In case you missed it, yesterday House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Frank Lucas joined his colleagues on the House Agriculture Committee for a hearing with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan.
Lucas questioned EPA Administrator Regan about the EPA’s disregard of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientific evidence regarding chlorpyrifos use and other mitigation measures used on America’s farms and ranches.
Lucas also stressed the importance of EPA Administrator appearing before congressional committees with primary oversight and jurisdiction of the EPA.
On EPA ignoring USDA scientific expertise:
“From my perch as Chair of the House Science Committee, I have seen issues arise when Agency scientists at USDA and EPA are at odds. A prime example is the EPA’s action regarding chlorpyrifos use. When USDA’s Office of Pest Management Policy (OPMP) provided your agency with evidence that certain uses could be retained to meet safety standards, but EPA chose to ignore that evidence.
“In your written testimony you talk about your ‘strong desire to work closely with the farming and ranching community to identify practical science-based policies that protect the environment and ensure a vibrant and productive agricultural system.’
“Can you explain then why the scientific expertise at the USDA has been sidelined on this issue and various others such as the atrazine mitigation measures just to name a few?”
On EPA appearing before committees with primary jurisdiction:
“Having the privilege of being both a Member of the House Agriculture Committee and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee where we’re very focused on research and science and the future, I look forward to seeing you in front of the Science Committee.
“As a matter of fact, we’ll get you an invitation fairly soon. And together we’ll work on these issues and try to make sure that science is the predominant force when we make decisions. I respect the Courts; I respect differences of opinion. But when the science is generated by people closer to the issue in the field and the use, I think we have to give them the benefit of the doubt.”