Carper: EPA Must Use Best Available Science to Protect Public Health and the Environment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), issued a statement following a EPW Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight hearing entitled, “Oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Implementation of Sound and Transparent Science in Regulation,” led by Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and top Democrat Cory Booker (D-N.J.). In light of EPA’s proposed rulemaking entitled “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science,” and proposed legislation including the HONEST Act, Senator Carper raises concerns about the dangers of moving forward on rules that disregard science and that could result in serious health and environmental consequences.

“Today, Democrats and Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee, led by Senators Cory Booker and Mike Rounds, came together for a necessary and timely conversation about the importance of using the best available science when federal agencies are crafting rules intended to protect our health and the environment.

“There can be disagreements when it comes to policy, but there should be no disagreement when it comes to whether or not the best science available should guide our policymaking. Regrettably, with the Trump administration at the helm, we are seeing agencies like the EPA bend over backwards to undo vital environmental protections industry and lobbyists deem burdensome by attacking the very settled science that prompted the need for such protections in the first place. In today’s hearing, I asked our witnesses to describe the dangers of moving forward on a rule that could have serious health and environmental consequences on the air we breathe and the water we drink because if EPA isn’t considering these dangers, it’s simply not doing its job.

“Delaware is the lowest lying state in our nation. Back home, the reality that our climate is changing is not up for debate because families and businesses are already seeing, and in some cases paying, for its devastating effects. Across the country, our waters are getting warmer, sea levels are rising and acidifying, and natural disasters are becoming more prevalent. We also know that mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin that accumulates in human bodies if consumed, threatening the health of generations to come. Facts like these cannot be pushed to the side – people’s lives are on the line.

“Truth, science, and reason should guide policy-making at the EPA, not fear, alternative facts, or lobbyists.”

Watch Senator Carper’s line of questioning and the full hearing here.


  • Senator Carper in April 2017 sent a letter to EPA requesting information related to reports that EPA political appointees quashed a staff determination that the HONEST Act would cost $250 million to implement.
  • Senator Carper in May 2017 sent a letter to EPA asking about the dismissal of 12 of 18 scientists from its Board of Scientific Counselors.
  • Senator Carper in July 2017 sent a letter to GAO requesting an update to its report on EPA’s federal advisory committees.
  • Senator Carper in November 2017 signed a letter to GAO asking it to evaluate EPA’s new policy prohibiting scientists who received federal research funding from serving on a federal advisory committee.   
  • Senator Carper in January 2018 sent a letter to EPA asking about EPA appointment of two scientists with conflicts of interest.
  • Senator Carper in February 2018 sent a letter to GAO supplementing its analysis of EPA’s federal advisory committees with documents showing a potential politicization of EPA’s nomination process.
  • Senator Carper in April 2018 sent a letter to then-Administrator Pruitt requesting more information on his planned proposal to change the ways in which EPA uses scientific information.
  • Senator Carper in May 2018 signed a letter requesting an extension of the public comment period for the proposed rule.
  • Senator Carper in July 2018 sent a letter to Administrator Wheeler asking to restore the public’s confidence in EPA’s mission and to consider lessons of the past.