Regulatory reform proposals and the public health.
The U.S. Congress is considering legislation that would change policy for environmental health in important ways. Current approaches have been criticized for addressing the wrong set of priorities and consuming too many resources. The legislation requires additional analyses and sets new decision criteria to be applied to federal agency actions taken to protect the environment and public health. Close review of the legislation suggests that though it is intended to address identified problems, it is unlikely to lead to an improved basis for public policy and is likely to paralyze the regulatory process. Reform proposals that reduce rather than increase fragmentation of decision-making and that address problems comprehensively rather than selectively are needed.