I want to preface this by saying that I have spent about a week on this board, and much of that time has been spent on the meta, trying to understand this board's unique rules and requirements for answers. I consider myself a strong skeptic, and as a scientist, I use this type of argumentation on a daily basis. However, I am very frustrated by the deletion of my answer on this question:
The question challenges the EPA's regulation of particulate matter with one source: an opinion article in a newspaper. There was another answer that cited specific evidence, and went a long way towards actually, "properly" answering the question.
However, when the EPA makes a regulation, the must make public their evidence behind it. My answer cited and explained the structure of this evidence, namely the federal register synopsis of their several hundred page long integrated science assessment, or ISA.
My answer not only directly addressed the question (it cited evidence supporting the regulation), but it also explained how any other person might handily find these scientific summaries for themselves.
My answer was subsequently summarily deleted. No explanation, no comment to ask for edits, nothing.
This type if heavy handed deletion is absurd, and is the reason so many people so quickly abandon this board. If the answer is deemed insufficient, the answer author should have an opportunity to respond, and clarify or edit as needed. That is literally the process, i.e. peer review, that this board claims to hold in such high esteem. Yet, the boards moderators have no intention of holding themselves to the same high standards of conduct that they so readily admit leads to knowledge.
Edit: Thank you for your thoughtful responses. I deleted the last part, as I admit that I had gotten emotional regarding what happened. Some commenters below have said that this discussion is exactly what I say is lacking, but I'm not sure it's the same thing. As a new member, who has read a bit of the background, rules and meta, I had no idea that the answer was just "hidden". In fact, my notification on the app provides nothing other than "not an answer, removing", and then it was gone. If you actually want people to edit their answers, and have the intention of reinstating them, then maybe that should be the communication. I think this could lead to much better, and more thoroughly edited, answers.
In response to the individual who removed my answer, I think I have a more philosophical point, but I haven't seen a satisfactory answer as of yet, so I suppose I will address it here.
To what extent must an answer be, and only be, a direct answer consisting of quoted peer review articles? Part of my reasoning behind explaining the regulatory process was to describe how difficult these questions are to answer. The CASAC, which reviews the scientific literature regarding a particular criteria pollutant, consists of sometimes over a dozen career scientists, with years of review of thousands upon thousands of peer-reviewed papers, ranging from physical chemistry to epidemiology and dose-response. They genuinely read them all and discuss them. Then they write an ISA, or integrated science assessment, which is a 2,000 page document summarizing the literature. When the administrator finally makes a decision on a regulatory limit, he or she publishes in the Federal Register, and a significant portion of that publication is the empirical defense of the rule.
My question, then, is what value is there actually in just quoting a sound byte from the document? I understand the lay person isn't going to read the ISA (nor should they have to), but if they don't even understand the process, or have at least looked at the federal government's defined source of answers to their question, then do they actually want an answer at all? To me, part of being a skeptic is fundamentally about knowing that exceedingly complex questions cannot be answered in a few sentences, or resolved by a single study. If this board is only interested in those types of answers, and not an extra answer defining a broader scope, then I will reserve my opinion on those questions. But I don't remember reading anything that prohibited an extra answer providing background, and the specific page number of the document which exists to answer the original question.
Thanks for your time and comments everybody. Sorry for my original impulsive post.