Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today passed the bipartisan EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act (H.R. 1029), introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Vice-Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). The bill brings fairness, transparency, and independence to the EPA’s expert panel. 

Vice-Chairman Lucas: “This is a good-government bill; it reflects the values we should uphold regardless of which side of the political aisle we are on. The bill recognizes the important role science should play in our policy debates and provides safeguards to give the public confidence in science. It restores the independent Science Advisory Board (SAB) as a defender of scientific integrity.”

The SAB was created in 1978 to provide independent expert advice to the EPA and Congress on scientific and technical information that may be used to justify federal regulations.  Over the past decades, shortcomings with the current process have arisen, including limited public participation, EPA interference with expert advice, and potential conflicts of interest.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “The EPA has been known to twist science to justify their actions.  Behind the scenes, however, there is a review process that was intended to provide a critical check on the EPA’s conclusions. This bill strengthens the EPA Science Advisory Board’s independence so that the Administration cannot manipulate science to further its political agenda. Americans expect the review of regulatory science to be balanced and transparent.”

The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act restores scientific integrity to the process and independence to the Board.  The bill guarantees a well-balanced expert panel, increased transparency, and public participation to empower the SAB to provide meaningful and unbiased scientific advice. The bill passed by a vote of 236-181.

Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).