The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) today petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop utilizing its 2009 Endangerment Finding until it subjects it to the high-level peer review required under the Information Quality Act (IQA). CEI’s petition points out that EPA evaded the requirements of the IQA by refusing to admit that the document was a “highly influential scientific assessment.” In 2011, the EPA Inspector General similarly found the agency failed to properly follow OMB peer review guidelines. CEI argues that OMB’s new data quality guidelines, issued April 24, make EPA’s violations even more serious.
CEI’s petition documents multiple problems with the process EPA used to develop the 2009 Endangerment Finding, including: allowing an EPA employee to serve on the peer review panel, substantial conflicts of interest among the peer review panel, a failure to allow public participation in the peer review process, and EPA’s failure to certify how it complied with the Information Quality Act.
“The 2009 Endangerment Finding provides the basis for many costly regulations that are harmful to both consumers and American businesses. Even the EPA’s own Inspector General agrees the agency should have been subject to the requirements of the Information Quality Act and CEI’s petition points out all the ways the Endangerment Finding fails to meet those requirements,” said CEI attorney Devin Watkins. “The law requires the EPA to stop circulating the Endangerment Finding until it can prove it has corrected the errors documented in CEI’s petition.”
Under new OMB requirements, EPA has 120 days to respond to CEI’s petition.
You can read the full petition here.