Text: H.R.3065 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

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HR 3065 IH
1st Session
 H. R. 3065
To authorize the National Science Foundation's environmental protection,
management, and assessment activities in the Antarctic, and for other purposes.
July 29, 1991
Mr. BOUCHER (for himself, Mr. PACKARD, Mr. BROWN, Mr. WALKER, Mr. BRUCE,
Mr. BACCHUS, and Mr. GILCHREST) introduced the following bill; which was
referred jointly to the Committees on Science, Space, and Technology, Energy
and Commerce, and Merchant Marine and Fisheries
To authorize the National Science Foundation's environmental protection,
management, and assessment activities in the Antarctic, and for other purposes.
  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled,
  This Act may be cited as the `National Science Foundation Antarctic
  Environmental Protection Act of 1991'.
  The Congress finds that--
  (1) Antarctica presents unparalleled opportunities as a natural laboratory
  for scientific research and the study of wildlife, ecological processes,
  global climate change, and other natural phenomena;
  (2) Antarctica contains three quarters of the Earth's fresh water, as well
  as some of the world's most spectacular natural wonders, situated in unique
  ecosystems crucial to many species of life;
  (3) Antarctica plays an essential role in moderating and regulating the
  world's climate, atmosphere, and oceans, and in the maintenance of the
  global environmental balance;
  (4) Antarctica, by virtue of the Antarctic Treaty, is the sole continent on
  Earth where multiple nations have gathered peacefully, uninterrupted by war,
  and have cooperated in the furtherance of science and global understanding;
  (5) the Antarctic Treaty Parties have recognized the need for strengthening
  international Antarctic environmental management and pollution control
  measures, and recently have adopted new recommendations to governments on
  waste disposal, marine pollution, environmental assessment and monitoring,
  and other matters which must be translated into enforceable standards of
  law by the sovereign nations in order to protect the Antarctic environment;
  (6) the national policy of the United States must ensure that Antarctica's
  environmental resources are protected in a manner that preserves Antarctica's
  unique values, as well as its significance for scientific research, for
  the benefit of present and future generations of all nations;
  (7) the past several years have witnessed a dramatic rise in tourism in
  Antarctica, expansion of scientific research throughout the Continent,
  and increased logistical and operational activities at stations, and with
  this expansion of activity comes a heightened need to protect Antarctica
  and to promote responsible stewardship of the environment as well as the
  health and safety of visitors; and
  (8) the National Science Foundation, which manages the United States
  Antarctic Program, is engaged in an ongoing effort to improve environmental
  practices at United States Antarctic Program stations and field camps in
  Antarctica, and to remedy current environmental problems.
  For the purposes of this Act--
  (1) the term `Antarctica' means the area south of 60 degrees south latitude;
  (2) the term `Director' means the Director of the National Science
  Foundation, or an officer or employee of such Foundation designated by the
  Director to exercise the Director's authorities with respect to Antarctica;
  (3) the term `discharge' means to emit, release, dispose of, or otherwise
  (4) the term `ice-free land' means land in Antarctica not covered by the
  Antarctic ice shelf;
  (5) the term `ice staging' means the practice of placing waste on annual
  sea ice which breaks out, carrying the waste into the open sea;
  (6) the term `NSF Implementation Plan' means the reports entitled `A
  National Science Foundation Strategy for Compliance with Environmental Law
  in Antarctica` (NSF 90-4, December 29, 1989) and `Implementation of the
  National Science Foundation Strategy for Compliance with Environmental
  Law in Antarctica' (November 16, 1989), issued by the National Science
  Foundation in furtherance of its pollution control responsibilities;
  (7) the term `pollutant' means a pollutant designated by the Director in
  regulations issued under section 4(a);
  (8) the term `station' means a permanent United States Government facility;
  (9) the term `United States person' means any United States citizen, any
  officer, employee, agent, department, or other instrumentality of the Federal
  Government or of any State or political subdivision thereof, and any--
  (A) individual; or
  (B) corporation, partnership, trust, association, or other private entity
  existing or organized under the laws of the United States, or under the
  laws of any of its States,
subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
  (a) The Director shall--
  (1) issue, no later than April 1, 1992, regulations which designate
  pollutants, including incinerator residue, garbage, chemical wastes,
  and radioactive materials, and which also designate the subset of those
  pollutants which consists of hazardous or toxic pollutants; and
  (2) implement, no later than March 1, 1993, a permit program with the
  intent of preventing harm from discharges of pollutants by any United
  States person in Antarctica.
  (b) In issuing pollution control regulations and permits under this Act,
  the Director shall--
  (1) ensure that the waste disposal and environmental protection requirements
  applicable to Antarctica that have been adopted by the United States or
  by consensus of the Antarctic Treaty Parties are made mandatory minimum
  requirements for all United States persons in Antarctica;
  (2) at stations, field camps, and operations of the United States Government,
  provide at least the same degree of environmental protection as that afforded
  by the environmental laws of the United States that would apply if those
  stations, field camps, and operations were in the United States, giving
  due regard to special safety considerations and operational requirements
  of the Antarctic environment; and
  (3) for all activities of United States persons other than the Federal
  Government, including tourism, provide at least the same degree of
  environmental protection as that afforded by the environmental laws of the
  United States for similar activities occurring within the United States,
  giving due regard to special safety considerations of the Antarctic
  (a) PROHIBITED ACTS- It shall be unlawful for a United States person--
  (1) to discharge hazardous or toxic pollutants;
  (2) to engage in the practice of ice staging;
  (3) to transport hazardous or toxic pollutants to Antarctica for the
  purpose of disposing of such wastes in Antarctica;
  (4) to dump waste at sea in Antarctica, except in accordance with permits
  issued by the Environmental Protection Agency under applicable law, and by
  the Director pursuant to the permit program established under section 4(a)
  of this Act;
  (5) to engage in open burning of wastes at coastal stations; and
  (6) to discharge sewage or wastewater onto ice free land.
No act described in this subsection shall be unlawful if committed under
emergency circumstances or to prevent the loss of human life.
  (b) EFFECTIVE DATE- Paragraphs (1) and (3) of subsection (a) shall take
  effect on the issuance of regulations under section 4(a)(1).
  1993, the Director shall complete a comprehensive solid and hazardous
  waste management plan (hereafter in this subsection referred to as the
  `plan') for all United States Antarctic Program stations, field camps,
  and operations. Such plan shall provide for waste accumulation, storage,
  transportation, and treatment, shall set retrograde requirements, and
  shall include--
  (1) a system for classifying wastes according to their source;
  (2) a schedule for decontaminating waste disposal sites and abandoned
  work sites after clean-up options are developed pursuant to a remedial
  investigation and feasibility study;
  (3) an inventory of known locations of past United States Antarctic Program
  activities in Antarctica;
  (4) a schedule for removing abandoned fuel drums, fuel bladders, and similar
  containers, except in cases where such removal would result in greater
  environmental harm than leaving the items in place or would involve an
  unacceptable safety risk;
  (5) an identification of items not scheduled for removal under paragraph
  (4), along with an explanation of the reasons for the exception;
  (6) a program for examining energy use and implementing a plan of energy
  conservation at each United States Antarctic Program facility in Antarctica;
  (7) a designation of waste management officials at each station in Antarctica
  to implement the plan at that station;
  (8) training programs for United States persons participating in scientific
  and tourist expeditions to Antarctica aimed at ensuring compliance with
  relevant waste disposal requirements;
  (9) a separate element of the plan for each United States Antarctic Program
  facility in Antarctica; and
  (10) an estimate of funds required to implement the plan on an annual basis.
  (b) MCMURDO STATION- No later than March 1, 1994, the Director shall
  implement a solid waste management program at McMurdo Station which is
  consistent with the NSF Implementation Plan. Any incinerator at such station
  that burns materials other than wood, paper, food, food-contaminated
  waste, and other similar waste typically burned in the United States
  without incinerator emissions control, shall be equipped with appropriate
  emissions control.
  (c) WASTEWATER SYSTEM PROTECTION- No later than March 1, 1993, the Director
  shall establish policies and procedures to prevent oils, heavy metals,
  and hazardous and toxic pollutants from entering station wastewater
  collection systems.
  (d) HUMAN WASTEWATER- No later than March 1, 1993, the Director shall
  permit the discharge of human wastewater into Antarctica coastal waters
  only after maceration and dilution in accordance with recommendations of
  the Scientific Committee on Antarctica Research and the Antarctica Treaty
  Code of Conduct for Antarctica Expeditions and Station Activities.
  (e) HAZARDOUS AND TOXIC POLLUTANT SPILL PLAN- No later than March 1, 1993,
  the Director shall complete a hazardous and toxic pollutant spill prevention,
  control, and counter-measures plan, and shall adopt and implement appropriate
  recommendations contained in such plan beginning October 1, 1993.
  (a) ASSESSMENT OF PENALTIES- Any person who is found by the Director, after
  notice and opportunity for a hearing as is provided for the assessment of
  civil penalties under section 8(b) of the Antarctic Conservation Act of
  1978 (16 U.S.C. 2407(b)), to have committed any act prohibited by section
  5(a) of this Act or to have violated any regulation or permit issued under
  sections 4(a) or 12(b) of this Act, shall be liable to the United States
  for a civil penalty of not to exceed $10,000 for each violation. Each
  day of a continuing violation shall constitute a separate offense. The
  amount of any civil penalty shall be assessed by the Director by written
  notice. Any civil penalty assessed under this subsection may be remitted
  or mitigated by the Director.
  (b) HEARINGS AND REVIEW- The provisions of section 8(b) and (c) of the
  Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2407(b) and (c)) shall
  apply to the assessment and review of civil penalties under subsection
  (a) of this section as if such civil penalties were being assessed under
  section 8(a) of such Act.
  (a) OFFENSES- A person is guilty of an offense if that person knowingly
  commits any act prohibited by section 5.
  (b) PUNISHMENT- Any person found guilty of an offense described in subsection
  (a) may be imprisoned for not more than one year, or fined in accordance
  with title 18, United States Code, or both.
  (a) RESPONSIBILITY- The provisions of this Act and of any regulation or
  permit issued under this Act shall be enforced by the Director.
  (b) POWERS OF AUTHORIZED OFFICERS- Any officer who is authorized by the
  Director to enforce the provisions of this Act, and of any regulation
  or permit issued under this Act, may, in carrying out such enforcement
  authority, exercise the same powers as are granted to authorized officers
  under section 10(b)(1) through (7) of the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978
  (16 U.S.C. 2409(b)(1) through (7)) for carrying out enforcement authority
  under such Act. For the purposes of this section, references in such
  section 10(b)(1) through (7) to section 4 of the Antarctic Conservation
  Act of 1978 shall be considered to be references to section 5 of this Act.
  (c) SEIZURE- Any property or item seized pursuant to subsection (b) shall
  be held by any person authorized by the Director pending the disposition of
  civil or criminal proceedings, or the institution of an action in rem for
  forfeiture of such property or item; except that an authorized person may,
  in lieu of holding such property or item, permit the owner or consignee
  thereof to post a bond or other satisfactory surety.
  (d) REGULATIONS AND FEES- The Director may issue such regulations as are
  necessary to carry out this section, and may charge reasonable fees for
  the expenses of the United States incurred in carrying out inspections or
  storing evidentiary items seized under this Act.
  (a) Upon meeting the requirements of section 6 of this Act, but in no
  event later than March 1, 1995, a comprehensive environmental audit of
  all United States Antarctic Program stations, field camps, and operations
  shall be concluded by an independent panel of experts.
  (b) The panel of experts, which shall be comprised of five members no
  one of whom shall be an employee of the National Science Foundation or
  of its contractors, shall be selected no later than September 1, 1993,
  by the Director from among the following:
  (1) Individuals who possess demonstrated expertise in one or more of the
  following areas:
  (A) Environmental management or science.
  (B) Cold regions environmental engineering.
  (C) Environmental law.
  (D) Antarctic science, policy, or operations.
  (E) Environmental assessment, enforcement, or compliance monitoring.
  (2) Individuals who have familiarity with environmental audit techniques.
  (c) The work of the panel shall be directed by a chairman selected by the
  Director from among the five-member panel.
  (d) At least two members of the panel shall be from outside the Federal
  Government service.
  (e) The National Science Foundation shall provide all transportation
  and logistical support necessary to allow the panel to conduct on-site
  inspections of United States Antarctic Program stations, field camps, and
  operations, and shall cooperate to the fullest extent possible in meeting
  requests for documents, other information, and assistance necessary to
  conduct the audit.
  (f)(1) At the conclusion of the audit, and no later than December 31, 1995,
  the panel shall submit to the Director a draft environmental audit report
  containing proposed findings and recommendations regarding United States
  Antarctic Program environmental practices.
  (2) The Director shall have 120 days to comment on the draft report
  submitted by the panel.
  (3) The panel, after considering the Director's comments, shall submit,
  no later than June 1, 1996, its final audit report simultaneously to the
  Director and to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the
  House of Representatives and the Committees on Labor and Human Resources
  and Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.
  (g) The Director shall, within 90 days after receipt of the final audit
  plan, submit to the Office of Management and Budget a plan for implementing
  the recommendations contained therein, along with reasons for rejection of
  any such recommendations, together with an estimate of the time required
  and the costs projected to be incurred in implementing the plan.
  (h) Upon completion of the new science facility laboratory that, as of the
  date of enactment of this Act, is under construction at McMurdo Station, the
  Director shall dedicate appropriate laboratory space, personnel, and other
  resources within the laboratory to environmental monitoring, assessment,
  compliance, investigation, and enforcement activity. The Director shall
  secure appropriate staffing of the laboratory for such purposes no later
  than December 31, 1993, or the opening of such new science facility,
  whichever is sooner.
  (i) The National Science Foundation's Office of the Inspector General shall
  establish procedures for persons, including investigators, environmental
  scientists, or compliance officers, who obtain evidence of or otherwise
  believe a violation of this Act or other applicable law has been committed,
  to report such information.
  and implement a long-term environmental monitoring program for Antarctica,
  which shall include--
  (1) monitoring the effects of activities of United States persons on the
  environment of Antarctica, including--
  (A) waste disposal and pollution discharges;
  (B) contamination by oil or other hazardous or toxic substances;
  (C) construction and operation of stations, field camps, and other logistic
  support facilities;
  (D) conduct of scientific programs; and
  (E) tourism and other recreational or adventure activities, including
  their effects on areas designated as Specially Protected Areas and Sites
  of Special Scientific Interest pursuant to the Antarctic Treaty;
  (2) assessing the effectiveness of preventative and remedial measures
  taken under this Act;
  (3) maintenance of accurate records of the types and quantities of--
  (A) fuels and other materials transported to and used to support United
  States Antarctic Program activities in Antarctica;
  (B) materials removed by the United States Antarctic Program from
  Antarctica; and
  (C) materials and items abandoned by the United States Antarctic Program
  in Antarctica; and
  (4) methods for making the results of environmental monitoring assessment
  and data collection under the program available to the public, the Antarctic
  Treaty Parties, and interested international organizations.
  (b) IMPLEMENTATION- In developing and implementing the program under this
  section, the Director may--
  (1) enter into interagency Memoranda of Understanding or other agreements
  with relevant agencies to conduct the program; and
  (2) enter into contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements with private
  individuals or organizations to conduct the program.
  (a) The Director shall report to Congress within 180 days after the date
  of enactment of this Act regarding tourism activities in Antarctica. The
  Director's report shall address--
  (1) the adequacy and effectiveness of past efforts by the National Science
  Foundation to control and reduce the adverse effects of tourism on Antarctic
  wildlife, the environment, and the conduct of scientific research;
  (2) the adequacy and effectiveness of voluntary guidelines developed by
  United States tour operators on limiting the adverse effects of tourism on
  Antarctic wildlife, the environment, and the conduct of scientific research;
  (3) the extent to which such adverse effects are caused by tour operators
  foreign to the United States and, to the extent practicable, the adequacy
  and effectiveness of voluntary guidelines developed by such operators to
  lessen such effects; and
  (4) the need for expanding the current program for the protection of Sites
  of Special Scientific Interest and Specially Protected Areas to include
  other areas requiring protection from tourist activities.
  (b) The Director, after submittal of the report required by subsection (a),
  and after consultation with the Secretary of State and other appropriate
  Federal officials, shall issue such further regulations, to apply to United
  States persons, as may be necessary and appropriate--
  (1) to further minimize and prevent adverse effects of tourism on the
  Antarctic wildlife, the environment, and the conduct of scientific research;
  (2) to establish qualifications for guides for tourist expeditions to
  Antarctica; and
  (3) to implement, with respect to tourist expeditions to Antarctica, any
  additional safety standards needed for vessel and air transportation under
  the weather conditions of that area.
  (c) Any regulations issued under subsection (b)(1) and (2) shall take
  into account--
  (1) adverse effects of foot traffic in areas of fragile organisms, such
  as soil organisms, mosses, lichens, or grasses;
  (2) the dumping of plastic or other garbage either overboard or onto
  the continent;
  (3) the establishment of effective minimum distances for observations of
  Antarctic wildlife; and
  (4) the prevention of the interference with Specially Protected Areas and
  Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
  (a) By January 1, 1992, the Director shall issue regulations which provide
  for an environmental assessment of major Federal actions significantly
  affecting the quality of the environment in Antarctica.
  (b)(1) Regulations issued under subsection (a) shall, at a minimum,
  fully implement the assessment requirements of Executive Order No. 12114,
  issued January 4, 1979, and shall fully implement the requirements of
  international standards contained in the Antarctic Treaty and attendant
  accords adopted by the United States and Antarctic Treaty Parties.
  (2) All activities conducted or sponsored in Antarctica by any agency
  of the United States Government or by any private or governmental entity
  receiving financial assistance in connection with such activities from the
  United States Government shall comply with the environmental assessment
  requirements contained in the regulations.
  The Director may exercise his authority under this Act to issue regulations,
  issue orders, enter into contracts, execute grants and cooperative
  agreements, and take all other actions necessary and appropriate to
  implement this Act.
  Nothing contained in this Act shall be construed to confer a right of
  action on any party other than the Director or the Attorney General to
  bring an action for its enforcement in any judicial or administrative
  forum in the United States.