House Republicans have opened up two long-overdue lines of attack on the EPA.
As reported by Energy And Environment Daily,
Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) believes that U.S. EPA has worked out a nifty way to make an end run around both Congress and the federal regulatory process when it wants to implement a new rule that may be politically sensitive.
All the agency has to do is get some green group to sue over some aspect of the desired rule, he said. Then EPA can roll over in the ensuing legal battle and head right to settlement proceedings, claiming it was “forced” by the court system and consent decrees to initiate the new rulemaking. It is a path devoid of both messy public comment periods and political accusations over whether EPA is moving unilaterally.
And if that wasn’t enough, the group that sues EPA can even get its legal expenses covered for its trouble, Whitfield said. Their attorney’s fees can be paid for out of federal government’s Judgment Fund, which is set aside to pay for settlements in lawsuits against the government.
“We have reason to believe … that EPA is out there encouraging these lawsuits,” Whitfield said at a hearing yesterday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the impacts of government regulations on the business and manufacturing sectors.
This EPA maneuver was first reported on by John Merline of Investors Business Daily in 1998 and updated in a front-page story last week.
Next, Republicans have finally taken notice of the EPA toxicological fantasy known as the Intergrated Risk Information System (IRIS), the database where EPA “explains” its rationale for its regulatory standards for chemical exposures.
As reported by Environment and Energy Daily,
Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) said yesterday that recent reviews of the IRIS program by the National Academy of Sciences and Government Accountability Office have found IRIS’s scientific methodologies to be fundamentally flawed.
“Time and time again,” Broun said at a House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee for Investigations and Oversight hearing, “draft assessments were sent to NAS for review, only to be severely criticized. Rather than adopting the recommendations of the academy and updating their processes, EPA continued to churn out assessments that were summarily rebuked.”
Information enshrined in IRIS is often/usually/typically/almost always cherry-picked, based on unvalidated, arbitrary and default assumptions and otherwise wholly non-scientific.