Summary: H.R.3060 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (09/04/1996)


Title I: Amendments to the Antarctic Conservation Act of


Title II: Conforming Amendments to Other Laws

Title III: Polar Research and Policy Study

Antarctic Science, Tourism, and Conservation Act of 1996 - Title I: Amendments to the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 - Amends the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 to restate findings and purposes of the Act regarding scientific activities and tourism in Antarctica and the Antarctic Treaty and the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Treaty.

(Sec. 102) Modifies definitions.

(Sec. 103) Revises provisions concerning prohibited acts by any person (currently, U.S. citizens) to modify the prohibitions, in accordance with the Protocol, and make unlawful the following activities in or respecting Antarctica: (1) introduction of any prohibited product onto land or ice shelves or into water; (2) disposal of any waste onto ice-free land areas or into fresh water systems or of any prohibited waste; (3) engaging in open burning of waste; (4) transporting passengers by any seagoing vessel not required to comply with the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, except by agreement under which the vessel owner or operator must comply with Annex IV; (5) failure of an organizer or operator to notify members of an expedition of the environmental protection obligations of this Act and means of compliance by participants; (6) damage to historic sites or monuments; (7) refusal of permission to any authorized U.S. officer or employee to board a U.S. vessel, vehicle, or aircraft for purposes of search or inspection in connection with enforcement of this Act and forcible assault of or other interference with an authorized U.S. officer or employee in the conduct of such activities; (8) resisting lawful arrest or detention for a prohibited act; (9) interference with the apprehension, arrest, or detention of another person, knowing that the other person has committed a prohibited act; (10) violation of any regulation, or a term or condition of a permit, issued pursuant to this Act; and (11) attempting to commit or cause to be committed any prohibited act.

Prohibits specified other activities in Antarctica (including disposal of waste and introducing any member of a nonnative species) except as authorized by permit. Exempts from prohibitions these activities and certain of those enumerated above under defined emergency circumstances.

(Sec. 104) Provides standards and procedures for the environmental impact assessment of Federal agency activities in Antarctica (which shall be the sole and exclusive obligations regarding such assessment) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, allowing an activity to proceed after an initial evaluation if it is determined that the activity is likely to have no more than a minor or transitory impact. Excepts from these procedures activities conducted jointly or in cooperation with foreign signatory governments where it is determined that the major part of the activity is being conducted by one or more other governments and another government is coordinating environmental assessment procedures.

Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate regulations regarding environmental assessment of certain nongovernmental activities.

Conditions decisions to proceed with a comprehensively evaluated activity upon consideration of the draft evaluation at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.

Provides exceptions from this Act's environmental assessment requirements under emergency circumstances.

(Sec. 105) Revises requirements for the issuance of permits authorizing takings and harmful interferences or entry into Specially Protected Areas.

(Sec. 106) Revises requirements for the issuance of regulations by the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Removes general consultation requirements.

Requires the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to issue regulations to implement certain provisions of the Protocol and this Act regarding vessels.

Title II: Conforming Amendments to Other Laws - Amends the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships to apply the requirements of Annex IV to the Protocol, for purposes of such Act, to all vessels in Antarctica over which the United States has jurisdiction. Applies the Act to vessel activities regulated under the Protocol and provides authority to the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to administer and enforce Annex IV to the Protocol (including the Protocol in provisions concerning violations, penalties, and the promulgation of regulations).

(Sec. 202) Amends the Antarctic Protection Act of 1990 to state the indefinite prohibition on Antarctic mineral resource activities, eliminating references to further agreements.

Title III: Polar Research and Policy Study - Directs the NSF to report to the Congress on: (1) the status of implementation of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy and Federal funds used therefor; and (2) all Federal programs relating to Arctic and Antarctic research and the total annual expenditures for each program.