Text: H.R.6564 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)

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Introduced in House (09/28/2012)


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[Congressional Bills 112th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 6564 Introduced in House (IH)]

112th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 6564

  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.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           September 28, 2012

 Mr. Hall (for himself, Mr. Rohrabacher, Mr. Harris, and Mr. Benishek) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
                     Science, Space, and Technology

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  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.

    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 ``EPA Science Advisory Board Reform 
Act of 2012''.

SEC. 2. SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD.

    (a) Membership.--Section 8(b) of the Environmental Research, 
Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 
4365(b)) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(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 in consultation with the 
Administrator.
    ``(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 select Board members from nominations received as 
described in paragraph (3) and 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 representatives of State, local, or tribal governments;
            ``(C) not more than ten percent of the membership of the 
        Board are current recipients of Environmental Protection Agency 
        grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or other financial 
        assistance;
            ``(D) 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;
            ``(E) in the case of a Board advisory activity that may 
        affect a single entity, no Board member representing such 
        entity shall participate in that activity; and
            ``(F) Board members may not participate in advisory 
        activities that directly or indirectly involve review and 
        evaluation of their own work.
    ``(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, and 
        Health and Human Services;
            ``(C) make public the list of nominees, including the 
        identity of the entities that nominated them, and shall accept 
        public comment on the nominees;
            ``(D) require that, upon nomination, nominees shall file a 
        written report disclosing financial relationships and 
        professional activities, including Environmental Protection 
        Agency grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or other 
        financial assistance, that are relevant to the Board's advisory 
        activities for the five-year period prior to the date of their 
        nomination; and
            ``(E) make such reports public, with the exception of 
        specific dollar amounts, for each member of the Board upon such 
        member's selection.
    ``(4) 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.''.
    (b) Record.--Section 8(c) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 4365(c)) is 
amended--
            (1) in paragraph (1), by inserting ``risk or hazard 
        assessment,'' after ``at the time any proposed''; and
            (2) in paragraph (2), by adding at the end the following: 
        ``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.''.
    (c) Member Committees and Investigative Panels.--Section 8(e) of 
such Act (42 U.S.C. 4365(e)) is amended by adding at the end the 
following:
``These member committees and investigative panels--
            ``(1) 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);
            ``(2) do not have authority to make decisions on behalf of 
        the Board; and
            ``(3) may not report directly to the Environmental 
        Protection Agency.''.
    (d) Public Participation.--Section 8 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 4365) 
is amended by adding after subsection (g) the following:
    ``(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. The Board shall respond in writing to substantive comments 
offered by members of the public.
    ``(5) Following Board meetings, the public shall be given 15 
calendar days to provide additional comments for consideration by the 
Board.''.
    (e) Operations.--Section 8 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 4365) is further 
amended by adding after subsection (h), as added by subsection (d) of 
this section, the following:
    ``(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 advice and policy advice.
    ``(2) The Board shall clearly communicate uncertainties associated 
with the scientific advice provided to the Administrator.
    ``(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 and the Administrator.
    ``(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.''.
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