Summary: H.R.2729 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (07/21/2009)

Requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to designate as protected outdoor research reserves for the purpose of conducting long-term environmental research on the impacts of human activities on the natural environment: (1) Savannah River National Environmental Research Park; (2) Idaho National Environmental Research Park; (3) Los Alamos National Environmental Research Park; (4) Fermi Lab National Environmental Research Park; (5) Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park; and (6) Nevada National Environmental Research Park.

Requires each site to support environmental research and monitoring activities to characterize and monitor site conditions and serve as control areas for comparison with environmental impacts of DOE land management, energy technology development, remediation, and other site activities outside the Park areas. Authorizes areas of research and monitoring on the sites to include: (1) ecology of the site and the region; (2) population biology and ecology; (3) radioecology; (4) effects of climate variability and change on ecosystems; (5) ecosystem science; (6) pollution fate and transport research; (7) surface and groundwater modeling; (8) student training; and (9) environmental impacts of development and use of energy generation technologies, including renewable energy technologies.

Requires DOE to enter into a cooperative agreement with a university, community college, or consortium of institutions of higher education with expertise in ecology and environmental science of the region in which the Park is located to ensure the independence of the research, monitoring, public education, and outreach activities.

Requires each site to support an outreach program to inform the public of the diverse ecological activities conducted and to educate students at various levels in environmental science.

Requires DOE to designate a National Environmental Research Park Coordinator within the Department of Energy Office of Science to: (1) coordinate research activities among the Parks; (2) ensure that information on best practices for research, education, and outreach activities is shared among the sites; and (3) serve as liaison to other federal agencies to facilitate collaborative work at the Parks.

Authorizes appropriations for FY2010-FY2014.

Authorizes the Parks to be utilized to provide educational opportunities through the Summer Institutes program authorized in the Department of Energy Science Education Enhancement Act.