S. 544 would amend the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating a “covered action” unless all scientific and technical information used to support that action is publicly available online in a manner that is sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results. Covered actions would include assessments of risks, exposure, or hazards; documents specifying criteria, guidance, standards, or limitations; and regulations and regulatory impact statements.
Although S. 544 would not require EPA to disseminate any scientific or technical information that it relies on to support covered actions, the bill would not prohibit EPA from doing so. Based on information from EPA, CBO expects that EPA would spend $250 million annually over the next few years to ensure the transparency of information and data supporting some covered actions, assuming the availability of appropriated funds.
Enacting S. 544 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. S. 544 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.