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H.R. 1422 (113th): EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2014

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Nov 18, 2014.

EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2014 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to revise requirements for the Science Advisory Board, which gives scientific advice to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and address public disclosure of scientific and technical information that the EPA uses as a basis for agency actions.

Emphasizes that the Board provides such advice independently.

Revises the process of selecting members of the Board. Requires at least 10% of Board membership to represent state, local, or tribal governments. Excludes from membership any federally registered lobbyists.

Directs the Board to ensure that:

the points of view represented on the Board are fairly balanced among the members, persons with substantial and relevant expertise are not excluded from the Board because of affiliation with or representation of entities that might have a potential interest in the Board's advisory activities, and members do not participate in advisory activities that involve review or application of their own work. Revises Board terms of office.

Revises the procedures for providing advice and comments to the EPA by: (1) including draft risk or hazard assessments in the regulatory proposals and documents made available to the Board, and (2) requiring advice and comments to be included in the record regarding any such proposal and published in the Federal Register. Revises the operation of Board member committees and investigative panels to: (1) require that they operate in accordance with the membership, participation, and policy requirements (including new requirements for public participation in advisory activities of the Board) contained in this Act; (2) deny them authority to make decisions on behalf of the Board; and (3) prohibit direct reporting to EPA. Revises requirements for public participation and transparency. Requires the EPA and the Board to make all reports and relevant scientific information available to the public concurrently when that information is made available to the Board. Adds guidelines for the conduct of Board advisory activities, including: (1) avoidance of making policy determinations or recommendations, (2) communication of uncertainties, (3) dissenting members' views, and (4) periodic reviews to ensure that such activities address the most important scientific issues affecting EPA. (Sec. 3) Prohibits this Act from being construed as supplanting the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act or the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.