March 30, 2005
The Salt Institute and the Data Quality Act: Shaking Up Judicial Review of Agency Rulemaking
On March 31, 2004, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Salt Institute filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia claiming that the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) violated the Data Quality Act (DQA) by failing to release scientific studies on which NHLBI based a 2003 report recommending lower sodium consumption to improve health. On November 15, 2005, the Court dismissed the case, ruling that the DQA is not judicially reviewable. Now, the Salt Institute is appealing the finding.
Industry representatives claim that without judicial review, the DQA cannot achieve the transparency in science it was written to require. Critics of the law describe it as an industry lobbying effort to put roadblocks in the regulatory process.
On March 30, 2005, the Environmental Law Institute hosted a discussion of the future of the Data Quality Act and its implications for environmental regulations. Sean Moulton (Senior Information Policy Analyst, OMB Watch), Rena Steinzor (Professor of Law and Director, Environmental Law Clinic, University of Maryland; and Member Scholar, Center for Progressive Regulation), and Jim Tozzi (Former Deputy Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, The White House, Office of Management and Budget; and Director, Multinational Business Services) provided their expert insight into this timely topic. Mark Greenwood (Partner, Ropes & Gray LLP) moderated the panel.