2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 7 Nov 2003 18:00:44 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] RABs language in Defense Act
Section 317 of the Fiscal Year 2004 Defense Authorization Act contains
language governing Restoration Advisory Boards (RABs). I see the
language as helpful, because the administrative requirements of the
Federal Advisory Committee Act, which might otherwise have applied to
RABs, are cumbersome and do little to enhance local public involvement.
In addition, Defense Department policies - apparently beyond the
influence of Pentagon environmental officials - require security checks
of members of Defense advisory boards convened under the Advisory
Committee law.

The new language preserves and perhaps even strengthens the requirements
for balance in the composition of RABs, openness, and the maintenance of
public records.

The fully formatted language appears on pages 63-64 of the PDF file
downloadable from http://www.house.gov/rules/H1588_CR.PDF. I have pasted
a text version below.

Lenny Siegel




The Secretary of Defense  shall amend the regulations required by
section 2705(d)(2) of  title 10, United States Code, relating to the
establishment,  characteristics, composition, and funding of restoration
advisory boards to ensure that each restoration advisory board  complies
with the following requirements:  

(1) Each restoration advisory board shall be fairly balanced in its
membership in terms of the points of view represented and the functions
to be performed.  

(2) Unless a closed or partially closed meeting is determined to be
proper in accordance with one or more of  the exceptions listed in the
section 552b(c) of title 5,  United States Code, each meeting of a
restoration advisory  board shall be—  
(A) held at a reasonable time and in a manner or  place reasonably
accessible to the public, including individuals with disabilities; and 
(B) open to the public.  

(3) Timely notice of each meeting of a restoration advisory board shall
be published in a local newspaper of general circulation.  

(4) Interested persons may appear before or file statements with a
restoration advisory board, subject to such  reasonable restrictions as
the Secretary may prescribe.  

(5) Subject to section 552 of title 5, United States  Code, the records,
reports, minutes, appendixes, working  papers, drafts, studies, agenda,
or other documents that  were made available to, prepared for, or
prepared by each restoration advisory board shall be available for
public inspection and copying at a single, publicly accessible location,
such as a public library or an appropriate office of the military
installation for which the restoration advisory board is established, at
least until the restoration advisory board is terminated. 

(6) Detailed minutes of each meeting of each restoration advisory board
shall be kept and shall contain a record of the persons present, a
complete and accurate description of matters discussed and conclusions
reached, and copies of  all reports received, issued, or approved by the
restoration  advisory board. The accuracy of the minutes of a
restoration advisory board shall be certified by the chairperson of  the

(b) FACA EXEMPTION.—Section 2705(d)(2) of title 10,  United States Code,
is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:  ‘‘(C)
The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C.  App.) shall not apply to a
restoration advisory board established under this subsection.’’.    


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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