H.R.3065 - National Science Foundation Antarctic Environmental Protection Act of 1991102nd Congress (1991-1992)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Boucher, Rick [D-VA-9] (Introduced 07/29/1991)|
|Committees:||House - Energy and Commerce; Merchant Marine and Fisheries; Science, Space and Technology|
|Latest Action:||House - 09/09/1991 Referred to the Subcommittee on Transportation and Hazardous Materials. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.3065 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House
HR 3065 IH 102d CONGRESS 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. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES July 29, 1991 Mr. BOUCHER (for himself, Mr. PACKARD, Mr. BROWN, Mr. WALKER, Mr. BRUCE, Mr. BOEHLERT, Mr. KOPETSKI, Mr. VALENTINE, Mr. PERKINS, Mr. NAGLE, Mr. BROWDER, 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 A BILL 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, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the `National Science Foundation Antarctic Environmental Protection Act of 1991'. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. 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. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. 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 abandon; (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; and (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. SEC. 4. ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS. (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 environment. SEC. 5. PROHIBITED ACTS. (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). SEC. 6. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION MEASURES AND REQUIRED PRACTICES. (a) SOLID AND HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN- No later than March 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. SEC. 7. CIVIL PENALTIES. (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. SEC. 8. CRIMINAL OFFENSES. (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. SEC. 9. ENFORCEMENT. (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. SEC. 10. ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT AND INVESTIGATION AUTHORITY. (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. SEC. 11. ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING. (a) DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAM- The Director shall develop 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. SEC. 12. TOURISM IN ANTARCTICA. (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. SEC. 13. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS. (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. SEC. 14. AUTHORITY OF THE DIRECTOR. 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. SEC. 15. RIGHT OF ACTION. 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.