Summary

                            To amend the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to provide for Scientific Advisory Board member qualifications, public participation, and for other purposes.

Introduced in House
EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017

 This bill amends the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration
Authorization Act of 1978 to revise the process of selecting members of the
Science Advisory Board, guidelines for participation in board advisory
activities, and terms of office. The board provides scientific advice to the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This bill requires the board to
independently provide that advice. Registered lobbyists may not be appointed to
the board. Board members may not have current grants or contracts from the EPA
and may not apply for them for three years following the end of their board
term. 

The EPA must provide draft risk or hazard assessments in its regulatory
proposals and documents to the board. The board's advice and comments must be
included in the record regarding those proposals and published in the Federal
Register.

The board's member committees and investigative panels must operate in
accordance with the membership, participation, and policy requirements contained
in this bill, including new requirements for public participation in advisory
activities of the board. 

The board must: (1) strive to avoid making policy determinations or
recommendations, (2) communicate uncertainties, (3) encourage dissenting members
to make their views known, (4) conduct periodic reviews to ensure that its
activities address the most important scientific issues affecting the EPA, and
(5) respond to Congress fully and in a timely manner. 

 This bill may not be construed as supplanting the requirements of the Federal
Advisory Committee Act or the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.

Reported to House without amendment
(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been
expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017

 (Sec. 2) This bill amends the Environmental Research, Development, and
Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to revise the process of selecting
members of the Science Advisory Board, guidelines for participation in board
advisory activities, and terms of office. The board provides scientific advice
to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This bill requires the board to
independently provide that advice.

Among the revisions to requirements concerning the board's membership are the
following:

 * a requirement to balance scientific and technical points of view;
 * a set minimum level of representation from state, local, or tribal
   governments;
 * allowance of affiliation with, or representation of, entities that may have a
   potential interest in the board's advisory activities;
 * conflict of interest restrictions;
 * restrictions on participation in advisory activities involving review of a
   member's work; 
 * a prohibition on appointment of registered lobbyists; and
 * prohibitions on member receipt of current EPA grants or contracts. 

The EPA must make public a list of nominees to the board and accept public
comments on the nominees. Reports filed upon the provisional nomination of a
member disclosing financial relationships and interests must also be made
public.

The EPA must provide draft risk or hazard assessments in its regulatory
proposals and documents to the board. The board's advice and comments must be
included in the record regarding any such proposal and published in the Federal
Register.

The board's member committees and investigative panels must operate in
accordance with the membership, participation, and policy requirements contained
in this bill, including new requirements for public participation in advisory
activities of the board. The member committees and investigative panels do not
have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the board and may not report
directly to the EPA. 

The bill imposes additional public participation requirements, including:  * The
   EPA and the board must make public all reports and relevant scientific
   information at the same time they are received by the board; 
 * The
   board must hold public information-gathering sessions to discuss the state of
   the science related to a major advisory activity; 
 * 
   Prior to convening a member committee or investigative panel, the EPA must
   accept and address public comments on questions asked of the board, and 
 * The
   board, member committees, and investigative panels may not accept a question
   that unduly narrows the scope of an advisory activity. 



In carrying out its advisory activities, the board must: (1) strive to avoid
making policy determinations or recommendations, (2) communicate uncertainties
associated with the scientific advice provided to the EPA or Congress, (3)
encourage dissenting members to make their views known, (4) conduct periodic
reviews to ensure that its activities address the most important scientific
issues affecting the EPA, and (5) respond to Congress fully and in a timely
manner. 

(Sec. 3) This bill shall not be construed as supplanting the requirements of the
Federal Advisory Committee Act or the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.

Passed House without amendment
(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the House on March
27, 2017. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017

 (Sec. 2) This bill amends the Environmental Research, Development, and
Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to revise the process of selecting
members of the Science Advisory Board, guidelines for participation in board
advisory activities, and terms of office. The board provides scientific advice
to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This bill requires the board to
independently provide that advice.

Among the revisions to requirements concerning the board's membership are the
following:

 * a requirement to balance scientific and technical points of view;
 * a set minimum level of representation from state, local, or tribal
   governments;
 * allowance of affiliation with, or representation of, entities that may have a
   potential interest in the board's advisory activities;
 * conflict of interest restrictions;
 * restrictions on participation in advisory activities involving review of a
   member's work; 
 * a prohibition on appointment of registered lobbyists; and
 * prohibitions on member receipt of current EPA grants or contracts. 

The EPA must make public a list of nominees to the board and accept public
comments on the nominees. Reports filed upon the provisional nomination of a
member disclosing financial relationships and interests must also be made
public.

The EPA must provide draft risk or hazard assessments in its regulatory
proposals and documents to the board. The board's advice and comments must be
included in the record regarding any such proposal and published in the Federal
Register.

The board's member committees and investigative panels must operate in
accordance with the membership, participation, and policy requirements contained
in this bill, including new requirements for public participation in advisory
activities of the board. The member committees and investigative panels do not
have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the board and may not report
directly to the EPA. 

The bill imposes additional public participation requirements, including:  * The
   EPA and the board must make public all reports and relevant scientific
   information at the same time they are received by the board; 
 * The
   board must hold public information-gathering sessions to discuss the state of
   the science related to a major advisory activity; 
 * 
   Prior to convening a member committee or investigative panel, the EPA must
   accept and address public comments on questions asked of the board, and 
 * The
   board, member committees, and investigative panels may not accept a question
   that unduly narrows the scope of an advisory activity. 



In carrying out its advisory activities, the board must: (1) strive to avoid
making policy determinations or recommendations, (2) communicate uncertainties
associated with the scientific advice provided to the EPA or Congress, (3)
encourage dissenting members to make their views known, (4) conduct periodic
reviews to ensure that its activities address the most important scientific
issues affecting the EPA, and (5) respond to Congress fully and in a timely
manner. 

(Sec. 3) This bill shall not be construed as supplanting the requirements of the
Federal Advisory Committee Act or the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.



                        

Actions

  • Considered under the provisions of rule H. Res. 233. (consideration: CR H2564-2576)

    Mar 30th, 2017
  • Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

    Mar 30th, 2017
  • On passage Passed by recorded vote: 229 - 193 (Roll no. 208). (text of measure as reported: CR H2564-2565)

    Mar 30th, 2017
  • Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed by recorded vote: 229 - 193 (Roll no. 208).(text of measure as reported: CR H2564-2565)

    Mar 30th, 2017
  • On motion to recommit with instructions Failed by the Yeas and Nays: 189 - 233 (Roll no. 207).

    Mar 30th, 2017
  • The previous question on the motion to recommit with instructions was ordered without objection.

    Mar 30th, 2017
  • Floor summary: DEBATE - The House proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Foster motion to recommit with instructions. The instructions contained in the motion seek to report the same back to the House forthwith with an amendment to prohibit members of the Science Advisory Board from being employed by any corporate entity that has an interest before the Board during that members service, and for three years following that members service.

    Mar 30th, 2017
  • Mr. Foster moved to recommit with instructions to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. (text: CR H2573-2574)

    Mar 30th, 2017
  • The previous question was ordered pursuant to the rule.

    Mar 30th, 2017
  • DEBATE - The House proceeded with one hour of debate on H.R. 1431.

    Mar 30th, 2017
  • Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 1431 with 1 hour of general debate. Previous question shall be considered as ordered without intervening motions except motion to recommit. Measure will be considered read. Bill is closed to amendments.

    Mar 30th, 2017
  • Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.

    Mar 30th, 2017
  • Rule H. Res. 233 passed House.

    Mar 29th, 2017
  • Rules Committee Resolution H. Res. 233 Reported to House. Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 1431 with 1 hour of general debate. Previous question shall be considered as ordered without intervening motions except motion to recommit. Measure will be considered read. Bill is closed to amendments.

    Mar 28th, 2017
  • Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 35.

    Mar 27th, 2017
  • Reported by the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. H. Rept. 115-63.

    Mar 27th, 2017
  • Reported by the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. H. Rept. 115-63.

    Mar 27th, 2017
  • Ordered to be Reported by the Yeas and Nays: 19 - 14.

    Mar 9th, 2017
  • Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.

    Mar 9th, 2017
  • Referred to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

    Mar 8th, 2017
  • Introduced in House

    Mar 8th, 2017
  • Introduced in House

    Mar 8th, 2017