The SAB, in its present form, was established in 1978 by the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act (ERDDAA) (42 U.S.C. 4365).
- Predecessor bodies date back to the early 1970s. In carrying out the mandate of ERDDAA, the SAB provides such scientific advice as may be requested by the Administrator, the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the United States Senate, or the Committees on Science and Technology, Interstate and Foreign Commerce, or Public Works and Transportation of the House of Representatives.
- Because the Science Advisory Board is a Federal Advisory Committee, it must comply with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C. App. C) and related regulations. Consequently, the Board has an approved charter, which must be renewed biennially, announces its meetings in the Federal Register, and provides opportunities for public comment on issues before the Board.