National Academy of Sciences
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At A Glance
 
Public Law
: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004
: 108-136
Session: 108th Congress (First Session)

The following are excerpts, highlighted in red, from the final legislation and/or conference report which mentions the National Academies, including studies. (Pound signs [##] between passages denote the deletion of unrelated text.)

HR1588 Hunter (R-Calif.) 11/12/03
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)

A bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2004 for military activities of the Department of Defense, to prescribe military personnel strengths for fiscal year 2004, and for other purposes.
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SEC. 1056. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON DEPLOYMENT OF AIRBORNE CHEMICAL AGENT MONITORING SYSTEMS AT CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSAL SITES IN THE UNITED STATES.

(a) FINDINGS.—The Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Over 23,700 tons of lethal chemical agents in assembled chemical weapons and bulk storage containers are stored and awaiting destruction at eight chemical agent disposal facilities and stockpile storage sites in the United States. Some of these weapons and storage containers contain GB or VX nerve agents, while others contain blister agents such as HD (mustard agent).


(2) Approximately 960,000 persons live in the vicinity of the eight chemical weapons disposal facilities and stockpile storage sites.


(3) Airborne-agent chemical monitoring systems are currently deployed at each of the chemical demilitarization facilities and stockpile storage sites to provide continuous and near-real-time monitoring of the presence of chemical agents.


(4) The National Research Council has determined that monitoring levels used at the demilitarization facilities are very conservative and highly protective of workers and public health and safety and that the conservative monitoring levels are a contributing factor in false positive alarms.


(5) The National Research Council has expressed repeated concern about relatively frequent false positive alarms and the lack of real-time monitoring for airborne agents and has noted the poor state of agent monitoring technology for liquid waste streams and solid materials suspected of possible agent contamination.


(6) The National Research Council has concluded that, although the Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization has made some efforts to develop better agent-monitoring technology, results to date have been disappointing.


(7) The National Research Council has concluded that development and deployment of airborne-agent monitors with shorter response time and lower false alarm rates would enhance safety and reduce the tendency to discount agent alarms, and has recommended that the Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization and the relevant Department of Defense research and development agencies should invigorate and coordinate efforts to develop chemical agent monitors with improved sensitivity, specificity, and response time.

(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of the Army—

(1) should, in coordination with relevant Department of Defense research and development agencies, invigorate and coordinate efforts to develop chemical agent monitors with improved sensitivity, specificity, and response time; and


(2) should deploy improved chemical agent monitors in order to ensure the maximum protection of the general public, personnel involved in the chemical demilitarization program, and the environment

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SEC. 1502. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION.

(a) STUDY.—The commission shall carry out a study of the benefits under the laws of the United States that are provided to compensate and assist veterans and their survivors for disabilities and deaths attributable to military service.

(b) SCOPE OF STUDY.—In carrying out the study, the commission shall examine and make recommendations concerning the following:

(1) The appropriateness of such benefits under the laws in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.


(2) The appropriateness of the level of such benefits.


(3) The appropriate standard or standards for determining whether a disability or death of a veteran should be compensated.


(c) CONTENTS OF STUDY.—The study to be carried out by the commission under this section shall be a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of the benefits provided under the laws of the United States to compensate veterans and their survivors for disability or death attributable to military service, together with any related issues that the commission determines are relevant to the purposes of the study. The study shall include an evaluation and assessment of the following:

(1) The laws and regulations which determine eligibility for disability and death benefits, and other assistance for veterans and their survivors.


(2) The rates of such compensation, including the appropriateness of a schedule for rating disabilities based on average impairment of earning capacity.


(3) Comparable disability benefits provided to individuals by the Federal Government, State governments, and the private sector.

(d) CONSULTATION WITH INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE.—In carrying out the study under this section, the commission shall consult with the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences with respect to the medical aspects of contemporary disability compensation policies.

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HRpt 108-354 - To accompany H.R. 1588 - NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2004
Conference Committee
(11/6/03)
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Subtitle F—Other Matters

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SEC. 1056. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON DEPLOYMENT OF AIRBORNE CHEMICAL AGENT MONITORING SYSTEMS AT CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSAL SITES IN THE UNITED STATES.

(a) FINDINGS.—The Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Over 23,700 tons of lethal chemical agents in assembled chemical weapons and bulk storage containers are stored and awaiting destruction at eight chemical agent disposal facilities and stockpile storage sites in the United States. Some of these weapons and storage containers contain GB or VX nerve agents, while others contain blister agents such as HD (mustard agent).


(2) Approximately 960,000 persons live in the vicinity of the eight chemical weapons disposal facilities and stockpile storage sites.


(3) Airborne-agent chemical monitoring systems are currently deployed at each of the chemical demilitarization facilities and stockpile storage sites to provide continuous and near-real-time monitoring of the presence of chemical agents.


(4) The National Research Council has determined that monitoring levels used at the demilitarization facilities are very conservative and highly protective of workers and public health and safety and that the conservative monitoring levels are a contributing factor in false positive alarms.


(5) The National Research Council has expressed repeated concern about relatively frequent false positive alarms and the lack of real-time monitoring for airborne agents and has noted the poor state of agent monitoring technology for liquid waste streams and solid materials suspected of possible agent contamination.


(6) The National Research Council has concluded that, although the Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization has made some efforts to develop better agent-monitoring technology, results to date have been disappointing.


(7) The National Research Council has concluded that development and deployment of airborne-agent monitors with shorter response time and lower false alarm rates would enhance safety and reduce the tendency to discount agent alarms, and has recommended that the Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization and the relevant Department of Defense research and development agencies should invigorate and coordinate efforts to develop chemical agent monitors with improved sensitivity, specificity, and response time.


(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of the Army—

(1) should, in coordination with relevant Department of Defense research and development agencies, invigorate and coordinate efforts to develop chemical agent monitors with improved sensitivity, specificity, and response time; and


(2) should deploy improved chemical agent monitors in order to ensure the maximum protection of the general public, personnel involved in the chemical demilitarization program, and the environment.


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TITLE XV—VETERANS’ DISABILITY BENEFITS COMMISSION

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SEC. 1502. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION.

(a) STUDY.—The commission shall carry out a study of the benefits under the laws of the United States that are provided to compensate and assist veterans and their survivors for disabilities and deaths attributable to military service.

(b) SCOPE OF STUDY.—In carrying out the study, the commission shall examine and make recommendations concerning the following:

(1) The appropriateness of such benefits under the laws in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.


(2) The appropriateness of the level of such benefits.


(3) The appropriate standard or standards for determining whether a disability or death of a veteran should be compensated.


(c) CONTENTS OF STUDY.—The study to be carried out by the commission under this section shall be a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of the benefits provided under the laws of the United States to compensate veterans and their survivors for disability or death attributable to military service, together with any related issues that the commission determines are relevant to the purposes of the study. The study shall include an evaluation and assessment of the following:

(1) The laws and regulations which determine eligibility for disability and death benefits, and other assistance for veterans and their survivors.


(2) The rates of such compensation, including the appropriateness of a schedule for rating disabilities based on average impairment of earning capacity.


(3) Comparable disability benefits provided to individuals by the Federal Government, State governments, and the private sector.

(d) CONSULTATION WITH INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE.—In carrying out the study under this section, the commission shall consult with the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences with respect to the medical aspects of contemporary disability compensation policies.

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LEGISLATIVE PROVISIONS NOT ADOPTED

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Prohibition on transfer of certain programs outside the Office of the Secretary of Defense

The Senate amendment contained a provision (sec. 211) that would prohibit the transfer of five research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) programs from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to the military services. These programs are: explosive demilitarization technology (PE 63104D8Z); high energy laser research initiative (PE 61108D8Z); high energy laser research (PE 62890D8Z); high energy laser advanced development (PE 63924D8Z); and university research initiative (PE 61103D8Z).

The House bill contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes.

The conferees note that the Department of Defense (DOD), and in particular the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E), has assured the conferees that, despite the devolvement of these programs, the nature of the programs will not change. The conferees have, and will continue to pay particular attention to these programs in the future. The Secretary of Defense should consider these programs congressional interest items for purposes of the Base for Reprogramming (DD 1414). Any reprogramming of funds from these accounts shall only occur after approval by the congressional defense committees. The conferees may remove this designation after several years experience with the devolved programs.

The conferees further note their concerns about funding levels and technical content of the basic research activities of the defense science and technology program. The Department’s investment in basic research provides the foundation upon which our modern military is built. It is critical the basic research investment remain strong, stable, and focused on the fundamental search for new knowledge. Therefore, the conferees direct the National Academies of Science to evaluate the DOD basic research portfolio. The evaluation shall utilize the official DOD definition of basic research to determine whether the basic research portfolio is consistent with the definition provided in DOD regulation. The conferees expect to work closely with the National Academies of Science and the Secretary to build the terms of reference for this evaluation. The evaluation should be made available to the congressional defense committees prior to the fiscal year 2006 budget request.

The conferees direct the Secretary to submit a report for each of the fifteen programs devolved in the fiscal year 2004 President’s budget request, if the current year’s budget request for the program is less than the fiscal year 2004 budget request in constant dollars. This reporting requirement is intended to be in effect for the next four fiscal years. This report shall be included with each fiscal year budget request, and shall contain budget request and appropriated levels for the program dating back to calendar year 2000 in both current and constant dollars, and an analysis of the impact of the reduced funding on the development of military capabilities, affected contractors, technical workforce, and scientific and technological advancement.

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SUBTITLE F—OTHER MATTERS

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Sense of Congress on deployment of airborne chemical agent monitoring systems at chemical stockpile disposal sites in the United States (sec. 1056)

The Senate amendment contained a provision (sec. 1042) that would express the sense of the Senate that the Secretary of the Army should develop and deploy a program to upgrade the airborne chemical agent monitoring systems at all chemical stockpile disposal sites across the United States in order to achieve the broadest possible protection of the general public, personnel involved in the chemical demilitarization program, and the environment.

The House bill contained no similar provision.

The House recedes with an amendment that would express the sense of Congress that the Secretary of the Army, in coordination with relevant Department of Defense research and development agencies, should invigorate and coordinate efforts to develop and deploy chemical agent monitors with improved sensitivity, specificity, and response time.

The conferees note that the National Research Council (NRC) has completed six reports since 1994 that include assessments of the capabilities of airborne chemical agent monitoring systems installed at the chemical agent and munitions stockpile and destruction sites. In these reports, the NRC has consistently cited several problems with the airborne chemical agent sensors. While the NRC has determined that monitoring levels used at the demilitarization facilities are very conservative and are highly protective of workers and public health and safety, the conservative monitoring levels used are a contributing factor in a high incidence of false positive alarms. The NRC has urged the Project Manager for Chemical Demilitarization to improve both the reliability and response time of its airborne agent monitoring systems and recommended that the Army develop a real-time system for airborne-agent monitoring. The NRC has also noted the lack of robust techniques for rapidly measuring agent and agent breakdown products present in liquid waste streams and associated solid materials. The NRC acknowledges the progress made by the Army over the last decade in developing better agent monitoring technology, but concludes that the results to date have been disappointing.

The conferees note that the Army’s Chemical Material Agency (CMA) conducts an active program for evaluating new equipment and methods for improving both near-real time monitoring and historical long-term monitoring and continues to improve technologies and equipment to increase specificity, lower detection limits and response times, and minimize false alarms. The conferees believe that these efforts should be coordinated with, and take advantage of, the increased level of interest in and increased resources available for developing chemical agent detectors for homeland defense. The committee strongly supports these actions of the CMA that promote the maximum protection of the general public, personnel involved in the chemical demilitarization program, and the environment.

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SUBTITLE A—ADMINISTRATION AND OVERSITE OF THREAT REDUCTION AND NONPROLIFERATION PROGRAMS

Management assessment of Department of Defense and Department of Energy threat reduction and nonproliferation programs (sec. 3611)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 3621) that would require the National Academy of Sciences to carry out an analysis of the effect on threat reduction and nonproliferation programs of applicable congressional oversight measures.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes with an amendment that would require the General Accounting Office to carry out an assessment of the management of the Department of Defense and Department of Energy threat reduction and nonproliferation programs.

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HR1588 Hunter (R-Calif.) 5/22/03
Engrossed (passed) in House

A bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2004 for military activities of the Department of Defense, to prescribe military personnel strengths for fiscal year 2004, and for other purposes.
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SEC. 3621. ANALYSIS OF EFFECT ON THREAT REDUCTION AND NONPROLIFERATION PROGRAMS OF CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT MEASURES WITH RESPECT TO SUCH PROGRAMS.

(a) ANALYSIS OF AND REPORT ON CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT MEASURES.—(1) The National Academy of Sciences shall carry out an analysis of the effect on threat reduction and nonproliferation programs of applicable congressional oversight measures. The analysis shall take into account—

(A) the national security interests of the United States;


(B) the need for accountability in the expenditure of funds by the United States;


(C) the effect of such congressional oversight measures on the continuity and effectiveness of such programs; and


(D) the oversight responsibilities of Congress with respect to such programs.

(2) In carrying out the analysis, the National Academy of Sciences shall consult with the chairs and ranking minority members of the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

(b) REPORT.—Not later than November 1, 2004, the National Academy of Sciences shall submit to Congress a report on the analysis required by subsection (a). The report shall—

(1) identify, and describe the purpose of, each congressional oversight measure; and


(2) set forth such recommendations as the National Academy of Sciences considers appropriate as to whether the measure should be retained, amended, or repealed, together with the reasoning underlying that determination.

(c) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:

(1) the term “congressional oversight measure” means—


(A) the restrictions in subsection (d) of section 1203 of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Act of 1993 (22 U.S.C. 5952);


(B) the eligibility requirements in paragraphs (1) through (4) of section 502 of the FREEDOM Support Act (22 U.S.C. 5852);


(C) the prohibition in section 1305 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Public Law 106-65; 113 Stat. 512; 22 U.S.C. 5952 note); and


(D) any restriction or prohibition on the use of funds otherwise available for threat reduction and nonproliferation programs that applies absent the submission to Congress (or any one or more officers or committees of Congress) of a report, certification, or other matter.


(2) The term “threat reduction and nonproliferation programs” means—


(A) the programs specified in section 1501(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (Public Law 104-201; 110 Stat. 2731; 50 U.S.C. 2362 note); and


(B) any programs for which funds are made available under the defense nuclear nonproliferation account of the Department of Energy.


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