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Proposed Legislation Would Improve Expert Panel Selection, Limit Conflicts of Interest and Enhance Systematic Reviews

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 1, 2012) - Members of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, led by Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-Tx.), have introduced legislation to reform the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) and its subcommittees. The bill, H.R. 6564, "EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2012," would improve the composition and transparency of EPA's scientific advisory panels and instill greater transparency in the reviews underpinning many important regulatory decisions.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement:

"We cannot overstate the importance of this bill to Americans who must have confidence in a regulatory system that is transparent and that makes decisions based on sound science and with the best interests of our country in mind. Chairman Hall and fellow committee members have taken an important first step toward achieving that goal by proposing legislation that would strengthen the scientific integrity of the advisory panels on which EPA relies to make those decisions.

"Not only would this bill lead to improvements in how panels are formed, but it would also hold peer review panels accountable in responding to public comment, ensuring that legitimate scientific concerns are transparently addressed. The bill would also ensure that SAB expert panels clearly communicate to the Administrator any uncertainties associated with their findings and recommendations.

"In addition, we are pleased that H.R. 6564 is in line with recommendations presented earlier this month in a report by the Research Integrity Roundtable, which is designed to maximize transparency and objectivity at every step in the regulatory decision-making process. ACC and  our members urge swift passage of this bill."


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