Summary: H.R.4745 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4745. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (06/26/2000)

John H. Chafee Environmental Education Act of 2000 - Amends the National Environmental Education Act to rename it the John H. Chafee Environmental Education Act (the Act).

(Sec. 4) Requires the Office of Environmental Education (OEE), within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to: (1) develop and support balanced and scientifically sound programs; and (2) provide for implementation of the Act through the headquarters and regional offices of the EPA. Eliminates provisions for: (1) OEE administration of environmental internship and fellowship programs (internship programs are eliminated and fellowship program administration is transferred elsewhere later in this Act); (2) an OEE Director who is a member of the Senior Executive Service; and (3) a minimum of six full-time equivalent employees on the OEE headquarters staff (retains the maximum of ten).

Authorizes the EPA Administrator to carry out OEE activities directly or through awards of grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts.

(Sec. 5) Requires the environmental education and training program funded under the Act to be of sufficient intensity and duration to have a positive and lasting impact on program participants.

(Sec. 6) Revises requirements for environmental education grants to authorize design, demonstration, or dissemination of: (1) education and training programs to support the development of more environmentally effective business practices and employees; and (2) employ the environment as an integrating context for education in science, mathematics, social studies and language arts. Requires that 25 percent of program funds be for grants of not more than $10,000 (currently $5,000). Prohibits environmental education grants from being used to support lobbying activities. Requires the EPA Science Advisory Board to review and approve the guidance before the EPA Administrator issues any guidance to grant applicants.

(Sec. 7) Directs the EPA Administrator to establish and administer the John H. Chafee Memorial Fellowship Program for the award and administration of five annual one-year graduate education fellowships in environmental sciences. (Eliminates provisions for OEE-administered environmental internships and fellowships.)

Provides that such Fellowships are to stimulate innovative graduate level study and the development of expertise in complex, relevant, and important environmental issues and effective approaches to addressing those issues through organized programs of guided independent study and environmental research. Requires each $25,000 Fellowship to be made available to individual candidates to attend a sponsoring institution of higher education through an annual competitive selection process. Requires each Fellowship to focus on: (1) resource management; (2) open space preservation; (3) international environmental issues such as global climate change and sustainable marine resources; or (4) any other environmental issue that a sponsoring institution determines to be appropriate.

Directs the National Environmental Education Advisory Council to establish selection process criteria, receive and review applications, and select Fellowship recipients.

(Sec. 8) Revises and renames certain national environmental education awards. (Eliminates awards named for Theodore Roosevelt, Henry David Thoreau, Rachel Carson, and Gifford Pinchot.)

Changes from discretionary to mandatory the authority of the EPA Administrator to establish the (renamed) President's Environmental Education Youth Achievement Awards program, for young people in grades six through 12 (currently kindergarten through grade 12).

Changes from discretionary to mandatory the authority of the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality to establish the (renamed) President's Environmental Education Teacher Achievement Awards program, for elementary and secondary school teachers and their local educational agencies (and continues to authorize cash awards under such program).

Directs the EPA Administrator to establish a new program of President's Environmental Education Business Achievement Awards, to recognize outstanding achievements by a business or industry in improving business environmental performance through training and education programs.

(Sec. 9) Revises requirements for the National Environmental Education Advisory Council and for the Federal Task Force on Environmental Education. Directs the EPA Administrator to appoint to the Advisory Council a representative of the National Environmental Learning Foundation, and up to ten additional members to represent specified sectors of education. Revises requirements for Advisory Council meetings and reports. Opens membership on the Task Force to representatives of any Federal agency actively engaged in environmental education.

(Sec. 10) Renames the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation as the National Environmental Learning Foundation. Increases the number of directors on the Foundation's Board. Allows the Foundation to acknowledge receipt of donations by listing the names of donors (including a logo, letterhead, or other commercial symbol) in materials it distributes; but prohibits such acknowledgment from appearing in educational material presented to students.

(Sec. 11) Establishes accountability requirements. Directs the EPA Administrator to establish indicators of program quality, meeting specified minimum requirements, for programs and activities funded under the Act (other than fellowship awards). Requires entities that receive grants or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements under the Act (other than fellowship awards) to establish benchmarks of performance on such indicators of program quality and report annually to the EPA Administrator.

(Sec. 12) Extends through FY 2006 the authorization of appropriations to EPA to carry out the Act.

Allows funds under the Act to be made available to the National Environmental Learning Foundation to match contributions made by private persons and State and local governments.