(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, sent a letter to Dr. Francesca Grifo, Science Integrity Official at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stating concerns over the quality and possible data-related misconduct surrounding the science EPA used to justify significant and costly air regulations. Vitter asks for a specific instruction from Dr. Grifo to resolve matters of “secret science.”

“It is absolutely critical for the federal government to use legitimate science and data when justifying and implementing expensive rules and regulations that have everyday impacts on the public. And yet, there is reason to believe that EPA is guilty of data-related misconduct,” said Vitter. “For years EPA has stonewalled Congress and the American public from gaining access to the research behind a number of significant air regulations. The Agency’s excuses for failing to be transparent are wearing thin, and the underlying data needs to be made available so there can be independent reanalysis.”

During the nomination process for Administrator Gina McCarthy, EPA agreed to EPW Republicans’ request to start a process to release all research data from certain epidemiological studies that were the subject of follow-up studies used in the benefits analyses of numerous significant air regulations proposed by EPA. EPA has since failed to fulfill the request in full.  Independent examinations of what little data has been made available indicate that the data may have been corrupted, destroyed, or otherwise intentionally made unavailable for independent reanalysis.

On March 11, Vitter sent a letter to Assistant Administrator Bob Perciasepe reminding him of the EPA’s agreement that the EPA would initiate a process for de-identification of personal health information (PHI) within the studies. Click here to read the March 11 letter.

Click here to see the pdf of Vitter's letter today.