WASHINGTON (CN) - An environmental consulting firm may access confidential business information to help the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water prepare new wastewater management guidelines and standards, according to a new rule.
Consulting firm Eastern Research Group, along with subcontractors and consultants, contracted with the EPA "to secure technical and engineering analysis support" for regulation under the Clean Water Act.
The EPA regulates "effluent" guidelines and standards, which relate to wastewater run-off from various industries, including water treatment, paper, steel, and meat.
The transfer of confidential information, "will allow the contractor and subcontractor to support EPA in the planning, development, and review of effluent limitations guidelines and standards under the Clean Water Act," the rule said.
The information to be transferred to Eastern Research Group has been collected by the EPA about a variety of industries, or will be collected by the EPA in the future.
The researchers are bound by EPA confidentiality requirements and they all must sign non-disclosure agreements, the agency said.
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