Sunday, July 07, 2002

Federal Data Quality Act! A contributor at FreeRepublic caught a Wall Street Journal item (that was only in the print edition) about the Federal Data Quality Act which will take effect on October 1 and
... will require government agencies to ensure the quality of the data they use when issuing new rules, regulations and studies. For the first time, anyone – businesses are likely to be the most eager – will be able to challenge the data used in formulating government regulations, instead of just challenging the rules themselves.

Many companies, believing some costly federal regulations are based on worthless data, are cheering. Liberal activists, who think the act strikes a blow to public access to information, are jeering.


Indeed, business groups already are lining up to fire off their guns at the rules they plan to challenge under the newly enacted law. Top on the list are some associated with clean-air regulations and climate change.


Groups could always challenge federal regulations, but prior to the Data Quality Act, they couldn’t challenge information or data that might be used to make them.

Agencies do sometimes use flawed data. In the spring, a study used by the Environmental Protection Agency to set Clean Air Act standards and regulate industries was found to have a software glitch that altered its results, exaggerating the reported effects of air pollution on human health. The Health Effects Institute of Boston, a nonprofit group supported jointly by the EPA and industry, tipped off the EPA to the study’s faults, saying its figures might be off by as much as 23%. The EPA had used the flawed study to set air-pollution regulations governing industries and cities, affecting hundreds of businesses. The study was two years old when the glitch was detected.
I'd say that was just the tip of the iceberg - what about all the politically motivated "assumptions" that permeate "environmental studies"? Of course, the usual whiners have their panties in a wad:
But “If human health is potentially at risk, you can’t wait for all the facts to come in,” says Sean Moulton, senior policy analyst for OMB Watch, a liberal political watchdog group.
Lynx fur, anyone? And don't forget Chicken Little! It's got to be the fault of the US taxpayer, since it's no use blaming anyone without money to grab.