A “best science available” directive appears in a variety of environmental law statutes. Although seemingly clear, this directive has created an abundance of litigation with various plaintiffs challenging agency decisions under the Administrative Procedure Act’s (APA) arbitrary and capricious standard of review. Since agencies are given broad discretion in their decisions—even those based on science—this Comment argues for clear congressional guidelines in best science available directives, because only such guidelines would ensure greater agency compliance with congressional intent, give courts more direction in reviewing agency decisions under the APA, and, in the long run, maximize the scientific integrity of agency rules and decisions. In the environmental and wildlife protection contexts, this will ensure that agencies achieve Congress’s objectives, resulting in greater species protection.
Full Title Name: Maximizing Scientific Integrity in Environmental Regulations: The Need for Congress to Provide Guidance When Scientific Methods Are Inadequate or When Data Is Inconclusive