A House of Representatives committee has cleared a bill that would alter the makeup and operation of expert panels that advise EPA on scientific matters. H.R. 1422 would boost industry participation on panels of EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB). It would also significantly weaken SAB’s ability to limit oral comments from industry lobbyists or environmental activists. And the legislation would require the board to respond in writing to some of those comments. The House Science, Space & Technology Committee adopted the bill 21-16 along party lines on April 11. Industry organizations, including the American Chemistry Council, an association of chemical manufacturers, are pushing Congress to make these changes. Opponents include the Union of Concerned Scientists and environmental groups.