Summary: S.543 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.543. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (02/24/2015)

EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015

This bill amends the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to revise the process of selecting members of the Science Advisory Board, guidelines for participation in Board advisory activities, and terms of office. The Board provides scientific advice to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This bill requires the Board to independently provide that advice. Federally registered lobbyists may not be appointed to the Board.

The EPA must provide draft risk or hazard assessments in its regulatory proposals and documents to the Board. The Board's advice and comments must be included in the record regarding any such proposal and published in the Federal Register.

The Board's member committees and investigative panels must operate in accordance with the membership, participation, and policy requirements contained in this Act, including new requirements for public participation in advisory activities of the Board. The member committees and investigative panels do not have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the Board and may not report directly to the EPA.

The Board must: (1) strive to avoid making policy determinations or recommendations, (2) communicate uncertainties, (3) encourage dissenting members to make their views known, (4) conduct periodic reviews to ensure that its activities address the most important scientific issues affecting the EPA, and (5) respond to Congress fully and in a timely manner.

This Act may not be construed as supplanting the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act or the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.