Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (07/07/2004)

Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research Amendments Act of 2004 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998 (HABHRCA) to repeal the President's authority to disestablish the Interagency Task Force (thus retaining the Task Force).

(Sec. 3) Directs the Task Force to complete by specified deadlines, and submit to Congress, scientific assessments of: (1) harmful algal blooms (HABs) (first on marine HABs and subsequently on both marine and freshwater HABs, including those in the Great Lakes and upper reaches of estuaries); (2) current knowledge of freshwater HABs and coordination of related Federal research; and (3) hypoxia in U.S. coastal waters, including the Great Lakes.

Directs the Task Force to develop, and submit to Congress, a plan for a comprehensive and coordinated national research program to develop and demonstrate prevention, control, and mitigation methods to reduce the impacts of HABs on coastal ecosystems (including the Great Lakes), public health, and the economy. Requires such plan to include to the maximum extent practicable diverse institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and those serving large proportions of Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, and other underrepresented populations.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to: (1) establish a research, development, demonstration, and technology transfer program that meets the priorities and guidelines established under the Task Force's research plan; (2) ensure that research program results are communicated to State, Indian tribe, and local governments, and to the general public; and (3) do so in conjunction with other appropriate Federal agencies.

Requires the Task Force to work with the appropriate State, Indian tribe, and local governments to ensure that the assessments and research plan fulfill requirements of this Act.

Requires the Secretary to provide for local and regional scientific assessments of hypoxia or HABs. Directs the Secretary to do so in coordination with the Task Force and appropriate State, Indian tribe, and local governments and at the request of such governments.

(Sec. 4) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2005 through 2007 to the Secretary for research, education, monitoring, demonstration, and technology transfer activities related to the prevention, reduction, and control of HABs and hypoxia.

Requires that specified amounts of such funds be used for: (1) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research and assessment activities, including procurement of necessary research equipment, at research laboratories of the National Ocean Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service; (2) the Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) project, with a specified portion for research on freshwater HABs; (3) the HABHRCA national research program to develop methods to reduce impacts of HABs; (4) the Monitoring and Event Response for HABs (MERHAB) project; (5) activities related to research and monitoring on hypoxia; and (6) the HABHRCA local and regional scientific assessments of hypoxia or HABs.