Past Environmental and Conservation Issues

Issue Summaries for the 112th Congress

(View issue summaries from the current Congress.)

This legislation requires the Secretary of the Army to study the feasibility of the hydrological separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins. The study must be completed within 18 months of enactment.
Status: H.R. 892 introduced 3/3/11, referred to Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment; with subsequent referrals to Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water and Power, and Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs. S. 471 introduced on 3/3/11, referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
AVMA Position: Support

Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller


H.R. 511, Amends Title 18 USC to prohibit the importation of various injurious species of constrictor snakes.
This legislation amends the federal criminal code to prohibit the importation of various species of constrictor snakes.

Status:
H.R. 511 introduced 1/26/11, referred to Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
AVMA Position: No Action
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller


This legislation authorizes appropriations to carry out the African Elephant Conservation Act, the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994, and the Asian Elephant Conservation Act of 1997 for FY12-FY16.
Status: H.R. 50 introduced 1/5/11, referred to Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs.
AVMA Position: Support 
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller

H.R. 1760, Great Ape Conservation Reauthorization Amendments Act of 2011
Authorizes appropriations to carry out the Great Ape Conservation Fund for FY12-FY17. Amends the Great Ape Conservation Act of 2000 to allow the awarding of multi-year grants. Requires the Secretary of the Interior to convene a panel of experts to identify the greatest needs and priorities for the conservation of great apes.

Status:
H.R. 1760 introduced 5/5/11, referred to Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs. Legislative hearing held 7/28/2011.
AVMA Position: Support
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller

H.R. 1761, Marine Turtle Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2011
Authorizes appropriations to carry out the Marine Turtle Conservation Fund for FY12-FY17. Expands marine turtle conservation assistance under the Marine Turtle Conservation Act of 2004 to include the United States and its territories.

Status: H.R. 1761 introduced 5/5/11, referred to Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs. Legislative hearing held 7/28/2011.
AVMA Position: Support
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller  
H.Res. 284, Honoring Wild Horses and Burros Resolution
Recognizes wild horses and burros as living symbols of the western development area. Honors the 16th birthday of Cloud, a wild stallion.

Status: H.Res. 284 was introduced 5/26/11 and referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. On 9/1/11 it was recalled by the full committee.
AVMA Position: No Action
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller 
S. 357, Wildlife Disease Emergency Act of 2011
Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to declare a wildlife disease emergency and to coordinate rapid response to those emergencies. Establishes in the Treasury a Wildlife Disease Emergency Fund. Directs the Secretary of the Interior to establish a Wildlife Disease Committee to assist in increasing the level of preparedness needed to address emerging wildlife diseases.

Status: S. 357 was introduced 2/15/11 and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
AVMA Position: Support
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller  

S.Res. 132, Recognizing and Honoring Zoos and Aquariums in the United States
Recognizes U.S. zoos and aquariums and commends their employees and volunteers. Calls for continued support for accredited zoos and aquariums and their conservation, education, and recreation programs.

Status:
S.Res. 284 was introduced 4/6/11 and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Discharged from committee by unanimous consent 11/8/11. Passed Senate by Unanimous Consent 11/8/11.
AVMA Position: Support
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller 

H.R 1558/S. 838, Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Act 
This bill would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to exclude from the definition of "chemical substance" for purposes of such Act: (1) any component of any pistol, revolver, firearm, shell, or cartridge the sale of which is subject to federal excise tax, including shot, bullets and other projectiles, propellants, and primers; and (2) any sport fishing equipment the sale of which is subject to federal excise tax and sport fishing equipment components.
Status: H.R. 1558 was introduced 4/14/11 and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.  S. 838 was introduced 4/14/2011 and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
AVMA Position: Nonsupport  
This bill authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to provide financial assistance to Louisiana to pay the federal share of the cost of a pilot program to: (1) study the damage to wetlands in Louisiana caused by feral swine, and (2) develop methods to eradicate or control feral swine and to restore damaged wetlands.
 
Status: H.R. 1828 was introduced 5/11/11 and referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs.  S. 838 was introduced 5/5/2011 and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Ordered to be reported favorably without amendment by committee on 9/21/11.
AVMA Position: Support

Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller


H.R. 1829/S. 899, Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2011
This bill amends the Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2003 to revise the nutria eradication program by authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to provide financial assistance to Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington (currently only to Maryland and Louisiana). Establishes the goals of such Program as: (1) eradicating nutria in Maryland; (2) eradicating or controlling nutria in Louisiana, Delaware, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington; and (3) restoring wetlands damaged by nutria.

Status:
H.R. 1829 was introduced 5/11/11 and referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs.  S. 899 was introduced 5/5/2011 and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Reported favorably with amendment by committee on 11/15/11.
   

AVMA Position: Support
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller


H.R 2546, Medical Waste Management Act of 2011
This bill would amend the Solid Waste Disposal Act to: (1) revise the definition of "medical waste"; (2) require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promulgate regulations listing types of medical waste; and (3) require the Administrator to conduct a medical waste management program to protect human health and the environment from medical waste and promulgate regulations on tracking, labeling, packaging, storing, handling, monitoring, and disposing of medical waste.

Status: H.R. 2546 was introduced 7/14/11 and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.  
AVMA Position: Nonsupport
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller 

H.R. 3074, Cormorant Management and Natural Resources Protection Act This bill would amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to delegate states the authorities of the Secretary of the Interior with respect to cormorants. Requires the Secretary of the Interior, with the consultation of APHIS and the National Aquaculture Information Center, to conduct educational and information activities for aquaculture facilities to help improve their efforts to prevent cormorant from consuming aquatic species raised in aquaculture facilities.
 
Status: H.R. 3074 was introduced 10/3/11 and referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs. Subcommittee legislative hearing on 3/29/12.  
AVMA Position: No Action
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller

 
This bill would reauthorize the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act of 2010 for 4 additional years, and allow for 5 stamp depictions, including an African or Asian elephant, a rhinoceros, a tiger, a marine turtle, or a great ape.
Status: H.R. 3510 was introduced 11/29/11 and referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition to the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs. S. 3208 was introduced 5/21/12 and referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. 
AVMA Position: Support
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller
 This legislation would amend the Lacey Act to clarify provisions enacted by the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, to further the conservation of certain wildlife species.  The bill would prohibit private possession of big cats except at certain facilities, such as accredited zoos. It requires any persons who currently possess big cats to register those animals with USDA in order to keep the cats they currently own. The bill would also outlaw the breeding of any big cat except at accredited zoos and research and educational institutions.
 
Status: H.R. 4122 was introduced 3/9/12 and referred to House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs. S. 3547 was referred to Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
AVMA Position: Nonsupport
Primary Contact: Dr. Whitney Miller