Current Congressionally Authorized Activities*

Public Law

115-31              Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017


                        Conduct a review of the conceptual plans to dispose of surplus plutonium including considerations of transportation, operations, performance assessment, compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other regulations, safety analyses, and any other activities required to carry out this alternative that are pertinent to the operation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)


                        Conduct a peer review of the revised draft Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment of formaldehyde. Should it be released in fiscal year 2017, verify that the recommendations from the previous National Academies report of 2011 have been fully resolved scientifically


                        Develop a dietary reference intake report for sodium that takes into consideration studies on all-cause mortality


                        Develop an operational Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) Services definition for the Medicaid program


                        Prepare a report that assesses the capital needs of the National Institutes of Health’s main campus. The report should identify facilities in greatest need of repair, describe the work needed to bring them up to current standards, and include cost estimates for each project


                        Conduct a study on the federal health care costs, safety, and quality concerns associated with discarded drugs resulting from weight-based dosing of medicines contained in single-dose vials


                        Conduct a study on the cost-benefit impact of multimodal autonomous self-driving vehicles, focusing on the impact of autonomous vehicles on motor carriers, ports, transit, and related industries, and on the so-called crash economy that includes the insurance and health care industries


115-25              Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017


                        Conduct a study on future National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite systems and data needs


115-10              National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017


                        Develop a science strategy for the study and exploration of extrasolar planets, including the use of telescopes, spacecraft, or instruments, as appropriate


                        Develop a science strategy for astrobiology that would outline key scientific questions, identify the most promising research in the field, and indicate the extent to which the mission priorities in existing decadal surveys address the search for life’s origin, evolution, distribution, and future in the universe


                        Assess the administration’s Mars exploration architecture and its responsiveness to the strategies, priorities, and guidelines put forward by the National Academies’ planetary science decadal surveys and Mars-related reports


114-329            American Innovation and Competitiveness Act


                        Assess research and data reproducibility and replicability in interdisciplinary research and make recommendations for improving rigor and transparency


                        Subject to the availability of appropriations, jointly establish and conduct with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) a postdoctoral fellowship program


                        Conduct a study to identify and review technologies employed at institutions of higher education to provide notifications to students, faculty, and other personnel during emergency situations in accordance with law


114-328            National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017


                        Conduct a study of the conventional munitions demilitarization program of the Department of Defense


                        Conduct an assessment of the technology development efforts of the defense environmental cleanup program of the Department of Energy


                        Concurrently review the analysis, conducted by the federally funded research and development center chosen by the secretary of energy, of the approaches for treating the portion of low-activity waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Richland, Washington, that is intended for supplemental treatment


114-322            Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act


                        Develop a proposal to study the use and performance of innovative materials in water resources development projects carried out by the Army Corps of Engineers and, after public comment, carry out the study


                        Conduct a study on the effectiveness and environmental impacts of salt cedar biological control efforts on increasing water supplies and improving riparian habitats of the Colorado River and its principal tributaries, in California and elsewhere


114-315            Jeff Miller and Richard Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016


                        Conduct a review of examinations furnished by the Department of Veterans Affairs to assess the impairments of individuals who submit claims for compensation under chapter 11 of title 38, United States Code, for traumatic brain injury


                        Conduct an assessment of scientific research relating to the descendants of individuals with toxic exposure


114-198            Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016


                        Evaluate the Justice Department’s Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Grant Program, identifying outcomes that are to be achieved by activities funded by the program and the metrics by which the achievement of these outcomes shall be determined


                        Evaluate any program administered by the secretary of health and human services included in this act that provides grants for the purpose of addressing problems pertaining to opioid abuse, basing the evaluation on the outcomes achieved and the metrics by which the achievement of these outcomes shall be determined


114-190            FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016


                        Study the potential use of probabilistic risk assessments to streamline the integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system, including any research and development necessary


114-183            Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016


                        Conduct a study examining the safety, regulatory requirements, techniques, and best practices applicable to pipeline facilities that transport or store only petroleum gas or mixtures of petroleum gas and air to 100 or fewer customers


114-113            Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016


                        Study the process used to establish the Advisory Committee for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the subsequent development of the Dietary Guidelines


                        Conduct a study on policies affecting the next generation of researchers in the United States


                        Conduct an evaluation of available evidence of health effects from e-cigarettes and recommendations for future federally funded research


                        Conduct a study of the sources of lead in the environment at Superfund sites proximal to the nation’s largest lead mining districts


                        Review current monitoring, sampling protocols, and requirements to understand miners’ occupational exposure to respirable coal mine dust in the United States and other industrialized countries


                        Conduct an analysis of the macroeconomic, health, and crime/social costs of child poverty as well as the efforts aimed at reducing poverty and propose recommendations with the goal of reducing the number of children living in poverty in the United States by half in 10 years


                        Conduct a study on the safe sodium intake for healthy individuals including a determination of the blood pressure effect and cardiovascular disease implications for healthy people consuming sodium at 3,000 mg or less per day


114-94               Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act


                        Study the performance of bridges that received funding under the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program and whether they met the goals of that program


                        Evaluate whether it is in the public interest to withhold from discovery or admission into evidence in a federal or state court proceeding any plan, report, data, or other information submitted to, developed, produced, collected, or obtained by the secretary of transportation or the secretary’s representative for purposes of complying with the requirements under section 5329 of title 49, United States Code, including information related to a recipient’s safety plan, safety risks, and mitigation measures


                        Study the actions needed to upgrade and restore the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways


                        Complete testing of electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brake systems during emergency braking application, including more than one scenario involving the uncoupling of a train with 70 or more DOT-117 or DOT-117R specification tank cars


114-92               National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016


                        Jointly with the National Academy of Public Administration, evaluate the plan and its implementation to reform the governance and management and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the nuclear security enterprise


113-235            Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015


                        Three years after enactment of the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2014 (included in this legislation), evaluate the Regional Innovation Program established by the act, recommending whether it should be improved and continued or terminated


                        Establish a blue-ribbon commission on scientific literacy and standing


113-121            Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014


                        Study and make recommendations relating to infrastructure and coastal restoration options for reducing risk to human life and property from extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, coastal storms, and inland flooding


113-76               Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014


                        Evaluate, possibly on a periodic basis, the Strategic National Stockpile distribution system and make recommendations to improve it, including consideration of private-public collaborations to increase efficiencies


                        Upon completion of a Government Accountability Office analysis, review the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s ocean and coastal data collection systems to determine which systems should be maintained, which need sustained investment, and which should be retired


                        Assess China’s strategies, policies, and programs to become an innovative society and to enhance its indigenous innovation


                        Undertake a review of existing data collection methods pertaining to human trafficking and slavery and make recommendations to improve data collection in these areas


                        Review the Bureau of Reclamation’s draft analysis of buried metallic water pipeline reliability to ensure that the uniform reliability standard, in addition to the analysis of economics, cost-effectiveness, and life-cycle costs, is accurate and consistent across all referenced materials


112-239            National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013


                        Assess and provide an analysis and recommendations on the state of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ mental health services, including the department’s development and implementation of measures to assess its mental health care services and its staffing guidelines


112-81               National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012


                        Within four years of the enactment of the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011, and every four years thereafter, conduct a study of how the STTR program has stimulated technological innovation and technology transfer, estimate the number of jobs created by the SBIR and STTR programs, and make recommendations with respect to these issues


111-314            National and Commercial Space Programs


                        Periodically over the next decade, conduct independent assessments, also known as decadal surveys, taking stock of the status and opportunities for earth and space science discipline fields and aeronautics research and recommending priorities for research and programmatic areas (see Public Law 110-422)


                        At five-year intervals, review and assess the performance of each division in the science directorate of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration


111-8                 Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009


                        Conduct an inventory of the energy development potential on all lands currently managed by the Department of Energy


110-422            National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008


                        On a periodic basis, perform independent assessments — also known as decadal surveys — to take stock of the status and opportunities for the fields of earth and space science and aeronautics and to recommend priorities for research and programmatic areas over the next decade (see Public Law 111-314)


110-161            Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008


                        Establish an independent project review of NASAs major programs


110-140            Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007


                        Evaluate vehicle fuel economy standards, updating the initial report every five years through 2025


                        Five years after enactment of this act, assess the Department of Energys performance in carrying out Section 641, titled the “United States Energy Storage Competitiveness Act of 2007”


110-114            Water Resources Development Act of 2007


                        Conduct a peer review for those project studies subject to a review as described in subsection (a), Section 2034, of this act, which may include the economic and environmental assumptions and projections, project evaluation data, economic, environmental, and engineering analyses, formulation of alternative plans, methods for integrating risk and uncertainty, models used in evaluation of economic or environmental impacts of proposed projects, and any biological opinions of the project study


110-69               America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (America COMPETES) Act


                        Conduct a study to identify and review methods to mitigate new forms of risk for businesses, beyond conventional operational and financial risk, that affect the ability to innovate


                        Study how the federal government should support, through research, education, and training, the emerging management and learning discipline known as “service science”


                        Not later than five years after, and 10 years after, the date of enactment of this … [act], assess the performance of the science, engineering, and mathematics education programs of the Department of Energy


                        Review the performance of the distributed, multidisciplinary institutes, established and centered at National Laboratories, to apply fundamental science and engineering discoveries to technological innovations


                        Establish an expert panel to identify promising practices for improving teaching and student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in kindergarten through grade 12 and examine and synthesize the scientific evidence pertaining to the improvement of teaching and learning in these fields


                        Conduct a study of the mechanisms and supports needed for an institution of higher education or nonprofit organization to develop and maintain a program to provide free access to online educational content as part of a degree program, especially in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or foreign languages, without using federal funds, including funds provided under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.)


109-364            John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007


                        Receive custodianship of the Air Force Health Study assets, maintain the data and specimens, and make them available for additional studies


109-155            National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005


                        At five-year intervals, review and assess the performance of each division in the science directorate of NASA


109-59               Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU)


                        Recommend a research agenda for a national cooperative freight transportation research program and to support and carry out administrative and management activities related to its governance


                        Carry out the nine research projects called for in the National Academies Transportation Research Board 2005 Special Report 283 titled “Cooperative Research for Hazardous Materials Transportation: Defining the Need, Converging on Solutions”


108-176            Vision 100 — Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act


                        Provide staff support to the Airport Cooperative Research Program Governing Board and carry out projects proposed by the board that the secretary of transportation considers appropriate


108-153            21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act


                        Conduct a triennial evaluation of the National Nanotechnology Program


106-541            Water Resources Development Act of 2000


                        Biennial review of the progress of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan

*While all projects listed have been designated in legislation, a few lack funding and final contracts.