The National Academies: Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
Current Operating Status

The National Academies Testimony before Congress

Public Laws Containing Studies for the National Academies

Briefings to Congress

Congressionally Mandated Reports

Policy Statements and Historical Documents

The OCGA staff

Request a Report (Congressional and Government Staff Only)

Mailing Address:
The Office of Congressional and Government Affairs
The Keck Center of the National Academies
Keck WS1008
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Tel: (202) 334-1601
Fax: (202) 334-2419

Back to Main Page

Title of Law:Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act of 1997
Law #:Public Law 104-204
Passed by Congress:104th Congress (2nd Session)

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

HRpt 104-812 CONFERENCE REPORT To accompany H.R. 3666 Making appropriations for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and for sundry independent agencies, boards, commissions, corporations, and offices for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1997, and for other purposes.
Conference Committee

Special Typefaces Key:
[[ ]] Text to be omitted // \\ Italic text

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---



[To accompany H.R. 3666]


The Committee of Conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendments of the Senate to the bill (H.R. 3666) "making appropriations for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and for sundry independent agencies, boards, commissions, corporations, and offices for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1997, and for other purposes," having met, after full and free conference, have agreed to recommend and do recommend to their respective Houses as follows:




Amendment No. 57: Appropriates $542,000,000 for science and technology activities instead of $538,500,000 as proposed by the House and $545,000,000 as proposed by the Senate.

The conferees are in agreement with the following changes to the budget request:


+$1,500,000 for the Water Environmental Research Foundation.

+$1,000,000 for research on the health effects of arsenic.

+$5,000,000 for the Mine Waste Technology Program.

+$250,000 for research and development needs in onsite and alternative water and wastewater systems through the National Decentralized Water Resources Capacity Development Project.

-$17,600,000 from the Environmental Technology Initiative, leaving $10,000,000 for technology verification activities.

-$10,000,000 from the increase proposed for the climate change action plan.

-$2,200,000 from the EMAP program.

-$7,000,000 from academic graduate fellowships.

-$20,398,000 as a general reduction. In determining the level of general reduction under this account, the conferees note that directed reductions were not taken for enforcement and for hiring additional employees. Rather, the conferees agree that this general reduction be taken on an equitable basis from all intramural (salaries and expenses) and extramural (contracts and grants) activities at the Agency, including management and support, research, enforcement, regulatory activities and technical assistance.

The conferees encourage EPA to work with institutions of higher learning to establish and operate small public water system technology assistance centers, the need for which was recognized in the recently enacted Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments.

The conferees support the continuation of the Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) program, which has been moved to the science and technology account, at the budget request level. The program is expected to focus on the validation and verification of the performance of innovative technologies developed by the private sector that will serve to reduce remediation times and costs.

Within 90 days of enactment of this Act, the conferees direct EPA to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a comprehensive two-year study of the human health effects of synthetic and naturally occurring substances that may have an effect in humans that is similar to an effect produced by the hormone estrogen, and such other hormone related effects as EPA may designate. The conferees expect this study will examine the occurrence, toxicological data, mechanisms of action, and relative risk of synthetic and naturally occurring hormone related toxicants in the causation of human health problems. Because of the recent enactment of provisions mandating the development of screening programs for these substances, the study should also address issues central to the development of a cost-effective screening program, including how to select and prioritize chemicals for testing, which test or tests to include in a screening program, and the most appropriate way to use the resulting information in developing risk estimates. If the EPA has already entered into an agreement or agreements with the NAS with regard to hormone related toxicants, the EPA is expected to merge all such studies into one report. The conferees expect such study to be completed within two years and ask the NAS to transmit the subsequent report to the Committees on Appropriations as well as to the EPA. Prior to release of the study and before proposing any regulations or testing programs that address estrogen or hormone related characteristics, the Agency is directed to thoroughly consult with the NAS and to consider the findings and recommendations of this study. The conferees expect that any written comments submitted by the NAS on a proposed regulation, as well as any EPA response to such comments, will be published as part of any final EPA rulemaking on this matter.

Finally, the conferees agree that of the $35,000,000 transferred to science and technology from hazardous substance superfund, $2,500,000 is for the Gulf Coast Hazardous Substance Research Center.



Amendment No. 58: Appropriates $1,710,000,000 for environmental programs and management instead of $1,704,500,000 as proposed by the House and $1,713,000,000 as proposed by the Senate.

The conferees are in agreement with the following changes to the budget request:

+$2,500,000 for environmental justice activities.

+$4,550,000 for rural water technical assistance activities in addition to the levels provided in the budget request, including $2,100,000 for activities of the National Rural Water Association; $900,000 for RCAPs; $150,000 for the GWPC; $350,000 for the Small Flows Clearinghouse; $1,000,000 for the National Environmental Training Center; and $50,000 to establish a regional waste water training center at Vermont Technical College.

+$1,000,000 to continue the onsite wastewater treatment demonstration program through the Small Flows Clearinghouse.

+$2,500,000 for the Southwest Center for Environmental Research and Policy.

+$700,000 to enable the Long Island Sound Office to continue the implementation of the Sound's long-term conservation and management plan.

+$250,000 for a study of EPA's Mobile Source Emissions Factor Model to be conducted by the National Academy of Sciences.

+$500,000 for ongoing programs of the Canaan Valley Institute.

+$900,000 for continuing work on the water quality management plan for Skaneateles, Owasco, and Otisco Lake watersheds.

+$300,000 for continuing work on the Cortland County, New York aquifer protection plan.

+$1,500,000 for the National Institute for Environmental Renewal for development of an integrated environmental monitoring and data management system.

+$3,000,000 for a sludge-to-oil-reactor (STORS) and nitrogen removal system demonstration project in the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District.

+$1,250,000 for the South Shore Tahoe Transportation demonstration.

+$3,500,000 for the Lake Hollingsworth lake dredging technology demonstration, Lakeland, Florida.


RSS News Feed | Subscribe to e-newsletters | Feedback | Back to Top