Science Meets Regulation

Posted by Anne LeHuray, April 11, 2013

The working world I inhabit is hard to explain to outsiders.  Regulations that govern many aspects of doing business are governed by application of laboratory or theoretical science to the real world.  Sometimes figuring out science-based regulation is easy – an exercise in applying well understood physical principles to engineering design to, for example, calculate safe light bulb wattage for a lamp or construct an effective pressure release valve for a water heater.   But using science to develop environmental regulation?  First, various branches of science had to be invented from scratch or vastly expanded.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was founded in 1970 to focus on protection of the environment.  EPA’s website has a “history” section that goes into the the founding of the Agency and major milestones since.  Continue reading