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Pombo Bill Applies DQA Standards to ESA Scientific Data Standard
Rep. Richard Pombo (R. CA) and House Resources Committee staff have drafted a bill currently entitled Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005. The draft bill amends the federal Endangered Species Act in several respects.
In particular, the bill requires the Secretary of the Department of the Interior to promulgate regulations establishing criteria for the "best available scientific data." The ESA requires that decisions under the statute be based on this type of data.
The draft bill incorporates the Data Quality Act standards and the OMB peer review guidelines into the ESA definition of "best available scientific data."
The draft bill allows DOI to require other federal agencies to reconsider ESA decisions that DOI believes do not meet the new data standards.
CRE believes that express statutory incorporation of the DQA and OMB peer review guidelines into ESA determinations might be a useful clarification. However, CRE also believes that the DQA and OMB peer review guidelines already apply to ESA determinations under existing law.
As of July 12, 2005, the draft bill had not yet been introduced.
Click to read draft of Pombo Bill.