Chamber Letter to House Committee's on Data Quality
January 18, 2006
The Honorable Joe Barton
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce
U.S. House of Representatives
2109 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Barton:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urges your committee to conduct an oversight investigation and to request a GAO study of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's failure to respond to the U.S. Chamber's request that the agency correct faulty scientific data contained in numerous databases and models that EPA disseminates. Such data are used by various federal agencies and the public in understanding how chemicals are distributed in the environment, in performing risk assessments, and in determining remedial action measures for Superfund hazardous waste sites and the cleanup of water bodies.
The U.S. Chamber's correction request is important because the use of faulty data disseminated by EPA forces American businesses to unnecessarily spend many tens of millions of dollars to comply with regulations based on bad scientific data when they could be spending it instead on job creation and enhanced health benefits.
When EPA denied the U.S. Chamber's May 27, 2004 Request for Correction, the U.S. Chamber subsequently on April 11, 2005 filed a Request for Reconsideration, which continues to languish at EPA. All that the U.S. Chamber has asked of EPA is that it initiate an inter-governmental consultation among the various federal agencies that use or disseminate physical chemical data and find a way to harmonize and improve the reliability of data that are used for regulatory and other purposes. It is difficult to understand why it should take EPA nearly two years to make a decision about this simple request, particularly as EPA has frequently used inter-governmental consultations to address other important issues.
The U.S. Chamber commends the Energy and Commerce Committee for its continuing concern over the quality of data used for regulatory purposes and looks forward to continuing to work with you on your efforts to assure that data disseminated by federal government agencies is reliable.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce