EPA finalized important revisions to its Inventory Update Rule (IUR), which is the federal government’s primary means of finding out what chemicals are being produced or used, where they’re being produced and used, and in what quantities. The revisions close up some major loopholes created by the Bush administration and should give the agency more accurate data for its chemical management program, which GAO tagged in 2009 as being at “high risk” of becoming ineffective.

EPA made some important improvements to the rule, now dubbed the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule. Manufacturers will once again have to submit data every four years, instead of every five. When they do, they’ll have to submit data for each year since the last report, instead of just the data from the year in which the report is due. The generic threshold for having to report …

Aug. 4, 2011 by Ben Somberg

Austan Goolsbee, outgoing Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, took to the Daily Show on Wednesday for one last sit-down with Jon Stewart. Stewart included a question on regulations (part 2, at 3:55), and Goolsbee gave a spirited defense:

Stewart: Does the president believe business is overregulated? Does he think we are bureaucratically so snafu-d and entangled that that is the problem with the economy right now?

Goolsbee: As a general matter, no. Though there certainly are individual things that could be done different and streamlined, where, you know, they have to submit paper forms, they can’t do it on the web, you know, things of this nature. But, the president said from way back when, being for rules of the road doesn’t make you anti-market. And in fact, what we saw in the financial system, what we saw in oil drilling in …

Aug. 3, 2011 by Matt Shudtz

Today marks 90 days since the last milestone in the White House’s push toward improvements in federal agencies’ scientific integrity policies. Agencies that have made progress in this time ought to release their draft plans and open them to public comment.

 From an outsider’s perspective, there hasn’t been much progress to evaluate recently. It’s something we’ve gotten used to—after an initial push, this administration has not presented much of a sense of urgency in its efforts to set up new scientific integrity policies. 

A quick timeline: President Obama issued an Executive Order in March 2009 that proclaimed the importance of ensuring scientific integrity in the federal government and assigned the task of developing new administration policies to the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Dr. John Holdren. In December 2010, Holdren issued a memorandum to the heads …

Aug. 1, 2011 by Shana Campbell Jones

Amy Sinden and Lena Pons explained in this space on Friday morning how the White House’s fuel economy deal with the auto industry bypassed the rulemaking process and the agency experts charged with determining the “maximum feasible” standard under the law. Late Friday, Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, joined the fray, promising an investigation of the process. (And we didn’t even know he was a reader of CPRBlog!)

Chairman Issa’s notion that the deal between the White House and automakers was too stringent is absurd, of course. But his stated concern about “the agreement’s lack of transparency, the failure to conduct an open rulemaking process” is absolutely correct.

There’s not much room for doubt that Mr. Issa’s real interest here is in weakening the fuel economy standards, and the administrative process argument is just …

More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
Aug. 31, 2011

The Agenda Behind the Republicans' Latest 'Jobs' Agenda: New CPR Report Reveals Effort to Gut Regulations Is Based on False Premises

Aug. 25, 2011

Platinum Industry Association Responds to My Critique of Their DQA Complaint

Aug. 23, 2011

Regulatory Look-Back Plans: No One Celebrates

Aug. 22, 2011

Never Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Story: New BLS Data is Latest to Disprove Conservative Claims of 'Job-Killing Regulations'

Aug. 16, 2011

On Heels of Debunked Report, SBA's Office of Advocacy Solicits More Anti-Regulatory Research

Aug. 12, 2011

Legs of Two 17-Year-Olds Severed in Grain Auger, White House Sits on Young Worker Safety Rule

Aug. 12, 2011

Thought We Wouldn't Notice: Blanche Lincoln Quietly Switches to New Version of Debunked SBA Regulatory Costs Stat