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115th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                     {       115-63

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



 
             EPA SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD REFORM ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

 March 27, 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

                        [To accompany H.R. 1431]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1431) to amend the Environmental 
Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 
1978 to provide for Scientific Advisory Board member 
qualifications, public participation, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     2
Section-by-Section...............................................     6
Explanation of Amendments........................................     8
Committee Consideration..........................................     8
Roll Call Votes..................................................     8
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................    10
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................    10
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    10
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................    10
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................    10
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................    10
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................    10
Earmark Identification...........................................    10
Committee Estimate...............................................    11
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...    11
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............    12

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The purpose of H.R. 1431 is to amend the Environmental 
Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 
1978 to provide for Science Advisory Board independence, member 
qualifications, public participation, and for other purposes.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Science Advisory 
Board (SAB) was established by Congress in the Environmental 
Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 
1978 (ERDDAA).\1\ Under this authorization, the SAB provides 
scientific advice at the request of the EPA Administrator and 
interested Congressional Committees.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration 
Authorization Act of 1978, Pub. L. No. 95-155, 91 Stat. 1257 (1977).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since its enactment, the size and function of the SAB has 
evolved. ERDDAA established a minimum number of nine members, 
one of which is to be the designated Chair. The EPA 
Administrator appoints members to serve a three-year term and 
may be reappointed for a second three-year term. There are 
currently 47 members on the chartered SAB; however, this number 
fluctuates as members rotate off and new members are appointed. 
The SAB and its subcommittees and ad hoc subpanels provide 
scientific advice on a wide range of issues, including stream 
and wetland connectivity, hydraulic fracturing, environmental 
justice screening, and regulatory cost estimates.\2\ The Board 
has also begun providing advice on the science underlying 
several potential, forthcoming Agency regulatory activities.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\See EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB), Current and Complete 
Activities by Topic, EPA (Mar. 7, 2017), http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/
sabproduct.nsf/WebProjectsbyTopicBOARD!OpenView.
    \3\Dave Reynolds, ``Advisors Narrow List Of Pending EPA Rules For 
Novel Scientific Scrutiny,'' Inside EPA (Mar. 11, 2013), http://
insideepa.com/201303112427282/EPA-Daily-News/Daily-News/advisors-
narrow-list-of-pending-epa-rules-for-novel-scientific-scrutiny/menu-id-
95.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The SAB operates in accordance with the Federal Advisory 
Committee Act of 1972, which requires that advisory panels have 
a charter and be ``fairly balanced in terms of the points of 
view represented and the functions to be performed.'' According 
to EPA, SAB's mission includes:
           reviewing the quality and relevance of the 
        scientific and technical information being used or 
        proposed as the basis for Agency regulations;
           reviewing research programs and the 
        technical basis of applied programs;
           reviewing generic approaches to regulatory 
        science, including guidelines governing the use of 
        scientific and technical information in regulatory 
        decisions, and critiquing such analytic methods as 
        mathematical modeling;
           advising the Agency on broad scientific 
        matters in science, technology, social and economic 
        issues; and
           advising the Agency on emergency and other 
        short-notice programs.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\About the Science Advisory Board (SAB), EPA (Dec. 7, 2016), 
https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-science-advisory-board-sab-and-sab-
staff-office.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toward those goals, the chartered SAB conducts much of its 
work through subcommittees or subpanels focused on specific 
issues. Currently, these subcommittees include: Drinking Water 
Committee; Ecological Processes and Effects Committee; 
Environmental Economics Advisory Committee; Environmental 
Engineering Committee; Radiation Advisory Committee; Chemical 
Assessment Advisory Committee; and the Agricultural Science 
Committee.\5\ According to the SAB's charter,\6\ these 
``[c]ommittees, panels, and workgroups have no authority to 
make decisions on behalf of the SAB and may not report directly 
to the Agency.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Committees and Membership, EPA Science Advisory Board (Oct. 27, 
2016), http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/WebBOARD/
CommitteesandMembership?OpenDocument.
    \6\Charter, EPA Science Advisory Board, (Nov. 9, 2015), http://
yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/WebBOARD/
currentcharter?OpenDocument.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EPA also receives advice from and manages twenty-two 
additional Federal Advisory Committees, including entities like 
the EPA Board of Scientific Counselors, the Federal 
Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory 
Panel, and the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee 
(CASAC).\7\ These bodies carry out a variety of advisory 
functions. For example, CASAC ``provides independent advice to 
the EPA Administrator on the technical bases for EPA's national 
ambient air quality standards'' and ``addresses research 
related to air quality, sources of air pollution, and the 
strategies to attain and maintain air quality standards and to 
prevent significant deterioration of air quality.''\8\ The 
Chair of CASAC also sits on the chartered SAB.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\All Federal Advisory Committees at EPA, EPA (Feb, 24, 2017), 
https://www.epa.gov/faca/all-federal-advisory-committees-epa.
    \8\Id.
    \9\EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), EPA (Jan. 
21, 2016), http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabpeople.nsf/WebCommittees/
CASAC.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EPA staff and the chartered SAB allow for some public 
involvement in advisory activities through the nomination of 
experts for committees and panels and involvement in advisory 
committee meetings and report developments. In response to 
numerous comments during an SAB Session on Public Involvement 
in June 2011, the SAB Staff Office announced additional steps 
to enhance public involvement in advisory activities beginning 
in FY2012.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Public Involvement in Advisory Activities, EPA Science Advisory 
Board Staff (Aug. 31, 2015), http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/
sabproduct.nsf/WebSABSO/PublicInvolvement?OpenDocument.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                     LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY HISTORY

    In the 113th Congress, the Subcommittee on Environment held 
a hearing on March 20, 2013, to examine the EPA's process for 
receiving independent scientific advice.\11\ The Subcommittee 
heard testimony on draft legislation to strengthen public 
participation, improve the process for selecting expert 
advisors, expand transparency requirements, and limit non-
scientific policy advice among advisory bodies.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Hearing on Improving EPA's Scientific Advisory Processes, 
Before the Subcomm. on Environment of the H. Comm. on Science, Space, 
and Technology, 113th Cong. 115 (2013).
    \12\See Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Subcommittee heard from three witnesses: Dr. Michael 
Honeycutt, Chief Toxicologist, Texas Commission on 
Environmental Quality; Dr. Roger McClellan, Advisor, Toxicology 
and Human Health Risk Analysis; and Dr. Francesca Grifo, Senior 
Scientist and Science Policy Fellow, Union of Concerned 
Scientists.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the 113th Congress, H.R. 1422 the Science Advisory Board 
Reform Act of 2013 was brought to the floor. It passed on 
November 18, 2014, by a vote of 229-191.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\H.R. 1422 EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2014, 
Congress, https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/1422.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the 114th Congress, H.R. 1029 the Science Advisory Board 
Reform Act of 2015, was introduced by Rep. Frank Lucas on 
February 24, 2015. On February 26, 2015, the House Science 
Space and Technology Committee met in open session and ordered 
reported favorably the bill, H.R. 1029, as amended, by recorded 
vote.
    On March 17, 2015, H.R. 1029 was brought to the floor and 
passed by a vote of 236-181. Three amendments passed: an 
amendment offered by Representative Jared Polis, requiring the 
Administrator of EPA to solicit nominations for Advisory Board 
membership from institutions of Higher Education and research 
institutions based in work relevant to that of the Board, was 
agreed to by voice vote; an amendment offered by Representative 
David McKinley, prohibiting individuals from sitting on the 
Board if they are currently receiving EPA contracts or grants 
and would conditionally prohibit them from being allowed to 
apply for any EPA contracts or grants. Was agreed to by a 
recorded vote of 242-175; and an amendment offered by 
Representative Alan Grayson, prohibiting an EPA Science 
Advisory Board member from participating in any advisory action 
for which there is evidence that the action may involve a 
specific party in which the member has an interest, was agreed 
to by voice vote.
    In the 115th Congress, Rep. Frank Lucas introduced H.R. 
1431 the Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017 on March 9, 
2017. On March 9, 2017 the House Science Space and Technology 
Committee met in open session and ordered reported favorably 
the bill, H.R. 1431, as amended, by recorded vote, a quorum 
being present.

                            COMMITTEE VIEWS

    H.R. 1431 will restore balance and independence to the 
scientific advisory process at EPA. H.R. 1431 provides needed 
direction to SAB and underscores President Ronald Reagan's 
instruction that ``[t]he purpose of the Science Advisory Board 
is to apply the universally accepted principles of scientific 
peer review to the research conclusions that will form the 
bases for EPA regulations, a function that must remain above 
interest group politics.''\15\ The bill seeks to codify 
existing practices and address concerns with the SAB by 
strengthening public participation, reinforcing the need for 
expertise, transparency, and balance in the SAB selection 
process. Additionally, the bill aims to establish a clearer 
role for the SAB in providing scientific advice to EPA and the 
Congress, and to be fully, timely, and independently responsive 
to Congress.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\Message to the Senate Returning Without Approval an 
Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Bill, Pub. 
Papers (Oct. 22, 1982).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In light of EPA's unique position as an agency that 
frequently provides scientific justifications in support of its 
regulatory decisions, it is vital that the scientific advisory 
and peer review process be independent and robust. This is 
especially true for the EPA Science Advisory Board members. Not 
only are members selected by the EPA Administrator, but they 
often provide analysis on critical scientific matters and 
information on topics ranging from chemical assessments to 
EPA's research budget prioritization. If EPA science appears 
biased, pre-dispositioned toward a specific outcome, or less 
willing to consider differing perspectives, its credibility 
will suffer. This bill makes basic changes to the operations, 
scope, and selection process for the SAB, relying on non-
controversial provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 
EPA's Peer Review Handbook, the National Academies' Policy on 
Committee Composition and Balance and Conflicts of Interest, 
and recommendations from Science Committee testimony.
    Despite requirements in the Federal Advisory Committee Act 
that SAB and related panels be ``fairly balanced in terms of 
point of view represented,'' the Science Committee determined 
that certain perspectives are overrepresented within the SAB, 
while other viewpoints are frequently underrepresented or 
excluded, due to a misinterpretation of ethics rules. 
Additionally, EPA often differs from the practice of other 
federal agencies and excludes state, local, tribal, and private 
sector scientists from serving as advisors. To ensure 
accountability, H.R. 1431 requires that all SAB members be 
designated as ``special Government employees'' and prohibits 
the exclusion of individuals with substantial and relevant 
expertise. Additionally, it requires that at least ten percent 
of the Board be drawn from state, local, and tribal experts. It 
clarifies, in a manner consistent with existing ethics 
requirements, that in the case of a Board advisory activity on 
a particular matter involving a specific party, no Board member 
having an interest in the specific party shall participate in 
that activity. The bill also expands disclosure requirements 
for panelists and nominees, and requires that the EPA make 
reports and conflict of interest waivers available publicly.
    Previous testimony received by the Committee demonstrated 
that at times Board members had been involved in reviewing 
their own work. H.R. 1431 prohibits this practice, stating, 
``Board members may not participate in advisory activities that 
directly or indirectly involve review and evaluation of their 
own work.'' This language was based on EPA's Peer Review 
Handbook language, which states: ``peer reviewer should not be 
associated with the generation of the specific work product, 
either directly by substantial contribution to its development 
or indirectly by significant consultation during the 
development of the product.''\16\ Additionally, the legislation 
requires public disclosure of Board member recusals.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Peer Review Handbook, EPA 
(4th ed. 2015), available at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/
files/2016-03/documents/epa_peer_review_
handbook_4th_edition.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 1431 also amends ERDDAA to facilitate participation in 
a manner that will improve scientific advice without unduly 
burdening the panel or EPA. This bill encourages public 
comments and instructs the Board not to unreasonably narrow the 
scope of an advisory activity. Similarly, the bill provides 
additional detail to the operations of the Board, ensuring that 
their advice clearly distinguishes scientific versus policy 
advice, communicates uncertainties, and offers opportunities 
for publication of dissenting views. As such, this bill 
requires all public reports issued by the Board to include 
written responses to alternative views. The Board's responses 
to alternative views should be substantive in nature, 
especially if the views submitted before the Board contain 
significant scientific material and methodology underlying its 
claims.
    Furthermore, all comments submitted to the Board shall be 
published in the Federal Register. Multiple versions of non-
substantive comments (such as short comments generated by a 
third-party post-card, email, and/or write-in campaign), which 
contain no significant scientific material, should only be 
published once. These comments should be grouped by themes, and 
the total number of such comments shall be noted in the Federal 
Register.
    The following entities and individuals provided Letters of 
Support for H.R. 1431 received by the Committee in the 115th 
Congress.
    Farm Bureau
    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 National Academy of 
Sciences)
    American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC)
    Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA)
    US Chamber of Commerce
    E&E; Action, Independence Institute, and Western Energy 
Alliance

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    This section establishes the short title of the Act as the 
``EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017.''

Section 2. Science Advisory Board

    This section amends the Environmental Research, 
Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 
(ERDAA) to:
    a. Protect the independence of the Advisory Board.
    b. Provide membership requirements of the Advisory Board, 
including:
    (1) A minimum of nine members, with one designated as 
Chairman, and that these members meet at a times and places 
designated by the Chairman.
    (2) Requirements to ensure that each member of the Board is 
qualified by education, training, and experience to evaluate 
scientific and technical information on matters referred to the 
Board. The Administrator shall ensure:
           Scientific and technical points of view are 
        fairly balanced among the Board members;
           At least ten percent of the Board are from 
        State, local, or tribal governments;
           Persons with substantial and relevant 
        expertise are not unduly excluded, as long as potential 
        interests are fully disclosed;
           Board members with an interest (or where 
        there is evidence that an action will involve a 
        specific party in which the member has an interest) in 
        a specific activity may not participate in that 
        activity;
           Board members must disclose advisory 
        activities that involve review of their own work;
           Board members are designated as special 
        Government employees;
           No federally registered lobbyist is 
        appointed to the Board;
           Board members may not have current grants or 
        contracts from EPA and shall not apply for a grant or 
        contract for 3 years following the end of that member's 
        service on the Board.
    (3) A public nomination and selection process. The 
Administrator shall:
           Solicit nominations from the public and 
        relevant Federal Agencies, as well as from institutions 
        of higher education and scientific and research 
        institutions based in work relevant to that of the 
        Board;
           Make the list of nominees public, and 
        solicit public comments;
           Require nominees to publicly disclose 
        financial relationships and interests relevant to the 
        Board's advisory activities for the three year period 
        prior to nomination; and
           Require nominees to publicly disclose 
        professional activities and public statements relevant 
        to the Board's advisory activities for the five year 
        period prior to nomination.
    (4-6) Disclosure of activities, conflict of interest 
waivers, and recusal agreements shall be publicly available 
unless specifically prohibited by law.
    (7) The terms of the members of the Board shall be three 
years and staggered to ensure that no more than one-third of 
total membership shall expire within a single year. Members are 
limited to two terms over a ten-year period.
    c. Clarify that the Administrator shall make risk and 
hazard assessments available to the Board for review when 
provided to other agencies for review and comment. This 
subsection also provides that the Board's advice and comments, 
including dissenting views of Board members, and the response 
of the Administrator shall be public.
    d. Provide that the member committees and investigative 
panels:
           Must also follow the provisions of this Act;
           Do not have authority to make decisions on 
        behalf of the Board; and
           May not report directly to the EPA.
    e. Strengthen public participation. This subsection:
       Ensures all reports and relevant scientific 
information are made public at the same time they are received 
by the Board.
       Requires the Board to hold a public information-
gathering session to discuss the state of the science relative 
to the advisory activity prior to conducting major advisory 
activities.
       Allows public comment on questions asked of the 
Board, prohibits questions that would unduly narrow the scope 
of an advisory activity, and encourages written responses to 
significant public comments.
       Public comments shall be published in the 
Federal Register and are to be grouped by common theme. In the 
case of repetitious comments, only one such comment shall be 
published with no reprinting of repetitious comments. The 
number of these repetitious comments shall also be published. 
The Board, in any public report it issues, will include written 
responses to public comments of a significant nature.
       Provides the public with 15 calendar days after 
Board meetings to provide additional comments for 
consideration.
    f. Protect the integrity of scientific advice and process. 
The Board shall:
       Strive to avoid making policy determinations or 
recommendations, and explicitly distinguish between scientific 
determinations and policy advice.
       Clearly communicate uncertainties associated 
with scientific advice.
       Ensure that advice and comments reflect the 
views of the members and encourage dissenting members to make 
their views known.
       Conduct periodic reviews to ensure its advisory 
activities are addressing the most important scientific issues 
facing the EPA.
       Provide advice in a timely manner and be fully 
responsive to Congress.

Section 3. Relation to the Federal Advisory Committee Act

    This section clarifies that this Act does not supplant the 
requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

Section 4. Relation to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978

    This section clarifies that this Act does not supplant the 
Ethics in Government Act of 1978.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    No amendments were offered.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March 9, 2017, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 1431, as amended, by 
recorded 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 provides for Science Advisory Board independence, 
member qualifications and public participation. 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. 1431 will restore balance and independence to the 
scientific advisory process at EPA.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 1431 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

    No provision of H.R. 1431 directs an agency (or other 
entity) to promulgate a rule or regulation.

                     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 bill 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. 1431 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. 1431. 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.

     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 received 
the following cost estimate for H.R. 1431 from the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, March 27, 2017.
Hon. Lamar Smith,
Chairman, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1431, the EPA 
Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jon Sperl.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 143--EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017

    H.R. 1431 would require the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) to make various changes related to the qualifications of 
members serving on the Science Advisory Board (SAB) and to 
expand disclosure requirements for members of the board. The 
SAB was established in 1978 by the Congress with a broad 
mandate to advise the EPA on technical matters related to 
science. About $4 million was allocated for SAB activities in 
2016. Some of the bill's proposed changes include requiring the 
EPA to solicit nominations from the public and from relevant 
federal agencies, such as the Departments of Agriculture, 
Defense, Energy, and Health and Human Services. Nominees would 
be required to file a written report disclosing certain 
financial relationships and interests. Additionally, the bill 
would require the EPA to make risk or hazard assessments 
available to the SAB and to publish the board's advice, 
comments, and views in the Federal Register.
    Based on the cost of similar types of activities, CBO 
estimates that implementing the bill would cost less than 
$500,000 annually for personnel and administrative expenses. 
Such spending would be subject to the availability of 
appropriated funds.
    Enacting H.R. 1431 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting the legislation would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 1431 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jon Sperl. The 
estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

         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 italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

 ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEMONSTRATION AUTHORIZATION 
                              ACT OF 1978




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
  Sec. 8. (a) The Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
Agency shall establish a Science Advisory Board which shall 
independently provide such scientific advice as may be 
requested by the Administrator, the Committee on Environment 
and Public Works of the United States Senate, or the Committee 
on Science, Space, and Technology, on Energy and Commerce, or 
on Public Works and Transportation of the House of 
Representatives.
  [(b) Such Board shall be composed of at least nine members, 
one of whom shall be designated Chairman, and shall meet at 
such times and places as may be designated by the Chairman of 
the Board in consultation with the Administrator. Each member 
of the Board shall be qualified by education, training, and 
experience to evaluate scientific and technical information on 
matters referred to the Board under this section.]
  (b)(1) The Board shall be composed of at least nine members, 
one of whom shall be designated Chairman, and shall meet at 
such times and places as may be designated by the Chairman.
  (2) Each member of the Board shall be qualified by education, 
training, and experience to evaluate scientific and technical 
information on matters referred to the Board under this 
section. The Administrator shall ensure that--
          (A) the scientific and technical points of view 
        represented on and the functions to be performed by the 
        Board are fairly balanced among the members of the 
        Board;
          (B) at least ten percent of the membership of the 
        Board are from State, local, or tribal governments;
          (C) persons with substantial and relevant expertise 
        are not excluded from the Board due to affiliation with 
        or representation of entities that may have a potential 
        interest in the Board's advisory activities, so long as 
        that interest is fully disclosed to the Administrator 
        and the public and appointment to the Board complies 
        with section 208 of title 18, United States Code;
          (D) in the case of a Board advisory activity on a 
        particular matter involving, or for which the Board has 
        evidence that it may involve, a specific party, no 
        Board member having an interest in the specific party 
        shall participate in that activity;
          (E) Board members may not participate in advisory 
        activities that directly or indirectly involve review 
        or evaluation of their own work, unless fully disclosed 
        to the public and the work has been externally peer-
        reviewed;
          (F) Board members shall be designated as special 
        Government employees;
          (G) no registered lobbyist is appointed to the Board; 
        and
          (H) a Board member shall have no current grants or 
        contracts from the Environmental Protection Agency and 
        shall not apply for a grant or contract for 3 years 
        following the end of that member's service on the 
        Board.
  (3) The Administrator shall--
          (A) solicit public nominations for the Board by 
        publishing a notification in the Federal Register;
          (B) solicit nominations from relevant Federal 
        agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture, 
        Defense, Energy, the Interior, and Health and Human 
        Services;
          (C) solicit nominations from--
                  (i) institutions of higher education (as 
                defined in section 101(a) of the Higher 
                Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a))); and
                  (ii) scientific and research institutions 
                based in work relevant to that of the Board;
          (D) make public the list of nominees, including the 
        identity of the entities that nominated each, and shall 
        accept public comment on the nominees;
          (E) require that, upon their provisional nomination, 
        nominees shall file a written report disclosing 
        financial relationships and interests, including 
        Environmental Protection Agency grants, contracts, 
        cooperative agreements, or other financial assistance, 
        that are relevant to the Board's advisory activities 
        for the three-year period prior to the date of their 
        nomination, and relevant professional activities and 
        public statements for the five-year period prior to the 
        date of their nomination; and
          (F) make such reports public, with the exception of 
        specific dollar amounts, for each member of the Board 
        upon such member's selection.
  (4) Disclosure of relevant professional activities under 
paragraph (3)(E) shall include all representational work, 
expert testimony, and contract work as well as identifying the 
party for which the work was done.
  (5) Except when specifically prohibited by law, the Agency 
shall make all conflict of interest waivers granted to members 
of the Board, member committees, or investigative panels 
publicly available.
  (6) Any recusal agreement made by a member of the Board, a 
member committee, or an investigative panel, or any recusal 
known to the Agency that occurs during the course of a meeting 
or other work of the Board, member committee, or investigative 
panel shall promptly be made public by the Administrator.
  (7) The terms of the members of the Board shall be three 
years and shall be staggered so that the terms of no more than 
one-third of the total membership of the Board shall expire 
within a single fiscal year. No member shall serve more than 
two terms over a ten-year period.
  (c)(1) The Administrator, at the time any proposed or draft 
risk or hazard assessment, criteria document, standard, 
limitation, or regulation under the Clean Air Act, the Federal 
Water Pollution Control Act, the Resource, Conservation and 
Recovery Act of 1976, the Noise Control Act, the Toxic 
Substances Control Act, or the Safe Drinking Water Act, or 
under any other authority of the Administrator, is provided to 
any other Federal agency for [formal] review and comment, shall 
make available to the Board such proposed or draft risk or 
hazard assessment, criteria document, standard, limitation, or 
regulation, together with relevant scientific and technical 
information in the possession of the Environmental Protection 
Agency on which the proposed action is based.
  (2) The Board may make available to the Administrator, within 
the time specified by the Administrator, its advice and 
comments on the adequacy of the scientific and technical basis 
of the proposed or draft risk or hazard assessment, criteria 
document, standard, limitation, or regulation, together with 
any pertinent information in the Board's possession. The 
Board's advice and comments, including dissenting views of 
Board members, and the response of the Administrator shall be 
included in the record with respect to any proposed risk or 
hazard assessment, criteria document, standard, limitation, or 
regulation and published in the Federal Register.
  (d) In preparing such advice and comments, the Board shall 
avail itself of the technical and scientific capabilities of 
any Federal agency, including the Environmental Protection 
Agency and any national environmental laboratories.
  (e) Committees.--
          (1) Member committees.--
                  (A) In general.--The Board is authorized to 
                establish such member committees and 
                investigative panels as the Administrator and 
                the Board determine to be necessary to carry 
                out this section. These member committees and 
                investigative panels--
                          (i) shall be constituted and operate 
                        in accordance with the provisions set 
                        forth in paragraphs (2) and (3) of 
                        subsection (b), in subsection (h), and 
                        in subsection (i);
                          (ii) do not have authority to make 
                        decisions on behalf of the Board; and
                          (iii) may not report directly to the 
                        Environmental Protection Agency.
                  (B) Chairmanship.--Each member committee or 
                investigative panel established under this 
                subsection shall be chaired by a member of the 
                Board.
          (2) Agriculture-related committees.--
                  (A) In general.--The Administrator and the 
                Board--
                          (i) shall establish a standing 
                        agriculture-related committee; and
                          (ii) may establish such additional 
                        agriculture-related committees and 
                        investigative panels as the 
                        Administrator and the Board determines 
                        to be necessary to carry out the duties 
                        under subparagraph (C).
                  (B) Membership.--The standing committee and 
                each agriculture-related committee or 
                investigative panel established under 
                subparagraph (A) shall be--
                          (i) composed of--
                                  (I) such quantity of members 
                                as the Administrator and the 
                                Board determines to be 
                                necessary; and
                                  (II) individuals who are not 
                                members of the Board on the 
                                date of appointment to the 
                                committee or investigative 
                                panel; and
                          (ii) appointed by the Administrator 
                        and the Board, in consultation with the 
                        Secretary of Agriculture.
                  (C) Duties.--The agriculture-related standing 
                committee and each additional committee and 
                investigative panel established under 
                subparagraph (A) shall provide scientific and 
                technical advice to the Board relating to 
                matters referred to the Board that the 
                Administrator and the Board determines, in 
                consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, 
                to have a significant direct impact on 
                enterprises that are engaged in the business of 
                the production of food and fiber, ranching and 
                raising livestock, aquaculture, and all other 
                farming- and agriculture-related industries.
  (f)(1) Upon the recommendation of the Board, the 
Administrator shall appoint a secretary, and such other 
employees as deemed necessary to exercise and fulfill the 
Board's powers and responsibilities. The compensation of all 
employees appointed under this paragraph shall be fixed in 
accordance with chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of 
title 5 of the United States Code.
  (2) Members of the Board may be compensated at a rate to be 
fixed by the President but not in excess of the maximum rate of 
pay for grade GS-18, as provided in the General Schedule under 
section 5332 of title 5 of the United States Code.
  (g) In carrying out the functions assigned by this section, 
the Board shall consult and coordinate its activities with the 
Scientific Advisory Panel established by the Administrator 
pursuant to section 25(d) of the Federal Insecticide, 
Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, as amended.
  [(h) Public Participation and Transparency.--The Board shall 
make every effort, consistent with applicable law, including 
section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as 
the ``Freedom of Information Act'') and section 552a of title 
5, United States Code (commonly known as the ``Privacy Act''), 
to maximize public participation and transparency, including 
making the scientific and technical advice of the Board and any 
committees or investigative panels of the Board publically 
available in electronic form on the website of the 
Environmental Protection Agency.
  [(i) Report to Congress.--The Administrator shall annually 
report to the Committees on Environment and Public Works and 
Agriculture of the Senate and the Committees on Transportation 
and Infrastructure, Energy and Commerce, and Agriculture of the 
House of Representatives regarding the membership and 
activities of the standing agriculture-related committee 
established pursuant to subsection (e)(2)(A)(i).]
  (h)(1) To facilitate public participation in the advisory 
activities of the Board, the Administrator and the Board shall 
make public all reports and relevant scientific information and 
shall provide materials to the public at the same time as 
received by members of the Board.
  (2) Prior to conducting major advisory activities, the Board 
shall hold a public information-gathering session to discuss 
the state of the science related to the advisory activity.
  (3) Prior to convening a member committee or investigative 
panel under subsection (e) or requesting scientific advice from 
the Board, the Administrator shall accept, consider, and 
address public comments on questions to be asked of the Board. 
The Board, member committees, and investigative panels shall 
accept, consider, and address public comments on such questions 
and shall not accept a question that unduly narrows the scope 
of an advisory activity.
  (4) The Administrator and the Board shall encourage public 
comments, including oral comments and discussion during the 
proceedings, that shall not be limited by an insufficient or 
arbitrary time restriction. Public comments shall be provided 
to the Board when received, and shall be published in the 
Federal Register grouped by common themes. If multiple 
repetitious comments are received, only one such comment shall 
be published along with the number of such repetitious comments 
received. Any report made public by the Board shall include 
written responses to significant comments, including those that 
present an alternative hypothesis-based scientific point of 
view, offered by members of the public to the Board.
  (5) Following Board meetings, the public shall be given 15 
calendar days to provide additional comments for consideration 
by the Board.
  (i)(1) In carrying out its advisory activities, the Board 
shall strive to avoid making policy determinations or 
recommendations, and, in the event the Board feels compelled to 
offer policy advice, shall explicitly distinguish between 
scientific determinations and policy advice.
  (2) The Board shall clearly communicate uncertainties 
associated with the scientific advice provided to the 
Administrator or Congress.
  (3) The Board shall ensure that advice and comments reflect 
the views of the members and shall encourage dissenting members 
to make their views known to the public, the Administrator, and 
Congress.
  (4) The Board shall conduct periodic reviews to ensure that 
its advisory activities are addressing the most important 
scientific issues affecting the Environmental Protection 
Agency.
  (5) The Board shall be fully and timely responsive to 
Congress.

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