Smith concerned with lack of data from EPA

House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) expressed concern during a hearing on Thursday over federal environmental regulations being promulgated without the scientific data that supports them being released to the public.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testified before the committee on a proposal to extend federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act to man-made ponds and ditches on private property, as well as forthcoming EPA air quality regulations and ozone standards.

“The EPA, like every other governmental institution, answers to the American people,” Smith said. “Everyone agrees that we need to protect the environment, but we should do so in a way that is open and honest. It appears the EPA bends the law and stretches the science to justify its own objectives. We need to know whether the agency is telling the truth to the American people.”

Smith said he plans to introduce new legislation to make scientific data that supports new regulations more transparent.

Earlier this year, Smith issued a subpoena for data to support the EPA’s forthcoming air quality regulations. Over the last two years, however, Smith said the committee has not received data to verify the EPA’s claims despite the subpoena and “countless” letters requesting it.