"Biden Admin Ditches Trump 'Open Science' Order"

"The Interior Department today scrapped its version of the Trump administration's controversial "open science" dictate that critics say unduly constrained research important for environmental policy decisions.

In a much-anticipated move, acting Interior Secretary Scott de la Vega signed a new order to revoke the Trump-era order signed by then-Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt in 2018.

The now-rescinded order complicated potential contracts for "cutting-edge research" and precluded Interior from using sensitive information "regarding sacred sites or rare and threatened species to inform complex policy decisions," according to the department.

Like a similar rule implemented at EPA, the order sought to end the use of what conservatives and industry groups have called "secret science." But critics say the policy targeted studies involving legitimate scientific findings that reasonably keep some underlying data private, such as to protect participants' health information."

Michael Doyle reports for E&E News March 3, 2021.

Source: E&E News, 03/04/2021