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Comments to EPA on Draft Scientific Integrity Policy

On February 23rd, Policy Integrity submitted comments to EPA on its draft Scientific Integrity Policy. We argue that the draft Policy appropriately clarifies that economic analyses are protected by the same integrity policies as other scientific assessments, but it currently cites EPA's 2010 Guidelines for Performing Economic Analyses as the only example of a best-practice document that "should be followed" when assessing benefits, costs, and economic impacts. Several key elements of those 2010 guidelines are out of date, notably the recommendations on discount rates. Our comments offer a simple redline to ensure that other documents that meet the standards for objectivity--like the updated Circular A-4, or the pending ecosystem service guidance--could also fall under the Policy's proposed protections.