Summary: H.R.1644 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (01/12/2016)

Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act or the STREAM Act

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to direct the Department of the Interior to make publicly available online and in the Federal Register, 90 days before publication, any draft, proposed, supplemental, final, or emergency rule, or any environmental analysis, economic assessment, policy, or guidance, and each scientific product upon which Interior has relied in developing the rule, the analysis, or the assessment.

A scientific product is any product that:

  • employs the scientific method for inventorying, monitoring, experimenting, studying, researching, or modeling purposes;
  • is relied upon by Interior in developing any rule, environmental analysis, economic assessment, policy, or guidance; and
  • is not protected under copyright laws.

For scientific products receiving federal funds Interior must also make publicly available the raw data used for them (any computational process or quantitative or qualitative data not protected by copyright or containing personally identifiable information, sensitive intellectual property, trade secrets, or business-sensitive information).

If Interior fails to make publicly available any scientific product for longer than six months, it must withdraw the rule, environmental analysis, or economic assessment policy or guidance. This requirement shall not apply if a delay in the publication of a rule will pose an imminent and severe threat to human life.

(Sec. 3) Interior shall arrange with the National Academy of Sciences for its Board on Earth Sciences and Resources to conduct a detailed, comprehensive study of the effectiveness of the "Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Operations Permanent Regulatory Program; Stream Buffer Zones and Fish, Wildlife, and Related Environmental Values" Final Rule in protecting perennial and intermittent streams through the use of stream buffer zones. The study shall include suggestions and recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of the rule if it finds regulatory inefficiencies.

Appropriations for the study are authorized for FY2016-FY2017.

Until one year after publication of the Board's report to Congress, Interior may not issue any proposed or final regulations under the Act that relate either to stream buffer zones or to stream protection.

(Sec. 4) The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 is further amended to declare that nothing in it authorizes Interior to take any action that duplicates, implements, interprets, enforces, or determines compliance with specified mining, environmental, or fish and wildlife law.