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115th Congress   }                                       {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                       {      115-59

======================================================================



 
         HONEST AND OPEN NEW EPA SCIENCE TREATMENT ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

 March 24, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Smith of Texas, from the Committee on Science, Space, and 
                  Technology, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

    The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1430) to prohibit the Environmental 
Protection Agency from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating 
regulations or assessments based upon science that is not 
transparent or reproducible, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     1
Section-by-Section...............................................     8
Explanation of Amendments........................................     9
Committee Consideration..........................................     9
Roll Call Votes..................................................     9
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................    11
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................    11
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    11
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................    11
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................    11
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................    11
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................    11
Earmark Identification...........................................    12
Committee Estimate...............................................    12
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...    12
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............    12

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The purpose of H.R. 1430, the ``Honest and Open New EPA 
Science Treatment Act,'' or HONEST Act, is to ensure the 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses the best available 
science and to prohibit proposing, finalizing, or disseminating 
a covered action unless all scientific and technical 
information relied upon to support the covered action is 
specifically identified and publicly available.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Science has been central to EPA's mission and functions 
since the Agency's establishment in 1970. The Agency's own 
Scientific Integrity Policy describes science as ``the backbone 
of the EPA's decision-making.''\1\ Efforts to encourage and 
guarantee open scientific research and assessment at EPA are 
based in a number of historical, legal, and administrative 
origins.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Scientific Integrity Policy 
(2012), https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-02/documents/
scientific_integrity_policy_2012.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 1983, then-Administrator William Ruckelshaus wrote a 
memo to all EPA employees dictating that the Agency should 
operate as though it were ``in a fishbowl.''\2\ The memo 
stressed the importance of being as open as possible, while 
also providing the greatest possible public participation in 
decision making.\3\ Gina McCarthy, the EPA Administrator under 
former President Obama, echoed this priority in her 
confirmation hearing, stating: ``If I am confirmed, I look 
forward to working with Members on this Committee to ensure 
that EPA's use of science in protecting water quality is 
rigorous and transparent.''\4\ Science is a critical component 
of EPA's regulatory decisions related to several environmental 
laws, including the Environmental Research, Development, and 
Demonstration Authorization Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean 
Water Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Memorandum from Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator, Transparency in 
EPA's Operations (April 23, 2009) (available at https://www.epa.gov/
sites/production/files/2014-02/documents/
transparency_in_epas_operations.pdf).
    \3\Memorandum from EPA, Fishbowl Memo (May 19, 1983) (available at 
http://www.regulationwriters.com/downloads/EPA-Fishbowl-Memo-05-19-
1983-Ruckelshaus.pdf).
    \4\Hearing on the Nomination of Gina McCarthy to be Administrator 
of the Environmental Protection Agency, Before the Committee on 
Environment and Public Works, 113th Cong. 701 (2013) (statement of Gina 
McCarthy, Assistant Administrator of EPA).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Most recently, Scott Pruitt, in his confirmation hearing 
for his current position as EPA Administrator, emphasized the 
importance of open and honest processes at the EPA. 
Specifically, he noted that he is ``committed to ensuring EPA's 
decisions are conducted through open processes that take into 
account the full range of views of the American people, 
including the economic consequences of any regulation.''\5\ He 
further stated that ``it is very important that the 
[rulemaking] process be adhered to,'' in reference to an 
openness and transparency.\6\ He warns that ``otherwise, [EPA] 
acts in an arbitrary and capricious way.''\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Hearing on Nomination of Scott Pruitt to be Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Program, Before the Committee on Environment 
and Public Works, 115 Cong. 37 (Attorney General, State of Oklahoma), 
available at https://www.epw.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/0e505de4-
aa91-4dcc-ba23-dc9ddab01c0b/scott-pruitt-opening-statement-final-.pdf.
    \6\Hearing on Nomination of Scott Pruitt to be Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Program, Opening Statement Before the 
Committee on Environment and Public Works, 115 Cong. 37 (Scott Pruitt, 
Attorney General, State of Oklahoma), available at https://
www.epw.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/1291a5e0-b3aa-403d-8ce3-
64cb2ef86851/spw-011817.pdf.
    \7\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under the Obama Administration, EPA and White House 
scientific integrity, regulatory, and open access policies 
indicated strong support for open access to scientific 
information, including the information underlying Federal 
regulatory actions. For instance, Executive Order 13563 
required that regulations ``be based upon the best available 
science.''\8\ Similarly, President Obama's March 2009 
Scientific Integrity Memo states that ``[t]o the extent 
permitted by law, there should be transparency in the 
preparation, identification, and use of scientific and 
technological information in policymaking.''\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Exec. Order No. 13,563, 3 C.F.R. 13563 (2011).
    \9\Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, 
Scientific Integrity (Mar. 9, 2009).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Following up on this direction, the White House Office of 
Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Memo from December 2010 
stated that ``agencies should expand and promote access to 
scientific information by making it available online in open 
formats. Where appropriate, this should include data and models 
underlying regulatory proposals and policy decisions.''\10\ 
OSTP also issued a 2013 Memorandum entitled, Increasing Access 
to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research, in 
which the then-President's Science Advisor John Holdren 
explained that ``[t]he Administration is committed to ensuring 
that, to the greatest extent and with the fewest constraints 
possible and consistent with law and the objectives set out 
below, the direct results of federally funded scientific 
research are made available to and useful for the public, 
industry, and the scientific community. Such results include 
peer-reviewed publications and digital data.''\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, 
Scientific Integrity, from John Holdren, Assistant to the President for 
Science and Technology (Dec. 17, 2010).
    \11\Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, 
Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific 
Research, from John Holdren, Director (Feb. 22, 2013).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In order to provide Agency-specific guidelines emanating 
from the former president's and OSTP's Scientific Integrity 
Memos, EPA's 2012 final Scientific Integrity Policy states: 
``Scientific research and analysis comprise the foundation of 
all major EPA policy decisions. Therefore, the Agency should 
maintain vigilance toward ensuring that scientific research and 
results are presented openly and with integrity, accuracy, 
timeliness, and the full public scrutiny demanded when 
developing sound, high-quality environmental science.''\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Scientific Integrity 
Policy (2012), https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-02/
documents/scientific_integrity_policy_2012.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EPA developed guidelines in response to Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines issued following 
provisions of the Treasury and General Government 
Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106-554; 
H.R. 5658). EPA's Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the 
Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity, of Information 
Disseminated by the Environmental Protection Agency state that 
the Agency is ``committed to providing public access to 
environmental information'' and that, in order to fulfill its 
mission, ``EPA must rely upon information of appropriate 
quality for each decision we make.''\13\ EPA also noted the 
limitations of these guidelines, stating that they ``provide 
non-binding policy and procedural guidance, and are therefore 
not intended to create legal rights, impose legally binding 
requirements or obligations on EPA or the public when applied 
in particular situations, or change or impact the status of 
information we disseminate, nor to contravene any other legal 
requirements that may apply to particular Agency determinations 
or other actions.''\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, 
Objectivity, Utility and Integrity of Information Disseminated by the 
Environmental Protection Agency, EPA (2002), available at https://
www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-08/documents/epa-info-quality-
guidelines.pdf.
    \14\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    OMB Circular A-110 also indicates that the federal 
government has a right to data produced under certain 
federally-funded research awards. In 1999, following an 
amendment to the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY1999 (often 
referred to as the ``Shelby Amendment'' due to the role of 
Senator Richard Shelby) OMB revised this circular to ``ensure 
that all data produced under an award will be made available to 
the public through the procedures established under the Freedom 
of Information Act.''\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\Federal Register Notice re OMB Circular A-110, Office of Mgmt. 
& Budget, Exec. Office of the President, Budget of the United States 
Government, Fiscal Year 1999 (1999).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite a seemingly strong position in favor of openness 
and transparency regarding the science behind regulations, 
previous Administrations did not make public the scientific 
data that underpinning numerous EPA regulations. Outside 
researchers seeking this information where also denied access. 
In 2014, the Committee issued a subpoena for the scientific 
data behind these regulations. EPA ultimately responded that it 
was unable to provide all of the data but provided what it did 
have.
    Concerns had initially been raised regarding the ability of 
EPA to release the data without raising confidentiality 
concerns. However, EPA's March 7, 2014, letter explained that 
``[t]he Agency's efforts ultimately resulted in the Centers for 
Disease Control reaching the conclusion that all of the 
research data could be provided without the need for de-
identification.''\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\Letter from Gina McCarthy, Administrator at EPA to Lamar Smith, 
Chairman of H. Comm. on Science, Space, and Technology (Mar. 7, 2014) 
(on file with H. Comm. on Science, Space, and Technology).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EPA further indicated in its response to the Committee, 
that ``[a]ny other data . . . are not (and were not) in the 
possession, custody, or control of the EPA, nor are they within 
the authority to obtain data that the Agency identified.''\17\ 
EPA acknowledged that ``the data provided are not sufficient in 
themselves to replicate the analyses in the epidemiological 
studies, nor would they allow for the one to one mapping of 
each pollutant and ecological variable to each subject.''\18\ 
Without this scientific information, the public is required to 
blindly trust the EPA's scientific findings that are the basis 
for costly regulations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\Id.
    \18\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    In the 114th Congress, the Committee on Science, Space, and 
Technology successfully marked up H.R. 1030, the Secret Science 
Reform Act of 2015, on February 23, 2015. Shortly after, on 
March 18, 2015, the House passed H.R. 1030 with a vote of 241 
Ayes and 175 Nayes. In addition, the Committee held numerous 
hearings throughout the 114th Congress that covered sound 
science and transparency at EPA. On March 17, 2015, the 
Committee held a hearing entitled Reality Check: The Impact and 
Achievability of EPA's Proposed Ozone Standards. On April 29, 
2015, the Subcommittee on Environment held a hearing entitled 
Reality Check Part II: The Impact of EPA's Proposed Ozone 
Standards on Rural America. On June 4, 2015, the Committee held 
a hearing entitled EPA Regulatory Overreach: Impacts on 
American Competitiveness. On July 9, 2015, the Committee held a 
hearing entitled Examining EPA's Regulatory Overreach, with 
then-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. On September 11, 2015, 
the Committee held a hearing entitled State Perspectives: How 
EPA's power Plan Will Shut Down Power Plants. On October 22, 
2015, the Committee held a hearing entitled EPA's 2015 Ozone 
Standard: Concerns Over Science and Implementation. On March 
23, 2016, the Subcommittee on Environment held a hearing 
entitled Examining EPA's Regional Haze Program: Regulations 
Without Visible Benefits. On May 26, 2016, the Committee held a 
hearing entitled Impact of EPA's Clean Power Plan on States. On 
June 22, 2016, the Committee held a hearing entitled Ensuring 
Sound Science at EPA, again with then-EPA Administrator Gina 
McCarthy. On September 15, 2016, the Subcommittees on 
Environment held a hearing entitled A Solution in Search of 
Problem: EPA's Methane Regulations. In the 114th Congress, 
sound science and transparency underscored the purpose and 
focus at each hearing conducted by the Committee, while also 
informing the need for this legislation.
    In the 113th Congress, the Subcommittee on Environment held 
a hearing on February 11, 2014, entitled Ensuring Open Science 
at EPA, which focused on ``The Secret Science Reform Act.'' The 
Subcommittee received testimony from expert witnesses, which 
informed the Committee on the need for improved transparency 
and reproducibility of regulatory science used by the EPA. 
Witnesses were also asked to provide comments on ``The Secret 
Science Reform Act of 2014.'' The Subcommittee received 
testimony from the Honorable John Graham, Dean, School of 
Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University; Dr. Louis 
Anthony Cox, Jr., Chief Sciences Officer, Next Health 
Technologies, Clinical Professor, Biostatistics and 
Informatics, Colorado Health Sciences Center, and President, 
Cox Associates; Dr. Ellen Silbergeld, Professor, Bloomberg 
School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University; and Mr. 
Raymond Keating, Chief Economist, Small Business & 
Entrepreneurship Council.
    On November 14, 2013, the Committee on Science, Space, and 
Technology held a hearing entitled, Strengthening Transparency 
and Accountability within the Environmental Protection Agency. 
The purpose of this hearing was to review science and 
technology activities at the EPA, including: Agency-wide 
policies and practices related to the development and use of 
science in regulatory decisions; the role of independent 
scientific advisory bodies such as the EPA Science Advisory 
Board and the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee; and 
the importance of transparency and integrity in the Agency's 
science activities. The Committee received testimony from The 
Honorable Gina McCarthy, the then-Administrator of the EPA.
    In the 112th Congress, the Committee held two hearings 
focused on science at the EPA. On November 30, 2011, the 
Subcommittee on Energy and Environment held a hearing entitled, 
Fostering Quality Science at EPA: Perspectives on Common Sense 
Reform. The purpose of the hearing was to provide external 
perspectives on the need to reauthorize and reform science, 
research and development activities at EPA; explore the 
intersection of Agency-supported science and its regulatory 
mission; and receive focused recommendations to raise the 
level, quality, usefulness, and objectivity of EPA science, 
including any necessary changes to the Environmental Research, 
Development and Demonstration Authorization Act. The 
subcommittee received testimony from Ms. Susan Dudley, 
Director, Regulatory Studies Center, and Research Professor of 
Public Policy & Public Administration, The George Washington 
University; Dr. Alan Moghissi, President, Institute for 
Regulatory Science; Dr. Kenneth Green, Resident Scholar, 
American Enterprise Institute; and Dr. Gary Marchant, Professor 
of Law and Executive Director, Center for Law, Science & 
Innovation, Arizona State University.
    On February 3, 2012, the Subcommittee on Energy and 
Environment held a second hearing to provide external 
perspectives on the need to reauthorize and reform science, 
research, and development activities at the EPA. The 
Subcommittee received testimony from Mr. Daniel Greenbaum, 
President and Chief Executive Officer, Health Effects 
Institute; Dr. Deborah Swackhamer, Professor, Environmental 
Health Sciences, University of Minnesota, and Chairwoman, EPA 
Science Advisory Board; Mr. Michael Walls, Vice President, 
Regulatory and Technical Affairs, American Chemistry Council; 
Dr. Richard Belzer, President, Regulatory Checkbook; Dr. Jerald 
Schnoor, Allen S. Henry Chair in Engineering, Department of 
Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa; and 
Dr. S. Stanley Young, Assistant Director for Bioinformatics, 
National Institute of Statistical Sciences.
    In the 113th Congress, H.R. 4012, ``The Secret Science 
Reform Act of 2014'' passed in the House by a vote of 237 Ayes, 
190 Nays, on November 19, 2014.

                            COMMITTEE VIEWS

    H.R. 1430, the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment 
Act of 2017, requires that EPA base its regulations and 
assessments on the ``best available science'' that is publicly 
available in a manner sufficient for independent analysis and 
scientific replication. However, H.R. 1430 explicitly does not 
require the EPA itself to make such scientific and technical 
information publicly available. In addition, to reinforce that 
intent, no more than $1 million is authorized to implement H.R. 
1430. The requirement for ``best available science'' refers to 
science that 1) follows the scientific method for constructing 
a testable hypothesis, which utilizes data collected and 
documented in a verifiable manner; 2) is reliable and would 
allow for independent replication; 3) produces results that do 
not raise concerns as to the integrity of the underlying data 
or the methodology used; and 4) utilizes underlying data and 
methodology that is available to the general public in an 
easily accessible manner.
    This approach to regulatory science is consistent with the 
data access requirements of major scientific journals as well 
as the transparency policy of the Administration. The HONEST 
Act is also consistent with the previous Administration's 
scientific integrity policy, Executive Order 13563, data access 
provisions of major scientific journals, and the 
recommendations of the Administration's and EPA's policy and 
science advisors and the Bipartisan Policy Center. In 2012, 
former President Obama's Science Advisor testified that 
``Absolutely, the data on which regulatory decisions and other 
decisions are based should be made available to the Committee 
and should be made public unless there is a classification 
reason.''\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\The Administration's Climate Plan: Failure by Design Before H. 
Comm. on Science, Space, and Technology, 113th Cong. 94 (2014) 
(statement of John Holdren, Director, Office of Science and Technology 
Policy, Executive Office of the President).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Likewise, in 2012, the Chair of EPA's Science Advisory 
Board in response to follow-up questions after a hearing titled 
Fostering Quality Science at EPA: Need for Common Sense Reform 
(Day II) stated that EPA's advisors recommend, ``that 
literature and data used by EPA be peer-reviewed and made 
available to the public. When the SAB conducts peer reviews and 
evaluations, it prefers to review all data associated with the 
document in question. It is my experience that EPA makes its 
best effort to provide all data to the SAB, subject to ethical 
and legal restrictions.''\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\Fostering Quality Science at EPA: Perspectives on Common Sense 
Reform Before H. Subcomm. On Energy and Environment of the H. Comm. on 
Science, Space, and Technology, Hearing Questions for the Rec., 112th 
Cong. 59 (2012) (statement of Deborah Swackhamer, U.S. EPA Science 
Advisory Board).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The following entities and individuals provided Letters of 
Support for H.R. 1430 received by the 115th Congress:
    Portland Cement Association
    National Stone Sand and Gravel Association
    Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council
    National Association of Home Builders
    Dr. Pat Michaels (CATO)
    Professor Will Happer (Princeton and CO2 Coalition)
    American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC)
    Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA)
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce
    E&E; Action, Independence Institute, and Western Energy 
Alliance
    Furthermore, the Committee received a letter of support 
from over 80 scientists, academic experts, and former EPA 
officials for ``The Secret Science Reform Act'' in the 113th 
Congress. Signatories included Ivy League professors, two 
former chairs of EPA science advisory committees, medical 
doctors, statisticians, deans of major universities, and 
environmental scientists. This legislation is similar to the 
data access provisions of major scientific journals like 
Science and Nature, as well as independent research entities 
like the Health Effects Institute.
    H.R. 1430 makes clear that no protected information will be 
disclosed. This bill only requires information that is 
sufficient for independent scientists to validate and reproduce 
the results of this regulatory science. The bill does not 
require the public dissemination of information, the disclosure 
of which is prohibited by law. To this end, the Committee 
received a letter of support from more than 80 scientists, 
experts, and doctors, which states that ``complying with [the 
Secret Science Reform Act] can be accomplished without imposing 
unnecessary burdens, discouraging research, or raising 
confidentiality concerns. Across different disciplines, 
numerous statistical and technical approaches exist to protect 
any sensitive information.''\21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\ Letter from Angelo Campanella et al., Principal, Campanella 
Acoustics to Lamar Smith, Chairman of H. Comm. on Science, Space, and 
Technology (June 23, 2014) (on file with H. Comm. on Science, Space, 
and Technology).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Additionally, the National Academy of Sciences has 
confirmed that transparency and reproducibility in science is 
possible without any risks to confidentiality or privacy. In 
2005, the Panel on Data Access for Research Purposes of the 
National Research Council stated in its report Expanding Access 
to Research Data: Reconciling Risks and Opportunities: 
``Nothing in the past suggest that increasing access to 
research data without damage to privacy and confidentiality 
rights is beyond scientific reach.''\22\ This Committee has 
received testimony from some respected experts that the 
provisions of H.R. 1430 would not raise confidentiality issues.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\ National Academy of Science, Expanding Access to Research 
Data: Reconciling Risks and Opportunities, 35 (2005).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The legislation covers critical scientific documents 
related to ``covered actions'' in order to ensure that 
significant non-regulatory information is subject to basic 
standards of transparency and reproducibility. To this point, 
Dr. John Graham, professor at Indiana University and former 
head of White House Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs, testified:

        When a federal Agency makes a determination that a 
        product, technology or substance is hazardous, the 
        determination itself--without any formal regulatory 
        action--can create a stigma in the marketplace that 
        causes a loss of sales, jobs and so forth. The stigma 
        can also trigger lawsuits against companies under the 
        common laws of the fifty states. If the scientific and 
        technical data underpinning the determinations are not 
        transparent and reproducible, it can be quite difficult 
        for scientists in an impacted company--or any 
        scientist--to determine whether the determination is 
        valid.\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\Ensuring Open Science at EPA, Before H. Subcomm. On Energy and 
Environment of the H. Comm. on Science, Space, and Technology, 113th 
Cong. 65 (2014).

    The definition of scientific and technical information in 
the bill is based on data access policies from leading science 
publications and EPA-funded research institutes.
    In the 115th Congress, H.R. 1430 incorporates minor edits 
to clarify the bill's language and intent. This is accomplished 
through the addition of language to protect personally 
identifiable information, as well as confidential business 
information. The bill also adds language to clarify that EPA is 
not required to undertake any retroactive action to adhere to 
this legislation.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    This section establishes the short title of the Act as the 
``Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act of 2017 or the 
HONEST Act.''

Section 2. Data transparency

    Section 2 amends the Environmental Research, Development, 
and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 (ERDAA) to:
          (1) Prohibit the Administrator for the EPA from 
        finalizing, proposing, or disseminating a covered 
        action unless all scientific and technical information 
        relied on is:
                  a. The best available science;
                  b. Specifically identified; and
                  c. Publicly available online in a manner that 
                is sufficient for independent analysis and 
                substantial reproduction of research results, 
                except personally identifiable information, 
                trade secrets, or commercial or financial 
                information.
          (2) Protect personal and confidential information. 
        The subsection clarifies that redacted information can 
        be disclosed to a person only after a written 
        confidentiality agreement has been signed with the 
        Administrator, subject to developed guidance.
          (3) Clarify the intent of disseminating information. 
        This subsection clarifies that nothing in the section 
        requires the Administrator to disseminate scientific 
        and technical information, nor does the section 
        supersede any nondiscretionary statutory requirements. 
        It further clarifies that nothing in the section 
        requires the Administrator to repeal, re-issue, or 
        modify a regulation in effect on the date of enactment.
          (4) Define ``covered action'' to mean a risk, 
        exposure, or hazard assessment, criteria document, 
        standard, limitation, regulation, regulatory impact 
        analysis, or guidance. This section defines 
        ``scientific and technical information'' to include 
        materials, data, and associated protocols necessary to 
        understand, assess, and extend conclusions, computer 
        codes and models involved in the creation and analysis 
        of information, recorded factual materials, and 
        detailed descriptions of how to access and use such 
        information.
          (5) Clarify that the Administrator shall implement 
        this section in a manner that does not exceed 
        $1,000,000 per year from amounts otherwise authorized 
        to the appropriated.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    No amendments were adopted.

                        Committee Consideration

    On February 29, 2017, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 1430, by roll call 
vote, a quorum being present.

                            Roll Call Votes



              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill ensures the Environmental Protection Agency uses the 
best available science, and prohibits the Agency from 
proposing, finalizing, or disseminating a covered action unless 
all scientific and technical information relied on to support 
the covered action is specifically identified and publicly 
available. As such this bill does not relate to employment or 
access to public services and accommodations.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    H.R. 1430, The Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment 
Act of 2017, requires that EPA base its regulations and 
assessments on the ``best available science'' that is publicly 
available in a manner sufficient for independent analysis and 
scientific replication.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 1430 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that enacting H.R. 1430 does not 
direct the completion of any specific rule makings within the 
meaning of 5 U.S.C. 551.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandate Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement as to 
whether the provisions of the reported include unfunded 
mandates. In compliance with this requirement the Committee has 
received a letter from the Congressional Budget Office included 
herein.

                         Earmark Identification

    H.R. 1430 does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 1430. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974. The Committee has requested but not received a cost 
estimate for this bill from the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office. Based on cost estimates from similar legislation 
from the 113th Congress, however, the Committee believes that 
enactment of H.R. 1430 would result in no net effect on direct 
spending over the 2017-2024 period. Moreover, the Committee 
believes that no provision of the bill requires EPA to build 
any new substantial technological infrastructure systems, 
merely that the agency use science that is already publically 
available and therefore no cost to EPA. The Committee believes 
that, if necessary, existing federal technological 
infrastructure already exists to fulfill any provisions of the 
bill. The Committee further believes that the current 
Administration's policies moving forward will already comport 
with the provisions of this bill. The Committee believes that 
the bill is clear that no retroactive action is required on the 
part of EPA with regard to existing covered actions. Assuming 
the appropriation of authorized amounts, the Committee 
estimates that the legislation would also have a discretionary 
cost of less than $5 million over the 2017-2021 period.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has requested 
but not received a cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of Congressional Budget Office. The Committee believes 
that this bill does not contain any new budget authority, 
spending authority, credit authority, or an increase or 
decrease in revenues or tax expenditures.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

 ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEMONSTRATION AUTHORIZATION 
ACT OF 1978

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  Sec. 6. (a) The Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
Agency shall establish a separately identified program to 
conduct continuing and long-term environmental research and 
development. Unless otherwise specified by law, at least 15 per 
centum of any funds appropriated to the Administrator for 
environmental research and development under section 2(a) of 
this Act or under any other Act shall be allocated for long-
term environmental research and development under this section.
  [(b) The Administrator, after consultation with the Science 
Advisory Board, shall submit to the President and the Congress 
a report concerning the desirability and feasibility of 
establishing a national environmental laboratory, or a system 
of such laboratories, to assume or supplement the long-term 
environmental research functions created by subsection (a) of 
this section. Such report shall be submitted on or before March 
31, 1978, and shall include findings and recommendations 
concerning--
          [(1) specific types of research to be carried out by 
        such laboratory or laboratories;
          [(2) the coordination and integration of research to 
        be conducted by such laboratory or laboratories with 
        research conducted by existing Federal or other 
        research facilities;
          [(3) methods for assuring continuing long-range 
        funding for such laboratory or laboratories; and
          [(4) other administrative or legislative actions 
        necessary to facilitate the establishment of such 
        laboratory or laboratories.]
  (b)(1) The Administrator shall not propose, finalize, or 
disseminate a covered action unless all scientific and 
technical information relied on to support such covered action 
is--
          (A) the best available science;
          (B) specifically identified; and
          (C) publicly available online in a manner that is 
        sufficient for independent analysis and substantial 
        reproduction of research results, except that any 
        personally identifiable information, trade secrets, or 
        commercial or financial information obtained from a 
        person and privileged or confidential, shall be 
        redacted prior to public availability.
  (2) The redacted information described in paragraph (1)(C) 
shall be disclosed to a person only after such person signs a 
written confidentiality agreement with the Administrator, 
subject to guidance to be developed by the Administrator.
  (3) Nothing in the subsection shall be construed as--
          (A) requiring the Administrator to disseminate 
        scientific and technical information;
          (B) superseding any nondiscretionary statutory 
        requirement; or
          (C) requiring the Administrator to repeal, reissue, 
        or modify a regulation in effect on the date of 
        enactment of the Honest and Open New EPA Science 
        Treatment Act of 2017.
  (4) In this subsection--
          (A) the term ``covered action'' means a risk, 
        exposure, or hazard assessment, criteria document, 
        standard, limitation, regulation, regulatory impact 
        analysis, or guidance; and
          (B) the term ``scientific and technical information'' 
        includes--
                  (i) materials, data, and associated protocols 
                necessary to understand, assess, and extend 
                conclusions;
                  (ii) computer codes and models involved in 
                the creation and analysis of such information;
                  (iii) recorded factual materials; and
                  (iv) detailed descriptions of how to access 
                and use such information.
  (5) The Administrator shall carry out this subsection in a 
manner that does not exceed $1,000,000 per fiscal year, to be 
derived from amounts otherwise authorized to be appropriated.

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