New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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Data Quality Comparison Chart

OMB Watch has created a table that compares the draft Data Quality guidelines generated by a wide variety of agencies and departments. This serves as a guide to the categories and characteristics that OMB Watch compared between the various drafts. The table is available at

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Court Rules Data Quality Act Not Judicially Reviewable

A U.S. District Court has ruled that the Data Quality Act (DQA) and its subsequent guidelines to agencies are not judicially reviewable. This represents the first DQA case handled by the courts. A previous court decision addressed the issue of the DQA's judicial reviewability, but that legal claim in that case was not limited to data quality.

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Critical Habitat Proposed for Endangered Species Challenged Under Data Quality Act

The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed designating 376,095 acres essential to the survival of the southwestern willow flycatcher. The southwestern willow flycatcher is an endangered bird whose habitat covers the southwestern portion of the United States. Information related to this endangered species was challenged under the Data Quality Act in 2003 and may have helped shape the habitat designation.

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Congressional Report on Data Quality Act Supports OMB Watch Findings

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) recently updated a report on the Data Quality Act (DQA) entitled The Information Quality Act: OMB's Guidance and Initial Implementation." The report summarizes the history of the DQA from its passage as an appropriations rider, through development of information quality guidelines, to the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) annual report to Congress. Several of the report's conclusions coincide with observations and recommendations made by OMB Watch in an analysis of OMB's annual DQA report to Congress.

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Data Quality Act Progresses in the Courts

The debate over whether the Data Quality Act (DQA) is judicially reviewable might be getting closer to an end. The federal judge reviewing an industry DQA lawsuit questioned whether the statutory language provides for such review during oral arguments Sept. 3.

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Industry Data Quality Challenge Weakens Dietary Guidelines: Deadline for Comments Sept. 27

An industry data quality challenge appears to have succeeded in weakening new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) dietary guidelines.

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Lawmakers Attack Science of Endangered Species Act

Conservative lawmakers are using peer review and data quality language to obscure what amounts to an attack on the Endangered Species Act. Two new bills would require the Fish and Wildlife Service to establish minimum criteria for scientific studies used as the basis for listing species, and to conduct restrictive independent peer reviews on all data used.

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Data Quality Challenge Helps Bump Species from Consideration for Endangered List

On March 31, 2003 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of the Department of the Interior received a data quality petition from Terry Bashore of the U.S. Air Force challenging information concerning FWS' proposed rule to list slickspot peppergrass as an endangered species. The challenge clearly contributed to the FWS' decision to withdraw its proposal to recognize and protect the plant as an endangered species.

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Ask Your Representatives to Investigate the Data Quality Act

OMB recently published a report to Congress that analyzes and summarizes the first year under the Information Quality Act (IQA). The IQA, commonly known as the Data Quality Act, requires agencies to produce guidelines to ensure that information they use is of high quality. OMB Watch responded with an analysis, which found OMB's report presented Congress with misleading and incorrect facts. Congress never had a hearing on the law, and in light of the OMB report, it is now time for congressional oversight.

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Justice Department Supports Dismissal of Second Data Quality Lawsuit

The Justice Department (DOJ) issued a brief June 25 recommending the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the Chamber of Commerce and the Salt Institute under the Data Quality Act (DQA). The March 31 lawsuit against the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) challenged agency statements about sodium consumption.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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