As directed by the June 14, 2019, Executive Order on Evaluating and Improving the Utility of Federal Advisory Committees (EO 13875), CDC has ended the term of this committee. The information on this page is no longer being updated.



Section 222 of the Public Health Service Act, (42 U.S.C. §217a), as amended. The Board is governed by the provisions of Public Law 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C. App), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.

Objectives and Scope of Activities

The National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) operates under a broad mandate to prevent disability, disease, and death due to environmental factors. The Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and by delegation, the Director, CDC, is authorized under Section 301, [42 U.S.C. Section 241] and Section 311, [42 U.S.C. Section 243], of the Public Health Service Act, as amended, to: (1) conduct, encourage, cooperate with, and assist other appropriate public authorities, scientific institutions, and scientists in the conduct of research, investigations, experiments, demonstrations, and studies relating to the causes, diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention of physical and mental diseases, and other impairments; (2) assist States and their political subdivisions in the prevention of infectious diseases and other preventable conditions, and in the promotion of health and well-being; and (3) to train State and local personnel in health work, in order to prevent disability, disease, and death due to environmental factors.

The Secretary, HHS, and the Administrator, ATSDR, are authorized under Section 104(i) of Public Law 96-510, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, [SARA; 42 U.S. C. Section 9604(i)], and Sections 3001(b)(1) and 3019 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), [42 U.S.C. Sections 6921(b)(1) and 6939a], to determine the extent of danger to the public’s health from a release or threat of release of a hazardous substance at Superfund or RCRA sites by conducting health assessments and to conduct directly or by grants or contracts, research, experiments and demonstrations relating to the prevention of human health effects from exposure to toxic substances.

Description of Duties

The Board of Scientific Counselors, NCEH/ATSDR shall provide advice and guidance to the Secretary, HHS; the Director, CDC; and the Director, NCEH/ATSDR, regarding program goals, objectives, strategies, and priorities in fulfillment of the agencies’ mission to protect and promote people’s health. The Board shall provide advice and guidance that will assist NCEH/ATSDR in ensuring scientific quality, timeliness, utility, and dissemination of results. The Board shall also provide guidance to help NCEH/ATSDR work more efficiently and effectively with its various constituents and to fulfill its mission in protecting America’s health.

Agency to Whom the Board Reports

The Board of Scientific Counselors, NCEH/ATSDR shall provide advice and guidance to the Secretary, HHS; the Director, CDC; and the Director, NCEH/ATSDR.


Management and support services shall be provided by the Office of the Director, National Center for Environmental Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

Estimated Annual Operating Cost and Staff Years

Estimated annual cost for operating the Board, including compensation and travel expenses for members but excluding staff support, is $61,080. Estimate of annual person-years of staff support required is 1.30 at an estimated annual cost of $128,991.

Designated Federal Officer

CDC will select a fulltime or permanent part-time Federal employee to serve as the Designated Federal Official (DFO) to attend each meeting and ensure that all procedures are within applicable statutory, regulatory, and HHS General Administration Manual directives. The DFO will approve and prepare all meeting agendas, call all of the Board and subcommittee meetings, adjourn any meeting when the DFO determines adjournment to be in the public interest, and chair meetings when directed to do so by the official to whom the Board reports. The DFO or his/her designee shall be present at all meetings of the full Board and subcommittees.

Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings

Meetings shall be held approximately two times per year at the call of the Designated Federal Official, in consultation with the Chair.

Meetings shall be open to the public except as determined otherwise by the Secretary, HHS, or other official to whom the authority has been delegated, in accordance with the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)) and Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act; notice of all meetings shall be given to the public.




Unless renewed by appropriate action prior to its expiration, the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will terminate two years from the date this charter is filed.

Membership and Designation

The Board of Scientific Counselors, NCEH/ATSDR shall consist of 16 members, including the Chair. Members and the Chair shall be selected by the Secretary from authorities knowledgeable in the field of environmental public health or in related disciplines. Members shall be deemed Special Government Employees.

The Board shall also consist of nonvoting federal experts representing the Department of Energy; the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; the Environmental Protection Agency; and such additional officials of the United States Government as the Secretary deems necessary for the Board to effectively carry out its functions.

Members shall be invited to serve for overlapping terms of up to four years, except that any member appointed to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term shall be appointed for the remainder of that term. Terms of more than two years are contingent upon the renewal of the Board by appropriate action prior to its termination. A member may serve 180 days after the expiration of that member’s term if a successor has not taken office.


Subcommittees composed of members and nonmembers of the parent committee may be established with the approval of the Secretary, HHS, or his/her designee. The subcommittees must report back to the parent committee and do not provide advice or work products directly to the agency. The Department Committee Management Officer will be notified upon establishment of each subcommittee and will be provided information on its name, membership, function, and estimated frequency of meetings.


The records of the Board and established subcommittees of the Board shall be managed in accordance with General Records Schedule 26, Item 2 or other approved agency records disposition schedule. These records shall be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. Section 552.

Filing Date

May 21, 2012

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Page last reviewed: September 10, 2013