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H.R.3757 - Securing Health for Ocean Resources and Environment Act
To improve the ability of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Coast Guard, and coastal States to sustain healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems by maintaining and sustaining their capabilities relating to oil spill preparedness, prevention, response, restoration, and research, and for other purposes.
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To improve the ability of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Coast Guard, and coastal States to sustain healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems by maintaining and sustaining their capabilities relating to oil spill preparedness, prevention, response, restoration, and research, and for other purposes.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
Ms. RICHARDSON (for herself and Ms. BASS of California) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committees on Science, Space, and Technology and Natural Resources, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concernedCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
To improve the ability of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Coast Guard, and coastal States to sustain healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems by maintaining and sustaining their capabilities relating to oil spill preparedness, prevention, response, restoration, and research, and for other purposes.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.
TITLE I--NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION OIL SPILL RESPONSE, CONTAINMENT, AND PREVENTION
TITLE II--IMPROVING COAST GUARD RESPONSE AND INSPECTION CAPACITY
TITLE III--OTHER MATTERS RELATING TO OIL SPILLS
SEC. 101. IMPROVEMENTS TO NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION OIL SPILL RESPONSE, CONTAINMENT, AND PREVENTION.
(1) COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW REQUIRED- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere shall conduct a comprehensive review of the current capacity of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to respond to oil spills.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(C) An inventory of the products and tools of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that can aid in assessment of the potential risk and impacts of oil spills. Such products and tools may include environmental sensitivity index maps, the United States Integrated Ocean Observing System, and oil spill trajectory models.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) REPORT- Upon completion of the review required by paragraph (1), the Under Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on such review, including the findings of the Under Secretary with respect to such review.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Oil Spill Trajectory Modeling- The Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere shall be responsible for developing and maintaining oil spill trajectory modeling capabilities for the United States, including taking such actions as may be required by subsections (c) through (g).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) UPDATE- Beginning not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and not less frequently than once every 7 years thereafter, the Under Secretary shall update the environmental sensitivity index products of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for each coastal area of the United States and for each offshore area of the United States that is leased or under consideration for leasing for offshore energy production.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) EXPANDED COVERAGE- Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, create an environmental sensitivity index product for each area described in paragraph (1) for which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration did not have an environmental sensitivity index product on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY INDEX PRODUCT DEFINED- In this subsection, the term ‘environmental sensitivity index product’ means a map or similar tool that is utilized to identify sensitive shoreline, coastal or offshore, resources prior to an oil spill event in order to set baseline priorities for protection and plan cleanup strategies, typically including information relating to shoreline type, biological resources, and human use resources.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(d) Subsea Hydrocarbon Review- Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary shall conduct a comprehensive review of the current state of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to monitor, map, and track subsea hydrocarbons, including a review of the effect of subsea hydrocarbons and dispersants at varying concentrations on living marine resources.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) provides outreach and utilizes communication mechanisms to inform partners, the public, and local communities about the availability of oil spill preparedness, prevention, response, and restoration information and services and otherwise improves public understanding and minimizes impacts of oil spills.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(f) Initiative on Oil Spills From Aging and Abandoned Oil Infrastructure- Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary shall establish an initiative--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) to determine the significance, response, frequency, size, potential fate, and potential effects, including those on sensitive habitats, of oil spills resulting from aging and abandoned oil infrastructure; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(g) Inventory of Offshore Abandoned or Sunken Vessels- Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary shall develop an inventory of offshore abandoned or sunken vessels in the exclusive economic zone of the United States and identify priorities (based on amount of oil, feasibility of oil recovery, fate and effects of oil if released, and cost-benefit of preemptive action) for potential preemptive removal of oil or other actions that may be effective to mitigate the risk of oil spills from offshore abandoned or sunken vessels.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 102. USE OF OIL SPILL LIABILITY TRUST FUND FOR EXPENSES OF NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION.
‘(B) not more than $25,000,000 in each fiscal year shall be available to the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere without further appropriation for expenses incurred by, and activities related to, preparedness, response, restoration, and damage assessment capabilities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(C) not more than $20,000,000 in each fiscal year shall be available to the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere for the research and development of technologies identified by the Office of Response and Restoration of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as beneficial for prevention, removal, and enforcement related to oil discharges;’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 103. INVESTMENT OF AMOUNTS IN DAMAGE ASSESSMENT AND RESTORATION REVOLVING FUND IN INTEREST-BEARING OBLIGATIONS.
The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest such a portion of the amounts in the Damage Assessment and Restoration Revolving Fund described in title I of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 1991 (
SEC. 104. STRENGTHENING COASTAL STATE OIL SPILL PLANNING AND RESPONSE.
‘SEC. 320. STRENGTHENING COASTAL STATE OIL SPILL RESPONSE AND PLANNING.
‘(1) to revise management programs approved under section 306 and National Estuarine Research Reserves approved under section 315 to identify and implement new enforceable policies and procedures to ensure sufficient response capabilities at the State level to address the environmental, economic and social impacts of oil spills or other accidents resulting from Outer Continental Shelf energy activities with the potential to affect and land or water use or natural resource of the coastal zone; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) to review and revise where necessary applicable enforceable policies within approved coastal State management programs affecting coastal energy activities and energy to ensure that these policies are consistent with--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(3) identification of coordination, logistics and communication networks between Federal and State government agencies, and between State agencies and affected local communities, to ensure the efficient and timely dissemination of data and other information;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(4) inventories of shore locations and infrastructure and equipment necessary to respond to oil spills or other accidents resulting from Outer Continental Shelf energy activities;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(5) identification and characterization of significant or sensitive marine ecosystems or other areas possessing important conservation, recreational, ecological, historic, or aesthetic values;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(c) Guidelines- The Secretary shall, within 180 days after the date of enactment of this section and after consultation with the coastal states, publish guidelines for the application for and use of grants under this section.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(d) Participation- Coastal states shall provide opportunity for public participation in developing new enforceable policies and procedures under this section pursuant to subsections (d)(1) of (e) of section 306, especially by relevant Federal agencies, other coastal state agencies, local governments, regional organizations, port authorities, and other interested parties and stakeholders, public and private, that are related to, or affected by Outer Continental Shelf energy activities.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(1) IN GENERAL- For each of fiscal years 2012 through 2016, the Secretary may make a grant to a coastal state to develop new enforceable policies and procedures as required under this section.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(4) SECRETARIAL REVIEW AND LIMIT ON AWARDS- After an initial grant is made to a coastal state under this section, no subsequent grant may be made to that coastal state under this section unless the Secretary finds that the coastal state is satisfactorily developing revisions to address offshore energy impacts. No coastal state is eligible to receive grants under this section for more than 2 fiscal years.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(f) Applicability- The requirements of this section shall only apply if appropriations are provided to the Secretary to make grants under this section to enable States to develop new or revised enforceable policies and procedures. Further, this section shall not be construed to convey any new authority to any coastal state, or repeal or supersede any existing authority of any coastal state, to regulate the siting, licensing, leasing, or permitting of alternative energy facilities in areas of the Outer Continental Shelf under the administration of the Federal Government. Nothing in this section repeals or supersedes any existing coastal state authority.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(g) Assistance by the Secretary- The Secretary shall, as authorized under section 310(a) and to the extent practicable, make available to coastal states the resources and capabilities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide technical assistance to the coastal states to prepare revisions to approved management programs to meet the requirements under this section.’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 105. GULF OF MEXICO LONG-TERM MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND RESEARCH PROGRAM.
(1) IN GENERAL- As soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act and subject to the availability of appropriations or other sources of funding, the Secretary shall, acting through the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, establish and carry out a long-term marine environmental monitoring and research program for the marine and coastal environment of the Gulf of Mexico to ensure that the Federal Government has independent, peer-reviewed scientific data and information to assess long-term direct and indirect impacts on trust resources located in the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast region resulting from the oil spill caused by the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) PERIOD OF PROGRAM- The Secretary shall carry out the program required by paragraph (1) during the 10-year period beginning on the date of the commencement of the program. The Secretary may extend such period upon a determination by the Secretary that additional monitoring and research is warranted.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) Monitoring and research of the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the affected marine, coastal, and estuarine areas of the Gulf of Mexico and other regions of the exclusive economic zone of the United States and adjacent regions affected by the oil spill caused by the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) Impacts to regional, State, and local economies that depend on the natural resources of the affected area, including commercial and recreational fisheries, tourism, and other wildlife-dependent recreation.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) Other elements considered necessary by the Secretary to ensure a comprehensive marine research and monitoring program to comprehend and understand the implications to trust resources caused by the oil spill from the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(d) Availability of Data- Upon review by and approval of the Attorney General regarding impacts on legal claims or litigation involving the United States, data and information generated through the program established under subsection (a) shall be managed and archived to ensure that it is accessible and available to governmental and non-governmental personnel and to the general public for their use and information.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(e) Report- Not later than 1 year after the date of the commencement of the program under subsection (a) and biennially thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a comprehensive report--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) TRUST RESOURCES- The term ‘trust resources’ means the living and non-living natural resources belonging to, managed by, held in trust by, appertaining to, or otherwise controlled by the United States, any State, an Indian Tribe, or a local government.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 106. ARCTIC RESEARCH AND ACTION TO CONDUCT OIL SPILL PREVENTION.
(a) In General- The Secretary of Commerce shall, acting through the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere and in collaboration with the heads of other agencies or departments of the United States with appropriate Arctic science expertise, direct research and take action to improve the ability of the United States to conduct oil spill prevention, response, and recovery in Arctic waters.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(D) the collection of observational data essential for response strategies in the event of an oil spill during both open water and ice-covered seasons, including data relating to oil spill trajectory models that include data on--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 201. SECRETARY DEFINED.
In this title, except as otherwise specifically provided, the term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 202. ARCTIC MARITIME READINESS AND OIL SPILL PREVENTION.
(a) In General- The Commandant of the Coast Guard shall assess and take action to reduce the risk and improve the capability of the United States to respond to a maritime disaster in the United States Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) The coordination of contingency plans and agreements with other agencies and departments of the United States, industry, and foreign governments to respond to an Arctic oil spill.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) The evaluation and enhancement of vessel monitoring, tracking, and automated identification systems and navigational aids and communications infrastructure for safe navigation and marine accident prevention in the Arctic.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 203. RESPONSE PLAN UPDATE REQUIREMENT.
(a) In General- The Secretary shall require all response plans approved by the Coast Guard under section 311(j) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (
(b) Best Available Technology- Each response plan update required by subsection (a) shall utilize the best commercially available technology and methods to contain and remove to the maximum extent practicable a worst case discharge (including a discharge resulting from fire or explosion), and to mitigate or prevent a substantial threat of such a discharge.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Technology Standards- The Coast Guard may establish requirements and guidance for utilizing the best commercially available technology and methods, which shall be based on performance metrics and standards whenever practicable.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 204. ADVANCE PLANNING AND PROMPT DECISIONMAKING IN CLOSING AND REOPENING FISHING GROUNDS.
(1) COOPERATION WITH STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS- Section 311(j)(4)(B)(ii) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (
‘(iii) acting through the Commandant of the Coast Guard and in consultation with the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere and any other government entities deemed appropriate, issue guidance for Area Committees to use in developing a framework for advance planning and decisionmaking with respect to the closing and reopening of fishing grounds following an oil spill, which guidance shall include model protocols and standards for the closing and reopening of fishing areas.’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 205. OIL SPILL TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION.
(b) Approval- The program required by subsection (a) shall establish a process for new methods and technologies to be submitted, evaluated, and gain validation for use in spill responses and inclusion in response plans. Following each validation, the Secretary shall consider whether the method or technology meets a performance capability warranting designation of a new standard for best available technology or methods.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Technology Clearinghouse- All technologies and methods validated under this section shall be included in the comprehensive list of spill removal resources maintained by the Coast Guard through the National Response Unit.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(d) Consultation- The Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of the Interior, the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Secretary of Transportation in carrying out this section.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 206. COAST GUARD INSPECTIONS.
(a) In General- The Secretary shall increase the frequency and comprehensiveness of safety inspections of all United States and foreign-flag tank vessels that enter a United States port or place, including increasing the frequency and comprehensiveness of inspections of vessel age, hull configuration, and past violations of any applicable discharge and safety regulations under United States and international law that may indicate that the class societies inspecting such vessels may be substandard, and other factors relevant to the potential risk of an oil spill.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Enhanced Verification of Structural Condition- The Secretary shall adopt, as part of the Secretary’s inspection requirements for tank vessels, additional procedures for enhancing the verification of the reported structural condition of such vessels, taking into account the Condition Assessment Scheme adopted by the International Maritime Organization by Resolution 94(46) on April 27, 2001.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 207. CERTIFICATE OF INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS.
‘(16) vessels and other structures, fixed or floating, including those which dynamically hold position or are attached to the seabed or subsoil, which are capable of exploring for, drilling for, developing, or producing oil or gas.’; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(E) is in a condition to be operated with safety to life and property, which including the operation of systems used for the capabilities described in paragraph (16) of section 3301, including--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(G) for vessels and other structures described in paragraph (16) of section 3301 (including the systems used for the capabilities described in paragraph (16) of section 3301), complies with the highest classification, certification, rating, and inspection standards for vessels or structures of the same age and type imposed by--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(ii) another classification society approved by the Secretary as meeting acceptable standards for such a society, except that the classification of vessels or structures under this section by a foreign classification society may be accepted by the Secretary only--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(I) to the extent that the government of the foreign country in which the society is headquartered accepts classification by the American Bureau of Shipping of vessels and structures used in the offshore exploration, development, and production of oil and gas in that country; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 208. NAVIGATIONAL MEASURES FOR PROTECTION OF NATURAL RESOURCES.
(a) Designation of At-Risk Areas- The Commandant of the Coast Guard, in consultation the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, shall identify areas in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States in which routing or other navigational measures are warranted to reduce the risk of oil spills and potential damage to natural resources. In identifying such areas, the Commandant shall give priority consideration to natural resources of particular ecological importance or economic importance, including--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) estuarine research reserves within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System established by section 315 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (
(b) Factors Considered- In determining whether navigational measures are warranted for an area under subsection (a), the Commandant and the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere shall consider, at a minimum--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) the frequency of transits of vessels which are required to prepare a response plan under section 311(j) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (
(c) Establishment of Routing and Other Navigational Measures- The Commandant shall establish such routing or other navigational measures for areas identified under subsection (a).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(d) Establishment of Areas To Be Avoided- To the extent that the Commandant and the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere identify areas in which navigational measures are warranted for an area under subsection (a), the Secretary and the Under Secretary shall seek to establish such areas through the International Maritime Organization or establish comparable areas pursuant to regulations and in a manner that is consistent with international law.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) DATA COLLECTION- The Commandant of the Coast Guard, in consultation with the Chief of Engineers, shall analyze data on oil transported as cargo on vessels in the navigable waters of the United States, including information on--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) REQUIREMENT FOR QUARTERLY REPORT- The Secretary shall, not less frequently than once each calendar quarter, submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report on the data collected and analyzed under paragraph (1).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 209. NOTICE TO STATES OF BULK OIL TRANSFERS.
(a) In General- A State may, by law, require a person to provide notice of 24 hours or more to the State and to the Coast Guard prior to transferring oil in bulk as cargo in an amount equivalent to 250 barrels or more to, from, or within a vessel in State waters.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Coast Guard Assistance- The Commandant of the Coast Guard may assist a State in developing appropriate methodologies for joint Federal and State notification of an oil transfer described in subsection (a) to minimize any potential burden to vessels.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 210. GULF OF MEXICO REGIONAL CITIZENS ADVISORY COUNCIL.
‘SEC. 4119. GULF OF MEXICO REGIONAL CITIZENS’ ADVISORY COUNCIL.
‘(1) VOTING MEMBERS- Each of the States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas shall each have 6 voting members on the Council who shall be residents of the State and appointed by the Governor of the State from a list of nominees provided by each of the following interests in the State, such that each interest in each State is represented by a voting member:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(E) The lead maritime environmental and natural resources management and enforcement agency from each of the States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) INITIAL APPOINTMENTS- For the terms of the group of first appointments of voting members to the Council, a drawing of lots among the appointees shall be conducted under which--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(3) DURATION OF COUNCIL- The duration of the Council shall be throughout the lifetime of energy development, transportation, and facility removal activities in the Gulf of Mexico.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) SELF-GOVERNANCE- After the initial organizational meeting hosted by the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, the Council shall be self-governing.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(4) CONFLICTS OF INTEREST- An individual selected as a voting member of the Council may not engage in any activity that may conflict with the execution of the functions or duties of the individual as a Council member.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(i) provide comprehensive oversight and monitoring of policies, permits, and regulations relating to the activities, operation, and maintenance of the facilities and tank vessels;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(iv) recommend standards and conditions for regulations intended to ensure the safe and environmentally sound operation and maintenance of the facilities and tank vessels;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE- The Council shall carry out the duties described in paragraph (1) in a manner that, to the maximum extent practicable, covers all activities of facilities and tank vessels occurring in the Gulf of Mexico.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(1) IN GENERAL- In addition to the standing committees authorized to be created in subsection (f), the Council may create temporary committees as necessary to carry out the duties of the Council relating to--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) DISSOLUTION- If a 2/3 majority of the Council votes to discontinue activities relating to the incidents described in paragraph (1), any temporary committee established under paragraph (1) shall dissolve within 60 days after the date of the vote.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) ADVICE- Any advice given by a voting member of the Council, or by a program representative or agent, shall not be grounds for estopping those interests represented by the voting Council members from seeking damages or other appropriate relief.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Council may request directly from any Federal agency (as defined in section 1004 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (
42 U.S.C. 6903)) (referred to in this section as a ‘Federal agency’) information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics for the purposes of this section.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(A) IN GENERAL- Effective beginning 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, each Federal agency shall, with respect to all permits, site-specific regulations, and other matters governing the activities and actions within the purview of the Council, consult with the Council prior to taking substantive action with respect to the permit, site-specific regulation, or other matter.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(C) EMERGENCIES- Prior consultation shall not be required under this paragraph if an authorized Federal agency representative reasonably believes that an emergency exists requiring action without delay.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(D) INFORMATION- Each Federal agency shall, on the request of the Council, to the extent authorized by law, furnish information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics directly to the Council.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(3) ACCESS- The Council shall have access to oil and gas industry facilities and records that are relevant to the proper execution of the duties of the Council under this section.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) RECOMMENDATIONS- If a government agency, responsible party, or other owner or operator, lessee, or permittee (referred to in this paragraph as the ‘covered individual or entity’) decides not to accept, or decides to substantially modify before adoption, a recommendation of the Council, the covered individual or entity shall provide to the Council, not later than 10 days after the date of the decision of the covered individual or entity, a written notice of the decision and a summary of reasons for the rejection or substantial modification of the recommendation by the covered individual or entity.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(1) OFFICE LOCATIONS- The Council shall establish offices in 1 or more Gulf States, as the Council determines to be necessary and appropriate to the operations of the Council.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) PER DIEM AUTHORIZATION- A member of the Council may not be compensated for service on the Council, but shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem, at a rate established by the Council, not to exceed the rates authorized for employees of agencies under sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States Code (except by express authorization of the Council in any case in which the rates are inadequate to reimburse a member not eligible for travel rates of the Federal Government).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(1) GAO REPORTS- Not later than 3 years after the date of establishment of the Council and every 3 years thereafter, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the President and Congress a report covering the operations and expenditures of the Council in carrying out this section, including any recommendations.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(n) Suits Barred- No program, association, council, committee, or other organization created by this section may sue any public or private person or entity concerning any matter arising under this section other than the performance of a contracts.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(o) Operational and Administrative Funding- Owners or operators of tank vessels, onshore facilities, or offshore facilities, lessees, and permittees in the Gulf of Mexico shall provide, on an annual basis, an aggregate amount of not more than $10,000,000, as determined by the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, that shall--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Table of Contents- The table of contents in section 2 of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. prec. 2701) is amended by adding at the end of the items relating to title IV the following:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 211. VESSEL LIABILITY.
‘(A) a tank ship that is a single-hull vessel, including a single-hull vessel fitted with double sides only or a double bottom only, $3,300 per gross ton or $93,600,000, whichever is greater;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(C) a tank barge that is a single-hull vessel, including a single-hull vessel fitted with double sides only or a double bottom only, $7,000 per gross ton or $29,100,000, whichever is greater; orCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 212. COAST GUARD RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.
(2) by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting ‘, of which amount not less than 40 percent shall be used to conduct research, development, and evaluation of oil spill response and removal technologies and methods;’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 213. PROMPT INTERGOVERNMENTAL NOTICE OF MARINE CASUALTIES.
‘(1) REQUIREMENT TO NOTIFY- Not later than 1 hour after receiving a report of a marine casualty under this section, the Secretary shall forward the report to each appropriate State agency and tribal government of an Indian tribe (as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (
25 U.S.C. 450b)) that has jurisdiction concurrent with the United States or adjacent to waters in which the marine casualty occurred.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) APPROPRIATE STATE AGENCY- Each State shall identify for the Secretary the appropriate State agency to receive a report under paragraph (1). Such agency shall be responsible for forwarding appropriate information related to such report to local and tribal governments within the State.’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 214. PROMPT PUBLICATION OF OIL SPILL INFORMATION.
(a) In General- In any response to an oil spill in which the Commandant of the Coast Guard serves as the Federal On-Scene Coordinator leading a Unified Command, the Commandant, on a publicly accessible Web site, all written Incident Action Plans prepared and approved as a part of the response to such oil spill.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) publish each Incident Action Plan pursuant to subsection (a) promptly after such Plan is approved for implementation by the Unified Command, and in no event later than 12 hours into the operational period for which such Plan is prepared; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Redaction of Personal Information- The Commandant may redact information from an Incident Action Plans published pursuant to subsection (a) to the extent necessary to comply with applicable privacy laws and other requirements regarding personal information.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 301. COORDINATION OF FEDERAL AND STATE ACTIVITIES WITH RESPECT TO OIL SPILL SURVEYS.
(a) Development of National Protocols for Oil Spill Surveys- Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere shall, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the heads of such departments and agencies of State governments as the Under Secretary considers appropriate, develop standard national protocols for oil spill response and clean up assessments to promote consistent procedures for collecting shoreline characterization data.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Guidance and Tools for Application of National Protocols for Oil Spill Surveys- The Under Secretary shall develop guidance and tools for oil spill responders and offer instructional courses to ensure that the protocols developed under subsection (a) are used during oil spill responses in the waters of the United States.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 302. COORDINATION BETWEEN NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, COAST GUARD, AND DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR ON OIL SPILL MATTERS.
(1) in subsection (c)(1), by inserting ‘the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, and’ before ‘the Attorney General,’; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(B) the Secretary of Commerce may submit comments on the anticipated effects of the proposed program on the human, marine, and coastal environments, including the likelihood of occurrence and potential severity of spills and chronic pollution;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(C) the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating may submit comments on the adequacy of the response capabilities of the Federal Government for spills and chronic pollution that may occur as a result of the proposed program; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) in the second sentence in paragraph (2), by striking ‘Attorney General’ and inserting ‘Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating,’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(A) IN GENERAL- In addition to any other requirement under law, the Secretary shall, prior to the approval of any program, lease, exploration plan, or development and production plan, consult with the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (referred to in this paragraph as the ‘Administrator’) on the reasonably foreseeable adverse effects of the proposed action to ocean and coastal resources, including oil spills.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(i) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall initiate consultation under subparagraph (A) at the earliest practicable time, but in no case later than 90 days before the date of approval of the proposed action.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(ii) PROVISION OF INFORMATION- On the initiation of consultation, the Secretary shall provide the Administrator with information describing the nature, location, and duration of the proposed action, and a description of all reasonably foreseeable adverse effects to ocean and coastal resources.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(i) IN GENERAL- At any time prior to the date that is 45 days before the approval of the proposed action, the Administrator may recommend alternatives to any proposed action, including measures that will prevent or minimize reasonably foreseeable adverse effects to ocean and coastal resources.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(ii) SECRETARIAL ACTION- The Secretary shall incorporate into the approval for the proposed action the alternatives or mitigation measures recommended under clause (i), unless the Secretary--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(I) determines that the alternatives or mitigation measures are not necessary to prevent or minimize reasonably foreseeable adverse effects to marine and coastal resources; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 303. FEDERAL OIL SPILL RESEARCH COMMITTEE.
(2) CHAIRPERSON- The Under Secretary shall designate a Chairperson from among members of the Committee who represent the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) coordinate a comprehensive program of oil pollution research, technology development, and demonstration among the Federal agencies, in cooperation and coordination with industry, universities, research institutions, State and local governments, tribal governments, and other nations, as the Committee considers appropriate; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Committee shall submit to Congress a report on the current state of oil spill prevention and response capabilities that--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(iii) establishes national research priorities and goals for oil pollution technology development related to prevention, response, mitigation, and environmental effects;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(iv) identifies regional oil pollution research needs and priorities for a coordinated program of research at the regional level developed in consultation with State and local governments and tribes;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(v) assesses the current state of spill response equipment, and determines areas in need of improvement including amount, age, quality, effectiveness, or necessary technological improvements;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(vi) assesses the current state of real time data available to mariners, including water level, currents and weather information and predictions, and assesses whether lack of timely information increases the risk of oil spills;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(vii) assesses the capacity of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to respond to, and restore, and rehabilitate marine sanctuaries, monuments, sea turtles, and other protected species;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(viii) establishes goals for improved oil spill prevention and response upon which to target research for the following 5-year period before the next report is submitted under subparagraph (B); andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) QUINQUENNIAL UPDATES- The Committee shall submit a report every fifth year after its first report under subparagraph (A) updating the information contained in its previous report under this paragraph.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) PROGRAM ELEMENTS- The program established under paragraph (1) shall provide for research, development, and demonstration of new or improved technologies which are effective in preventing, detecting, or mitigating oil discharges and which protect the environment, and include the following:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) Direct and indirect environmental effects of acute and chronic oil spills on marine resources, including impacts on marine sanctuaries, monuments, other protected areas, marine mammals, sea turtles, and other protected species.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(F) Methods to respond to, restore, and rehabilitate natural resources and ecosystem health and services damaged by oil discharges, including impacts on marine sanctuaries, monuments, other protected areas, marine mammals, sea turtles, and other protected species.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(G) Research and training, in consultation with the National Response Team, to improve industry’s and Government’s ability to remove an oil discharge quickly and effectively.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after submitting the report to Congress under subsection (c)(2)(A), the Committee shall submit to Congress a plan for the implementation of the program required by paragraph (1).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) ASSESSMENT BY NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES- The Chairperson shall, acting through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, contract with the National Academy of Sciences to--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- The Under Secretary shall, in consultation with the National Science Foundation, manage a program of competitive grants to universities or other research institutions, or groups of universities or research institutions, for the purposes of conducting the program established under subsection (d).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(f) Advice and Guidance- The Committee shall accept comments and input from State and local governments, Indian tribes, industry representatives, and other stakeholders in carrying out its duties under subsection (c).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(g) Facilitation- The Committee may develop memoranda of agreement or memoranda of understanding with universities, State and local governments, or other entities to facilitate the research program required by subsection (d).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(h) Annual Reports- The Chairperson of the Committee shall submit an annual report to Congress on the activities carried out under this section in the preceding fiscal year, and on activities proposed to be carried out under this section in the current fiscal year.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) Committee Replaces Existing Authority- The authority provided by this section supersedes the authority provided by section 7001 of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (