House Passes Science Advisory Board and Secret Science Reform Acts

On March 17th, the House passed the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act.  The measure (HR 1029) revises the process of selecting members of the Science Advisory Board; guidelines for participation in Board advisory activities; and terms of office.  It also requires the Board to independently provide scientific advice to EPA.  Federally registered lobbyists and recent EPA grant recipients are precluded from sitting on the Board and sitting members are precluded from receiving EPA funding for three years after leaving the Board.  In addition, new requirements are to be put in place for public participation in advisory activities of the Board.  A Senate companion bill, S 544, was introduced in late February and has been referred to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
On March 18th, the House passed the Secret Science Reform Act that prohibits EPA from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating a covered action unless all scientific and technical information relied on to support such action is the best available science, specifically identified, and publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results. Under HR 1030, a covered action includes a risk, exposure, or hazard assessment, criteria document, standard, limitation, regulation, regulatory impact analysis, or guidance.  There is no Senate companion for this bill.
The President has threatened to veto both measures if they pass the Senate as well.  More details about these and other legislative activity may be found under the “Legislative” tab on ASDWA’s website at