EPA’s Response to Inspector General’s Report on Endangerment Finding
Today, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report on EPA’s process as it relates to the greenhouse gas endangerment finding. Some news accounts have mischaracterized the report’s findings. The following is EPA’s statement in response to the OIG report and some important excerpts from that report.
We appreciate the important role played by the Inspector General’s Office and will give the recommendations in this report the utmost consideration.
Most importantly, the report does not question or even address the science used or the conclusions reached – by EPA under this and the previous administration – that greenhouse gas pollution poses a threat to the health and welfare of the American people. Instead, the report is focused on questions of process and procedure. While EPA will consider the specific recommendations, we disagree strongly with the Inspector General’s findings and followed all the appropriate guidance in preparing this finding.
EPA undertook a thorough and deliberate process in the development of this finding, including a careful review of the wide range of peer-reviewed science. Since EPA finalized the endangerment finding in December of 2009, the vast body of peer reviewed science that EPA relied on to make its determination has undergone further examination by a wide range of independent scientific bodies. All of those reviews have upheld the validity of the science.
EXCERPTS FROM OIG REPORT:
EPA met statutory requirements for rulemakings.
We did not test the validity of the scientific or technical information used by EPA to support its endangerment finding.
We did not make conclusions regarding the impact that EPA’s information quality control systems may have had on the scientific information used to support the endangerment finding.
EPA fulfilled the statutory requirements for notice and comment rulemakings mandated in the Administrative Procedure Act and in Section 307 of the CAA, and employed several of its processes designed to ensure data quality.
OMB in response to our draft report stated that OMB believes that EPA reasonably interpreted the OMB bulletin in concluding that the TSD did not meet the bulletin’s definition of a highly influential scientific assessment.