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H.R. 1431: EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017

Mar 30, 2017 at 10:40 a.m. ET. On Passage of the Bill in the House.

This was a vote to pass H.R. 1431 (115th) in the House.

H.R. 1431 amends federal law relating to the Scientific Advisory Board to establish qualifications for members, reinforce independence of the Board, and facilitate public participation in the Board’s advisory activities.

The bill requires the Board to be comprised of individuals whose education, training, and experience qualify them to evaluate scientific and technical information. The bill requires that the scientific and technical points of view be fairly balanced among Board members, and that at least ten percent of the members be drawn from state, local, or tribal governments. H.R. 1431 requires the Board to solicit nominations from the public and from relevant federal agencies, and requires that the list of nominations and the entities that nominated them be made public. Upon their provisional nomination, nominees must disclose their financial relationships and interests—including EPA grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, or other financial assistance that is relevant to the Board’s activities. They must also disclose relevant professional activities.

This legislation reinforces the independence of the Board. H.R. 1431 facilitates public participation in the Board’s advisory activities by making all reports and relevant scientific information public, and providing information to both the public and the Board simultaneously when it is received. The bill requires the Board to hold public information-gathering sessions before conducting major advisory activities, solicit public comments on questions to be asked to the Board, encourage public comments during Board proceedings, and require public comments to be published in the Federal Register. Reports by the Board must include written responses to significant and substantive public comments and the public must be given an additional fifteen days following Board meetings to give additional comments.

Finally, H.R. 1431 requires the Board to strive to avoid making policy determinations or recommendations, and requires that any policy advice be distinguished from scientific determinations.

Source: Republican Policy Committee

Totals

All Votes R D
Aye 54%
 
 
229
227
 
2
 
No 46%
 
 
193
5
 
188
 
Not Voting
 
 
7
4
 
3
 

Passed. Simple Majority Required. Source: house.gov.

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Republican - Aye Democrat - Aye Republican - No Democrat - No
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