Home > 107th Congressional Bills > H.R. 1663 (ih) To amend the Public Health Service Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the basic period for health care continuation from 18 months to 5 years. [Introduced in House] %%Fi...

H.R. 1663 (ih) To amend the Public Health Service Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the basic period for health care continuation from 18 months to 5 years. [Introduced in House] %%Fi...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1662

To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require the Secretary of 
 the Interior to give greater weight to scientific or commercial data 
 that is empirical or has been field-tested or peer-reviewed, and for 
                            other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             April 8, 2003

Mr. Walden of Oregon (for himself, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Gibbons, Mr. Herger, 
  Mr. Simpson, Mr. Hastings of Washington, Mr. Otter, Mr. Pearce, Mr. 
     Paul, Mr. Cannon, Mr. McInnis, Mrs. Cubin, Mr. Stenholm, Mr. 
  Nethercutt, Mr. Rehberg, Mr. Doolittle, Mr. Renzi, and Mr. Brady of 
    Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                         Committee on Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require the Secretary of 
 the Interior to give greater weight to scientific or commercial data 
 that is empirical or has been field-tested or peer-reviewed, 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 ``Sound Science for Endangered Species 
Act Planning Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. SOUND SCIENCE.

    (a) Best Scientific and Commercial Data Available.--
            (1) In general.--Section 3 of the Endangered Species Act of 
        1973 (16 U.S.C. 1532) is amended--
                    (A) by amending the section heading to read as 
                follows:

``SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS AND GENERAL PROVISIONS.'';

                    (B) by striking ``For the purposes of this Act--'' 
                and inserting the following:
    ``(a) Definitions.--In this Act:''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(b) Use of Certain Data.--In any case in which the Secretary is 
required by this Act to use the best scientific and commercial data 
available, the Secretary, in evaluating comparable data, shall give 
greater weight to scientific or commercial data that is empirical or 
has been field-tested or peer-reviewed.''.
            (2) Conforming amendment.--The table of contents in the 
        first section of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 
        prec. 1531) is amended by striking the item relating to section 
        3 and inserting the following:

``Sec. 3. Definitions and general provisions.''.
    (b) Use of Sound Science in Listing.--Section 4(b) of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(b)) is amended by adding 
at the end the following:
            ``(9) Establishment of criteria for scientific studies to 
        support listing.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
        enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary shall promulgate 
        regulations that establish criteria that must be met for 
        scientific and commercial data to be used as the basis of a 
        determination under this section that a species is an 
        endangered species or a threatened species.
            ``(10) Field data.--
                    ``(A) Requirement.--The Secretary may not determine 
                that a species is an endangered species or a threatened 
                species unless the determination is supported by data 
                obtained by observation of the species in the field.
                    ``(B) Data from landowners.--The Secretary shall--
                            ``(i) accept and acknowledge receipt of 
                        data regarding the status of a species that is 
                        collected by an owner of land through 
                        observation of the species on the land; and
                            ``(ii) include the data in the rulemaking 
                        record compiled for any determination that the 
                        species is an endangered species or a 
                        threatened species.''.
    (c) Use of Sound Science in Recovery Planning.--Section 4(f) of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(f)) is amended by adding 
at the end the following:
    ``(6)(A) The Secretary shall identify and publish in the Federal 
Register with the notice of a proposed regulation pursuant to paragraph 
(5)(A)(i) a description of additional scientific and commercial data 
that would assist in the preparation of a recovery plan and--
            ``(i) invite any person to submit the data to the 
        Secretary; and
            ``(ii) describe the steps that the Secretary plans to take 
        for acquiring additional data.
    ``(B) Data identified and obtained under subparagraph (A)(i) shall 
be considered by the recovery team and the Secretary in the preparation 
of the recovery plan in accordance with section 5.''.

SEC. 3. PEER REVIEW.

    Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533) is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(j) Independent Scientific Review Requirements.--
            ``(1) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                    ``(A) Action.--The term `action' means--
                            ``(i) the determination that a species is 
                        an endangered species or a threatened species 
                        under subsection (a);
                            ``(ii) the determination under subsection 
                        (a) that an endangered species or a threatened 
                        species be removed from any list published 
                        under subsection (c)(1);
                            ``(iii) the development of a recovery plan 
                        for a threatened species or endangered species 
                        under subsection (f); and
                            ``(iv) the determination that a proposed 
                        action is likely to jeopardize the continued 
                        existence of a listed species and the proposal 
                        of any reasonable and prudent alternatives by 
                        the Secretary under section 7(b)(3).
                    ``(B) Qualified individual.--The term `qualified 
                individual' means an individual with expertise in the 
                biological sciences--
                            ``(i) who through publication of peer-
                        reviewed scientific literature or other means, 
                        has demonstrated scientific expertise on the 
                        species or a similar species or other 
                        scientific expertise relevant to the decision 
                        of the Secretary under subsection (a) or (f);
                            ``(ii) who does not have, or represent any 
                        person with, a conflict of interest with 
                        respect to the determination that is the 
                        subject of the review;
                            ``(iii) who is not a participant in any 
                        petition or proposed or final determination 
                        before the Secretary; and
                            ``(iv) who has no direct financial 
                        interest, and is not employed by any person 
                        with a direct financial interest, in opposing 
                        the action under consideration.
            ``(2) List of independent scientific reviewers.--The 
        Secretary shall solicit recommendations from the National 
        Academy of Sciences and develop and maintain a list of 
        qualified reviewers to participate in independent scientific 
        review actions.
            ``(3) Appointment of independent scientific reviewers.--(A) 
        Before any action shall become final, the Secretary shall 
        appoint randomly, from among the list prepared in accordance 
        with this section, 3 qualified individuals who shall review and 
        report to the Secretary on the scientific information and 
        analyses on which the proposed action is based.
            ``(B) The selection and activities of the referees selected 
        pursuant to this section shall not be subject to the Federal 
        Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.).
            ``(C) Reviewers shall be compensated for conducting the 
        independent review.
            ``(4) Opinion of peer reviewers.--Independent reviewers 
        shall provide the Secretary, within 3 months, their opinion 
        regarding all relevant scientific information and assumptions 
        relating to the taxonomy, population models, and supportive 
        biological and ecological information for the species in 
        question.
            ``(5) Final determination.--If the referees have made a 
        recommendation on a proposed action, the Secretary shall 
        evaluate and consider the information that results from the 
        independent scientific review and include in the final 
        determination--
                    ``(A) a summary of the results of the independent 
                scientific review; and
                    ``(B) in a case in which the recommendation of a 
                majority of the referees who conducted the independent 
                scientific review is not followed, an explanation as to 
                why the recommendation was not followed.
            ``(6) Public notice.--The report of the peer reviewers 
        shall be included in the official record of the proposed action 
        and shall be available for public review prior to the close of 
        the comment period on the proposed action.''.

SEC. 4. IMPROVED RECOVERY PLANNING.

    (a) Use of Information Provided by States.--Section 7(b)(1) of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1536(b)(1)) is amended by 
adding at the end the following:
                    ``(C) Use of state information.--In conducting a 
                consultation under subsection (a)(2), the Secretary 
                shall actively solicit and consider information from 
                the State agency in each affected State.''.
    (b) Opportunity To Participate in Consultations.--Section 7(b)(1) 
of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1536(b)(1)) (as 
amended by subsection (a)) is further amended by adding at the end the 
following:
                    ``(D) Opportunity to participate in 
                consultations.--
                            ``(i) In general.--In conducting a 
                        consultation under subsection (a)(2), the 
                        Secretary shall provide any person who has 
                        sought authorization or funding from a Federal 
                        agency for an action that is the subject of the 
                        consultation, the opportunity to--
                                    ``(I) before the development of a 
                                draft biological opinion, submit and 
                                discuss with the Secretary and the 
                                Federal agency information relevant to 
                                the effect of the proposed action on 
                                the species and the availability of 
                                reasonable and prudent alternatives (if 
                                a jeopardy opinion is to be issued) 
                                that the Federal agency and the person 
                                can take to avoid violation of 
                                subsection (a)(2);
                                    ``(II) receive information, on 
                                request, subject to the exemptions 
                                specified in section 552(b) of title 5, 
                                United States Code, on the status of 
                                the species, threats to the species, 
                                and conservation measures, used by the 
                                Secretary to develop the draft 
                                biological opinion and the final 
                                biological opinion, including the 
                                associated incidental taking 
                                statements; and
                                    ``(III) receive a copy of the draft 
                                biological opinion from the Federal 
                                agency and, before issuance of the 
                                final biological opinion, submit 
                                comments on the draft biological 
                                opinion and discuss with the Secretary 
                                and the Federal agency the basis for 
                                any finding in the draft biological 
                                opinion.
                            ``(ii) Explanation.--If reasonable and 
                        prudent alternatives are proposed by a person 
                        under clause (i) and the Secretary does not 
                        include the alternatives in the final 
                        biological opinion, the Secretary shall explain 
                        to the person why those alternatives were not 
                        included in the opinion.
                            ``(iii) Public access to information.--
                        Comments and other information submitted to, or 
                        received from, any person (pursuant to clause 
                        (i)) who seeks authorization or funding for an 
                        action shall be maintained in a file for that 
                        action by the Secretary and shall be made 
                        available to the public (subject to the 
                        exemptions specified in section 552(b) of title 
                        5, United States Code).''.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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