Summary: H.R.4840 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to House with amendment(s) (10/15/2002)

Sound Science for Endangered Species Act Planning Act of 2002 - Amends the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require the use of the best scientific and commercial data available as a basis of determinations on a petition to add or remove a species from the endangered species list. Directs the Secretary of the Interior to give greater weight to any scientific or commercial study or other information that is empirical or has been field-tested or peer-reviewed.

Requires that a petition regarding a species contain clear and convincing evidence of the current and historic ranges of the species concerned, of the most recent population estimates and trends for the species, that any alleged change in the population is beyond the natural range of fluctuations, and of the reason that the petitioned action is warranted.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) promulgate regulations that establish criteria that must be met for scientific and commercial information to be used as the basis of a determination to support listing a species; and (2) identify and publish in the Federal Register with notice of a proposed regulation a description of additional scientific and commercial data that would assist in the preparation of a recovery plan. Prohibits the Secretary from determining that a species is endangered or threatened unless field data collected supports the determination.

Defines "covered action" to include: (1) additions to or removals from the lists of endangered or threatened species; (2) a recovery plan; and (3) a determination that a proposed action is or is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) appoint an independent review board to review and report on the scientific information and analyses on which a covered action is based before such covered action becomes final; and (2) provide specified participation opportunities to any person who has sought authorization or funding from a Federal agency for an action that is subject to consultation regarding its effects on endangered or threatened species or habitats.

Extends the Secretary's review period for covered actions from one year to 18 months.