By Eden Cypher
For this week’s blog topic, I’ve decided to introduce The Public Comment Project, which will be joining us at our upcoming Climate Science on Tap Event, Climate Science goes to Court on February 27th! With a mission of encouraging science-backed policy through promoting scientists to comment on federal legislation, the values of the Public Comment Project relate closely to Cascadia Climate Action’s. Both CCA and The Public Comment Project encourage people to become informed on how they can get involved at a governmental level to push for a more sustainable future.
The public comment process was enacted under the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946, which required government agencies to allow the public to provide their own opinions on proposed government actions. The documents that are put up for public comment are preliminary rulemaking documents, new regulation or rule proposals, proposed changes to existing rules, and agency information collection activities. Not only can citizens comment, but non-profits, industry lobbying groups AND other government agencies have access to using the public comment process, which makes it important for citizens and independent scientists to take advantage of this ability. Though the commenting forums exist online, the summaries and sorting capabilities of the website can be difficult to navigate – this is where The Public Comment Project comes to the rescue!
On their website, which you can check out here, concerned scientists and citizens alike can easily find documents with layperson summaries that are up for public comment. Government agencies are supposed to consider the public’s suggestions seriously, but the openness of public comment is especially important because more disciplines, sectors and professions are included in the discussion.
If all of this sounds interesting to you, make sure to stop by The Public Comment Project table at our event tomorrow, or use their website to make your mark!