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Title of Law:Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act of 1997
Law #:Public Law 108- 7
Passed by Congress:108th Congress (1st Session)

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

HJRES2 Young, C.W. (R.-Fla.) 2/13/03
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)

A joint resolution making consolidated appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2003, and for other purposes.
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SEC. 334. (a) The Secretary of Transportation shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences under which agreement the National Academy of Sciences shall conduct a study of the procedures by which the Department of Energy, together with the Department of Transportation and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, selects routes for the shipment of spent nuclear fuel from research nuclear reactors between or among existing Department of Energy facilities currently licensed to accept such spent nuclear fuel.

(b) In conducting the study under subsection (a), the National Academy of Sciences shall analyze the manner in which the Department of Energy—

(1) selects potential routes for the shipment of spent nuclear fuel from research nuclear reactors between or among existing Department facilities currently licensed to accept such spent nuclear fuel;

(2) selects such a route for a specific shipment of such spent nuclear fuel; and

(3) conducts assessments of the risks associated with shipments of such spent nuclear fuel along such a route.

(c) The analysis under subsection (b) shall include a consideration whether, and to what extent, the procedures analyzed for purposes of that subsection take into account the following:

(1) The proximity of the routes under consideration to major population centers and the risks associated with shipments of spent nuclear fuel from research nuclear reactors through densely populated areas.

(2) Current traffic and accident data with respect to the routes under consideration.

(3) The quality of the roads comprising the routes under consideration.

(4) Emergency response capabilities along the routes under consideration.

(5) The proximity of the routes under consideration to places or venues (including sports stadiums, convention centers, concert halls and theaters, and other venues) where large numbers of people gather.

(d) In conducting the study under subsection (a), the National Academy of Sciences shall also make such recommendations regarding the matters studied as the National Academy of Sciences considers appropriate.

(e) The Secretary shall disburse to the National Academy of Sciences the funds for the cost of the study required by subsection (a) not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(f) Not later than 6 months after the date of the disbursal of funds under subsection (e), the National Academy of Sciences shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the study conducted under subsection (a), including the recommendations required by subsection (d).

(g) In this section, the term “appropriate committees of Congress” means—

(1) the Committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Energy and Natural Resources, and Environment and Public Works of the Senate;

(2) the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives; and

(3) the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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TITLE III - INDEPENDENT AGENCIES

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

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ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

For fiscal year 2003, notwithstanding 31 U.S.C. 6303(1) and 6305(1), the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in carrying out the Agency’s function to implement directly Federal environmental programs required or authorized by law in the absence of an acceptable tribal program, may award cooperative agreements to federally-recognized Indian Tribes or Intertribal consortia, if authorized by their member Tribes, to assist the Administrator in implementing Federal environmental programs for Indian Tribes required or authorized by law, except that no such cooperative agreements may be awarded from funds designated for State financial assistance agreements.

None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act shall be used to promulgate a final regulation to implement changes in the payment of pesticide tolerance processing fees as proposed at 64 Fed. Reg. 31040, or any similar proposals. The Environmental Protection Agency may proceed with the development of such a rule.

The Environmental Protection Agency may not use any of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act to implement the Registration Fee system codified at 40 Code of Federal Regulations Subpart U (sections 152.400 et seq.) if its authority to collect maintenance fees pursuant to FIFRA section 4(i)(5) is extended for at least 1 year beyond September 30, 2002.

Section 136a-1 of title 7, U.S.C. is amended—

(1) in subsection (i)(5)(C)(i) by striking “$17,000,000 fiscal year 2002” and inserting “$21,500,000 for fiscal year 2003”;

(2) in subsection (i)(5)(H) by striking “2002” and inserting “2003”;

(3) in subsection (i)(6) by striking “2002” and inserting “2003”; and

(4) in subsection (k)(3)(A) by striking “2002” and inserting “2003”.

As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall enter into a cooperative agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate the impact of the final rule relating to prevention of significant deterioration and nonattainment new source review, published at 67 Fed. Reg. 80186 (December 31, 2002). The study shall include—

(1) increases or decreases in emissions of pollutants regulated under the New Source Review program;

(2) impacts on human health;

(3) pollution control and prevention technologies installed after the effective date of the rule at facilities covered under the rulemaking;

(4) increases or decreases in efficiency of operations, including energy efficiency, at covered facilities; and

(5) other relevant data.

The National Academy of Sciences shall submit an interim report to Congress no later than March 3, 2004, and shall submit a final report on implementation of the rules.

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HRpt 108-10 - To accompany H.J. Res 2 - MAKING FURTHER CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2003, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Conference Committee
(2/12/03)

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TITLE III

GENERAL PROVISIONS

(INCLUDING TRANSFERS OF FUNDS)

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SEC. 334. (a) The Secretary of Transportation shall enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences under which agreement the National Academy of Sciences shall conduct a study of the procedures by which the Department of Energy, together with the Department of Transportation and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, selects routes for the shipment of spent nuclear fuel from research nuclear reactors between or among existing Department of Energy facilities currently licensed to accept such spent nuclear fuel.

(b) In conducting the study under subsection (a), the National Academy of Sciences shall analyze the manner in which the Department of Energy—

(1) selects potential routes for the shipment of spent nuclear fuel from research nuclear reactors between or among existing Department facilities currently licensed to accept such spent nuclear fuel;

(2) selects such a route for a specific shipment of such spent nuclear fuel; and

(3) conducts assessments of the risks associated with shipments of such spent nuclear fuel along such a route.

(c) The analysis under subsection (b) shall include a consideration whether, and to what extent, the procedures analyzed for purposes of that subsection take into account the following:

(1) The proximity of the routes under consideration to major population centers and the risks associated with shipments of spent nuclear fuel from research nuclear reactors through densely populated areas.

(2) Current traffic and accident data with respect to the routes under consideration.

(3) The quality of the roads comprising the routes under consideration.

(4) Emergency response capabilities along the routes under consideration.

(5) The proximity of the routes under consideration to places or venues (including sports stadiums, convention centers, concert halls and theaters, and other venues) where large numbers of people gather.

(d) In conducting the study under subsection (a), the National Academy of Sciences shall also make such recommendations regarding the matters studied as the National Academy of Sciences considers appropriate.

(e) The Secretary shall disburse to the National Academy of Sciences the funds for the cost of the study required by subsection (a) not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(f) Not later than six months after the date of the disbursal of funds under subsection (e), the National Academy of Sciences shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the study conducted under subsection (a), including the recommendations required by subsection (d).

(g) In this section, the term “appropriate committees of Congress” means—

(1) the Committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Energy and Natural Resources, and Environment and Public Works of the Senate;

(2) the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives; and

(3) the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

For fiscal year 2003, notwithstanding 31 U.S.C. 6303(1) and 6305(1), the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in carrying out the Agency’s function to implement directly Federal environmental programs required or authorized by law in the absence of an acceptable tribal program, may award cooperative agreements to federally-recognized Indian Tribes or Intertribal consortia, if authorized by their member Tribes, to assist the Administrator in implementing Federal environmental programs for Indian Tribes required or authorized by law, except that no such cooperative agreements may be awarded from funds designated for State financial assistance agreements.

None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act shall be used to promulgate a final regulation to implement changes in the payment of pesticide tolerance processing fees as proposed at 64 Fed. Reg. 31040, or any similar proposals. The Environmental Protection Agency may proceed with the development of such a rule.

The Environmental Protection Agency may not use any of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act to implement the Registration Fee system codified at 40 Code of Federal Regulations Subpart U (sections 152.400 et seq.) if its authority to collect maintenance fees pursuant to FIFRA section 4(i)(5) is extended for at least 1 year beyond September 30, 2002.

Section 136a-1 of title 7, U.S.C. is amended—

(1) in subsection (i)(5)(C)(i) by striking “$17,000,000 fiscal year 2002” and inserting “$21,500,000 for fiscal year 2003”;

(2) in subsection (i)(5)(H) by striking “2002” and inserting “2003”;

(3) in subsection (i)(6) by striking “2002” and inserting “2003”; and

(4) in subsection (k)(3)(A) by striking “2002” and inserting “2003”.

As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall enter into a cooperative agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate the impact of the final rule relating to prevention of significant deterioration and nonattainment new source review, published at 67 Fed. Reg. 80186 (December 31, 2002). The study shall include—

(1) increases or decreases in emissions of pollutants regulated under the New Source Review program;

(2) impacts on human health;

(3) pollution control and prevention technologies installed after the effective date of the rule at facilities covered under the rulemaking;

(4) increases or decreases in efficiency of operations, including energy efficiency, at covered facilities; and

(5) other relevant data.

The National Academy of Sciences shall submit an interim report to Congress no later than March 3, 2004, and shall submit a final report on implementation of the rules.

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TITLE VII—GENERAL PROVISIONS

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House Section 741.—The conference agreement (Section 756) includes language prohibiting the use of funds to carry out section 7404 of P.L. 107-171. This prohibition will allow the Department to conduct its assessment of a National Academy of Sciences study that was released on December 10, 2002. The conferees agree that any similar study must be thoroughly justified prior to any expenditure of funds.

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NATIONAL OCEAN SERVICE

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Ocean Health Initiative.—One area where coastal observing systems would be useful is in exploring the relationship between the oceans and human health. In 1999, a National Research Council report, From Monsoons to Microbes: Understanding the Ocean’s Role in Human Health, focused attention on the implications of ocean phenomena for human health. The phenomena include climate change, weather events, coastal hazards, infectious diseases, and harmful algal blooms. As the nation faces increasing coastal pressures and scientists identify changes in coastal systems, including sentinel species such as dolphins and fish, NOAA is uniquely positioned to play a strong role in identification, prediction, and prevention of such changes. In addition, genetic and other characteristics of marine organisms can be used for medical advances and NOAA can help build a bridge between marine scientists and human health experts.

The conferees direct the Under Secretary to establish an Ocean Health Initiative to coordinate and focus agency activities on critical areas of concern and identify critical gaps in coverage. Of the amounts provided, $8,000,000 is for critical research and projects aimed at closing identified gaps. The conferees direct NOAA to: (1) work with the NSF and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in developing a joint program that builds on and complements existing NOAA programs; (2) establish an external peer reviewed grant process; and (3) provide for the selection and funding of internationally recognized “distinguished” scholars to work in collaboration with NOAA researchers. NOAA will submit a spend plan for approval by the Committees on Appropriations before program funding is obligated.

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NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

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Flash floods.—The conferees direct NOAA to commission the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study to assess the availability, performance, and capability of the NWS NEXRAD located on Sulphur Mountain in Ventura County, California to detect heavy precipitation and aid forecasters at the Los Angeles Weather Forecast Office in providing flash flood warnings and forecasts, and on the basis of that study, to provide the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere with a report on the performance of that mission by the NWS. The report also should include any recommendations for improving the accuracy and timeliness of flash flood warnings in and around western Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, California.

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UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

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In general administration, there are increases of $200,000 for the Caddo Lake Ramsar Center in Texas and $550,000 for maintenance at the National Conservation Training Center and a decrease of $1,000,000 for a National Academy of Sciences review of the State Wildlife Grants program.

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3. Funds have not been included for a National Academy of Sciences review of State wildlife grants as proposed by the House. This issue will be revisited in the fiscal year 2004 budget process.

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STATE AND TRIBAL WILDLIFE GRANTS

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The Committee has not included $1,000,000 in the resource management account as proposed by the House for a National Academy of Sciences review of the State wildlife plans funded under this account. This issue will be revisited in the 2004 budget process.

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FOSSIL ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

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Finally, there is a decrease of $500,000, for a National Academy of Sciences review of programs, which leaves $500,000 in the budget for this purpose.

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ENERGY CONSERVATION

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There is a decrease of $500,000 for a National Academy of Sciences review of programs, which leaves $500,000 in the budget for this purpose.

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MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

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The conferees agree with the Senate explanatory statement included in the Congressional Record of January 15, 2003 pertaining to the National Academy of Sciences report on coal waste impoundments, except that the due date for the required study is changed from March 15, 2003 to August 15, 2003. [NOTE from Site Manager: This does not refer to the due date of an Academies study, but a response to an Academies study.]

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OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY

GENERAL DEPARTMENTAL MANAGEMENT

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The conferees are concerned about the lack of mechanisms to insure and deliver psychosocial care to patients with cancer. Reports by the Institute of Medicine show that appropriate psychosocial care is an important contributor to quality of cancer care, but such care is not routinely available or consistently reimbursed. The conferees urge the Secretary, through relevant agencies such as NIMH, SAMHSA and AHRQ, to study the delivery of psychosocial services to cancer patients and report on the services available, who has access to them, who uses them, how they are reimbursed, and the effectiveness of specific interventions.

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INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION SCIENCES

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The conferees strongly support the premise that developing, identifying and implementing scientifically based research is critical to the success of the No Child Left Behind Act and to the increased effectiveness generally of education programs and interventions. In particular, the conferees believe that a greater focus must be placed on the use of randomized controlled trials, longitudinal studies, and other research that meets the standards set by the National Research Council. The development of an enhanced research infrastructure will help build a base of research-proven interventions that can be used by educational institutions to help improve the educational outcomes of our nation’s student population. The conferees have provided an additional $18,183,000 above last year to continue building the nation’s educational research infrastructure. The conferees note that there is a lack of scientifically based education research, such as randomized research trials.

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FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION

MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY

LIMITATION ON ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES

(HIGHWAY TRUST FUND)

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Crash causation study.—The conference agreement includes language proposed by the Senate urging FMCSA to make available the preliminary results of the crash causation study as soon as a representative data set is analyzed and to submit a letter to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations by May 15, 2003, indicating the study’s progress, the response to and status of the Transportation Research Board’s recommendations, and a time schedule for the release of the initial results. In addition, the conferees direct NHTSA to request that the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control evaluate the adequacy of the crash causation research design. CDC’s evaluation is to be provided to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations.

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TITLE III

GENERAL PROVISIONS

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Sec. 334 requires a National Academy of Sciences study regarding the shipment of spent nuclear fuel from research nuclear reactors, as proposed by the Senate. The House included no similar provision.

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

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The conferees continue to support the partnership between the EPA and the National Technology Transfer Center and direct that the Agency continue the cooperative agreement at the fiscal year 2001 funding level. Additionally, the conferees have provided $850,000 from within available funds for the Agency to contract with the National Academy of Sciences for an evaluation of the Coeur D’Alene Basin, Idaho Superfund site in a manner consistent with the Reports of the House and Senate accompanying this Act.

From within amounts transferred to “Science and Technology” from “Hazardous Substance Superfund”, the conferees direct that funding for the Gulf Coast Hazardous Substance Research Center continue at no less than the fiscal year 2002 level. Also from within these transferred amounts, the Agency is directed to provide no less than $8,000,000 for continuation of the SITE program.

The conferees agree that the drinking water security report requested by the Senate shall be provided no later than June 30, 2003.

Finally, the conference agreement modifies a provision included in the Report accompanying the Senate bill requiring EPA to study the procedures used by the States in setting individual State emission standards. The conferees direct that the Agency, rather than conduct such a study with its own personnel, contract with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct the review and submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations of its findings not later than February 15, 2004. The conferees have provided $750,000 from within available funds in support of this contract.

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS AND MANAGEMENT

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Last year, the Agency was asked by the House of Representatives’ Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies to undertake an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review the current draft Dioxin Reassessment. Among other things, the review was intended to address the toxicological questions associated with dioxin, including, the scientific evidence for the appropriate classification of dioxin as to its potential human carcinogenicity, the validity of the non-threshold linear dose-response model in light of epidemiological studies and the corresponding cancer slope factor calculated by the Agency through use of this model, the scientific evidence supporting the calculation and use of Toxicity Equivalent Factors, and the appropriateness of including “dioxin-like” chemicals in the risk assessment without individual empirical review of their effects.

Concerns raised by other federal agencies, outside scientists, and EPA’s own Science Advisory Board as to the scientific underpinning of the Reassessment, as well as questions of consistency with other international assessments of dioxin and the positions on these taken by other federal agencies, in large part prompted this request. Because of the enormous policy implications of this Reassessment, the Agency in early Fall, 2002, asked for additional time to convene an Interagency Working Group (IWG) so as to review and address many of the toxicological questions that have been raised concerning the dioxin reassessment, including, but not limited to, the scientific evidence used to classify the carcinogenicity of dioxin to humans, the Agency’s use of a linear dose-response model to estimate cancer risk levels, the scientific support for the use of the Toxic Equivalency Factors for dioxins, and the use of body burden as the appropriate dose metric.

While the conferees acknowledge the complexity of this issue, it is unclear as to how much progress has been made by the IWG. The conferees note that a year has passed since the Agency was first requested to pursue such a review by the Academy. In light of this fact and so that no further delay of this important issue occur, the conferees direct that unless the IWG has completed its review and issued a report within 60 days of enactment of the Act, the Agency is to contract with the Academy as quickly as possible thereafter so that the Academy may undertake a review of the Reassessment as originally requested. In issuing this direction, it is not the intention of the conferees to delay the work of the IWG. In addition, upon completion of the review by the NAS, the Agency is expected to move expeditiously to review the Academy’s report, make any appropriate changes as necessary in the Reassessment, and issue a final document.

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ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

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Finally, the conference agreement includes bill language as proposed by the Senate requiring the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to enter into a cooperative agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate the impact of the final rule relating to prevention of significant deterioration and non-attainment of new source review (NSR) published in the Federal Register on December 31, 2002.

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NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

RESEARCH AND RELATED ACTIVITIES

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Within amounts made available in this account, the conferees expect the NSF to provide up to $750,000 in support of the National Academy of Sciences’ work to develop a process for prioritizing projects funded through the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction account.

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TITLE IV—GENERAL PROVISIONS

The conference agreement includes the following dispositions of General Provisions:

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A provision was included in the Senate bill under Division I, Transportation and Related Agencies, directing EPA to contract with the National Academy of Sciences. The conferees have included an identical provision as an administrative provision under EPA.

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HRpt 107-740 - To accompany H.R. 5605 - DEPARTMENTS OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, AND INDEPENDENT AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2003
House Appropriations
(10/10/02)

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

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The Committee has long been aware of the environmental concerns in and around the Coeur d’Alene River Basin in northern Idaho resulting from over a century of hard rock mining and decades of ore smelting. This region at one time produced nearly 50% of the nation’s silver and about 30% each of the nation’s lead and zinc. However, smelting operations ceased in the early 1980’s and, since 1983, a 21 square-mile area surrounding the Bunker Hill mining and smelting complex has been on EPA’s Superfund National Priority List (NPL). The second largest Superfund site on the NPL, this area has been undergoing remediation activities throughout the 1990’s. In 1997, EPA expanded its investigations beyond the Bunker Hill site and, in October 2001, proposed a 20 to 30 year remediation program on an area that would grow from 21 square miles to approximately 1500 square miles. Predictably, this plan to exponentially expand the mandated remediation area has resulted in severe criticism and has brought to question the scientific and technical merits of EPA’s assessments and decision making process.

Because of the unique nature of EPA’s proposal, the Committee believes it is particularly important to have the benefit of an independent, scientific review of the decision. Accordingly, $850,000 is made available from within available funds for the Agency to contract with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) so that the NAS can independently evaluate the Coeur d’Alene Basin Superfund site in its examination of EPA’s scientific and technical practices in Superfund site definition, human and ecological assessment, remedial planning, and decision making. NAS is further expected to assess the adequacy and application of EPA’s own Superfund guidance in terms of currently available scientific and technical knowledge and best practices, as well as to provide guidance to facilitate scientifically based and timely decision making for the Coeur d’Alene site. While the NAS report may discuss various remedial options, the Committee does not expect the NAS to recommend a specific remedial strategy for this site.

The Agency is directed to execute a contract with the NAS for this study within 120 days of approval of this legislation, and the NAS is expected to complete the study within 24 months of the contract date. In directing this study, it is not the intent of the Committee that ongoing and planned remediation activities with the original 21 square mile NPL site be disrupted or adversely impacted in any way.

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