Text: H.R.3705 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)

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Introduced in House (02/07/2002)


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[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 3705 Introduced in House (IH)]







107th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 3705

To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require the Secretary of 
 the Interior to use the best sound science available in implementing 
                      the Endangered Species Act.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            February 7, 2002

  Mr. Pombo introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                         Committee on Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require the Secretary of 
 the Interior to use the best sound science available in implementing 
                      the Endangered Species Act.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Sound Science Saves Species Act of 
2002''.

SEC. 2. AMENDMENT OF ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT OF 1973.

    Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an 
amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal 
of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to 
be made to a section or other provision of the Endangered Species Act 
of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

SEC. 3. IMPROVING THE SCIENCE USED IN IMPLEMENTING ENDANGERED SPECIES 
              ACT OF 1973.

    (a) Contents of Petitions.--Section 4(b)(3) (16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(3)) 
is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(E) A petition referred to in subparagraph (A) shall contain each 
of the following:
            ``(i) Clear and convincing evidence of each of the 
        following:
                    ``(I) The known and historic ranges of the species.
                    ``(II) The most recent population estimates and 
                trends.
                    ``(III) The reason that the petitioned action is 
                warranted, including known or perceived threats to the 
                species.
                    ``(IV) The population of the species is declining 
                or has declined from historic population levels and 
                beyond normal population fluctuations for the species.
                    ``(V) Any other information that the petitioner 
                considers appropriate.
            ``(ii) A bibliography of scientific literature on the 
        species in support of the petition.
            ``(iii) A description of all available data on the 
        historical and current range, population, and distribution of 
        the species, an explanation of the methodology used to collect 
        the data, and an identification of the location where the data 
        can be reviewed.''.
    (b) Notice of Petitions.--Section 4(b)(3) (16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(3)) is 
amended by striking ``(3)(A)'' and inserting the following:
    ``(3)(A)(i) Within 30 days after receiving a petition from an 
interested person under section 553(e) of title 5, United States Code, 
to add a species to, or to remove a species from, either list published 
under subsection (c), the Secretary shall--
            ``(I) publish in the Federal Register a notice indicating 
        receipt of such petition and inviting interested persons to 
        submit any relevant scientific information regarding the status 
        of the species concerned;
            ``(II) promptly publish the petition on the Internet 
        website of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service;
            ``(III) provide notice of such receipt to each private 
        owner of land or water on or in which the species may exist by 
        publication of such notice in an appropriate newspaper of 
        general circulation, except that such notice shall be provided 
        directly to each such owner if the number of such owners is 100 
        or less; and
            ``(IV) notify the Governor of each State that could be 
        affected by the petition.
    ``(ii)''.
    (c) Independent Review of Petitions and Findings Regarding 
Petitions.--Section 4(b) (16 U.S.C. 1533(b)) is amended by adding at 
the end the following:
    ``(9)(A)(i) After the Secretary makes a finding under paragraph 
(3)(A) the Secretary shall appoint and convene an independent review 
board to conduct an independent scientific review of the data included 
in the petition.
    ``(ii) Within 60 days after the date the Secretary convenes the 
independent review board, the board shall provide to the Secretary its 
findings regarding the following:
            ``(I) The sufficiency of all relevant scientific 
        information and assumptions in the petition relating to the 
        taxonomy, population models, and supportive biological and 
        ecological information regarding the species that is the 
        subject of the petition.
            ``(II) Whether the methodology and analysis supporting the 
        petition meet the standards of the academic and scientific 
        community.
            ``(III) Whether the petition is supported by clear and 
        convincing evidence/provides clear and convincing evidence that 
        the petitioned action may be warranted? see section 4(b)(3)(B) 
        of ESA.
            ``(IV) Whether the review board concurs in the finding of 
        the Secretary under paragraph (3)(A).
    ``(B)(i) If, within 30 days after the Secretary publishes a finding 
under paragraph (3)(B)(ii) or (iii), any person submits to the 
Secretary in writing a request for an independent scientific review of 
the data upon which such finding is based, the Secretary shall appoint 
and convene an independent review board to conduct such review.
    ``(ii) Within 90 days after the date the Secretary convenes the 
independent review board, the board shall provide to the Secretary its 
findings regarding the following:
            ``(I) The sufficiency of all relevant scientific 
        information and assumptions that are the basis for the finding 
        relating to the taxonomy, population models, and supportive 
        biological and ecological information regarding the species 
        that is the subject of the finding.
            ``(II) Whether the methodology and analysis supporting the 
        finding meet the standards of the academic and scientific 
        community.
            ``(III) Whether the finding is supported by clear and 
        convincing evidence.
            ``(IV) Whether the review board concurs in the finding of 
        the Secretary under paragraph (3)(B)(ii) or (iii), as 
        applicable.
    ``(C) The Secretary shall--
            ``(i) publish in the Federal Register each finding by an 
        independent review board under subparagraph (A) or (B);
            ``(ii) post each such finding on the Internet website of 
        the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and
            ``(iii) otherwise make each such finding available to the 
        public.
    ``(D) If an independent review board finds under subparagraph (A) 
or (B) that it does not concur in the finding of the Secretary, the 
Secretary shall--
            ``(i) revoke the finding of the Secretary; or
            ``(ii) publish in the Federal Register an explanation of 
        why the finding of the review board is incorrect, with clear 
        and convincing evidence supporting such explanation.
    ``(E) The Secretary shall--
            ``(i) maintain a list of individuals who are available to 
        participate on independent review boards under this paragraph;
            ``(ii) seek nominations of individuals to participate on 
        such boards (upon appointment by the Secretary), through the 
        Federal Register, scientific and commercial journals, and the 
        National Academy of Sciences and other such institutions; and
            ``(iii) update such list every two years.
    ``(F)(i) An independent review board under subparagraph (A) shall 
be composed of 3 members, of which--
            ``(I) 2 shall be appointed by the Secretary from the list 
        under subparagraph (E); and
            ``(II) 1 shall be appointed by the Secretary from among 
        qualified individuals nominated by the Governor of a State in 
        which the species concerned is located.
    ``(ii) An independent review board under subparagraph (B) shall be 
composed of 5 members, of which--
            ``(I) 3 shall be appointed by the Secretary from the list 
        under subparagraph (E); and
            ``(II) 2 shall be appointed by the Secretary from among 
        qualified individuals nominated by the Governor of a State in 
        which the species concerned is located.
    ``(iii) If any individual declines appointment to an independent 
review board under this paragraph, the Secretary shall appoint another 
individual in the same manner.
    ``(iv) The selection of the members, and activities, of independent 
review boards under this paragraph is not subject to the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.).
    ``(v) The identities of the members of independent review boards 
under this paragraph shall not be made public.
    ``(vi) The Secretary shall provide compensation to an individual 
for service as a member of an independent review board under this 
paragraph, at a rate equal to not to exceed the daily equivalent of the 
maximum annual rate of basic pay for grade GS-12 of the General 
Schedule for each day (including travel time) during which the 
individual is engaged in the actual performance of duties as a member 
of such board.
    ``(vii) In this subparagraph, the term `qualified individual' means 
an individual with expertise in the biological sciences--
            ``(I) who is by virtue of advanced education, training, or 
        avocational, academic, commercial, research, or other 
        experience competent to review the adequacy of any scientific 
        methodology supporting a finding by the Secretary and the 
        validity of any conclusions drawn from data used to support the 
        finding;
            ``(II) who is not a participant in any petition or proposed 
        or final determination before the Secretary;
            ``(III) who is not, and has not been, employed by or under 
        contract to the Secretary or the State in which is located the 
        species that is the subject of an independent scientific review 
        in which the individual participates, for work related to the 
        finding or species under consideration in such review; and
            ``(V) who has no direct financial interest, and is not 
        employed by any person with a direct financial interest, in the 
        finding under consideration in such review.
    ``(G) The Secretary shall publish, with any final regulation 
implementing an action with respect to which an independent scientific 
review board is required under this paragraph to be convened, a summary 
of the report of the independent review board, noting points of 
disagreement between the reviewers, if any, and the response of the 
Secretary to the report.
    ``(H) The report of each independent scientific review board 
required under this paragraph shall be included in the official record 
of any regulation with respect to which the board is convened and shall 
be available for public review 30 days before the close of the period 
for comment on the regulation.''.
    (d) Independent Review of Jeopardy Opinions.--Section 7(b) (16 
U.S.C. 1536(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(5)(A)(i) Within 30 days after the date on which the Secretary 
issues a statement under paragraph (3) that a proposed action is likely 
to jeopardize the continued existence of a species included in a list 
under section 4(c), any person may submit to the Secretary a written 
request for an independent scientific review of the scientific 
information used in making such statement and any reasonable and 
prudent measures the Secretary proposes in the statement.
    ``(ii) Promptly after receiving such a request, the Secretary shall 
appoint and convene an independent review board to conduct such an 
independent scientific review.
    ``(B) Within 90 days after the date the Secretary convenes the 
independent review board, the board shall provide to the Secretary its 
findings regarding the following:
            ``(I) The sufficiency of all relevant scientific 
        information and assumptions in such statement relating to the 
        taxonomy, population models, and supportive biological and 
        ecological information regarding the species that is the 
        subject of the statement.
            ``(II) Whether the methodology and analysis supporting the 
        statement meet the standards of the academic and scientific 
        community.
            ``(III) Whether the statement is supported by clear and 
        convincing evidence.
            ``(IV) Whether the review board concurs in the statement.
    ``(C) The Secretary shall--
            ``(i) publish in the Federal Register each finding by an 
        independent review board under subparagraph (A) or (B);
            ``(ii) post each such finding on the Internet website of 
        the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and
            ``(iii) otherwise make each such finding available to the 
        public.
    ``(D) If an independent review board finds under subparagraph (B) 
that it does not concur in the statement of the Secretary, the 
Secretary shall--
            ``(i) revoke the statement; or
            ``(ii) publish in the Federal Register an explanation of 
        why the finding of the review board is incorrect, with clear 
        and convincing evidence supporting such explanation.
    ``(E) The Secretary shall--
            ``(i) maintain a list of individuals who are available to 
        participate on independent review boards under this paragraph;
            ``(ii) seek nominations of individuals to participate on 
        such boards (upon appointment by the Secretary), through the 
        Federal Register, scientific and commercial journals, and the 
        National Academy of Sciences and other such institutions; and
            ``(iii) update such list every two years.
    ``(F)(i) An independent review board under subparagraph (A) shall 
be composed of 5 members, of which--
            ``(I) 3 shall be appointed by the Secretary from the list 
        under subparagraph (E); and
            ``(II) 2 shall be appointed by the Secretary from among 
        qualified individuals nominated by the Governor of a State in 
        which the species concerned is located.
    ``(ii) If any individual declines appointment to an independent 
review board under this paragraph, the Secretary shall appoint another 
individual in the same manner.
    ``(iii) The selection of the members, and activities, of 
independent review boards under this paragraph is not subject to the 
Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.).
    ``(iv) The identities of the members of independent review boards 
under this paragraph shall not be made public.
    ``(v) The Secretary shall provide compensation to an individual for 
service as a member of an independent review board under this 
paragraph, at a rate equal to not to exceed the daily equivalent of the 
maximum annual rate of basic pay for grade GS-12 of the General 
Schedule level for each day (including travel time) during which the 
individual is engaged in the actual performance of duties as a member 
of such board.
    ``(vi) In this subparagraph, the term `qualified individual' means 
an individual with expertise in the biological sciences--
            ``(I) who is by virtue of advanced education, training, or 
        avocational, academic, commercial, research, or other 
        experience competent to review the adequacy of any scientific 
        methodology supporting a statement by the Secretary and the 
        validity of any conclusions drawn from data used to support the 
        statement;
            ``(II) who is not a participant in any petition or proposed 
        or final determination before the Secretary;
            ``(III) who is not, and has not been, employed by or under 
        contract to the Secretary or the State in which is located the 
        species that is the subject of an independent scientific review 
        in which the individual participates, for work related to a 
        statement or species under consideration in such review; and
            ``(V) who has no direct financial interest, and is not 
        employed by any person with a direct financial interest, in any 
        statement under consideration in such review.''.
    ``(G) The Secretary shall publish, with any final regulation 
implementing an action with respect to which an independent scientific 
review board is required under this paragraph to be convened, a summary 
of the report of the independent review board, noting points of 
disagreement between the reviewers, if any, and the response of the 
Secretary to the report.
    ``(H) The report of each independent scientific review board 
required under this paragraph shall be included in the official record 
of any regulation with respect to which the board is convened and shall 
be available for public review 30 days before the close of the period 
for comment on the regulation.''.
    (e) Limitation on Re-Petition.--Secretary 4(b)(3) (16 U.S.C. 
1533(b)(3)) is further amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(G) If the Secretary determines pursuant to a petition that 
addition of a species to either of the lists under subsection (c) is 
not warranted, another petition regarding that species may not be 
considered by the Secretary for one year.''.
                                 <all>