Attempt to exempt NOAA from Data Quality Act abandoned

by William Yeatman on October 7, 2004

in Politics, Science

On September 15, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted out an appropriations bill that included a provision to exempt the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from following the requirements of the Federal Data Quality Act (FDQA).  After the provision came to light and attracted intense criticism, Senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), the subcommittee chairman in charge of the appropriations bill for the Commerce, Justice and State Departments (S. 2809), on September 23 announced that he would remove it from the bill (Greenwire, Sept. 24). 


The FDQA is meant to prohibit federal agencies from using or disseminating information that does not meet minimal standards of objectivity, quality, and utility.  NOAA is one of the principal scientific agencies in the federal government and is in charge of most climate research.


The clause was reportedly inserted by Senator Fritz Hollings (D-S. C.), the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee. It reads, Provided further, That section 515 of Public Law 106-554 and any regulations and guidelines promulgated under such authority shall not apply on or after the date of enactment to research and data collection, or information analysis conducted by or for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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