Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House amended (11/19/2004)

Endangered Species Data Quality Act of 2004 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to direct the Secretary of the Interior, when required to use the best scientific and commercial data available or the best scientific data available in determining that a species is an endangered or threatened species, to: (1) ensure that such data complies with specified guidelines and includes timely field survey data to the extent such data is available; and (2) give greater weight to scientific and commercial data that is empirical or that has been field-tested or peer-reviewed. Directs the Secretary to promulgate regulations that establish criteria for selecting and using such data.

Prohibits the Secretary from determining that a species is endangered or threatened unless the determination is supported by timely field data. Requires the Secretary to include in the rule-making record of such a determination data collected by real property owners or persons holding or applying for contracts, leases, or other permits for real property.

Requires the Secretary to publish, with notice of a proposed or final regulation, a description of additional scientific and commercial data that would assist in the preparation of a recovery plan.

(Sec. 3) Directs the Secretary to: (1) solicit recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences and the governors of affected States for qualified individuals to serve as independent reviewers for "covered actions" (defined to include proposed listings, delistings, or reclassifications of endangered or protected species, the development of recovery plans, and jeopardy determinations); and (2) appoint from such list three individuals who shall report to the Secretary on the scientific information and analyses on which a covered action is based.

Requires: (1) the Secretary to transmit to the independent reviewers all available scientific and commercial data in the administrative record with regard to an action; and (2) the reviewers to provide the Secretary with their response within three months of such transmission.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) publish notice of the draft determination regarding data on which a final determination will be based and provide an opportunity for public comment following receipt of the reviewers' response; and (2) include in the final determination a summary of each independent review (and, if reviewers' recommendations are rejected, an explanation for that decision).

(Sec. 4) Requires the Secretary, when consulting with a Federal agency to determine whether agency action will jeopardize an endangered or threatened species or destroy the critical habitat of such species, to: (1) actively solicit and consider information provided by governors of States where the agency action is located; (2) provide governors of States otherwise affected by such action with an opportunity to submit information; and (3) allow any person who has sought agency authorization or funding for an action to participate in related consultations and to make related comments or other information publicly available.