The purpose of this section is to provide for a comprehensive and continuing inventory and assessment of the fish and wildlife resources of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; an analysis of the impacts of oil and gas exploration, development, and production, and to authorize exploratory activity within the coastal plain in a manner that avoids significant adverse effects on the fish and wildlife and other resources.
As used in this section—
(1) The term "coastal plain" means that area identified as such in the map entitled "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge", dated August 1980.
(2) The term "exploratory activity" means surface geological exploration or seismic exploration, or both, for oil and gas within the coastal plain.
(c) Baseline study
The Secretary, in consultation with the Governor of the State, Native Village and Regional Corporations, and the North Slope Borough within the study area and interested persons, shall conduct a continuing study of the fish and wildlife (with special emphasis on caribou, wolves, wolverines, grizzly bears, migratory waterfowl, musk oxen, and polar bears) of the coastal plain and their habitat. In conducting the study, the Secretary shall—
(A) assess the size, range, and distribution of the populations of the fish and wildlife;
(B) determine the extent, location and carrying capacity of the habitats of the fish and wildlife;
(C) assess the impacts of human activities and natural processes on the fish and wildlife and their habitats;
(D) analyze the potential impacts of oil and gas exploration, development, and production on such wildlife and habitats; and
(E) analyze the potential effects of such activities on the culture and lifestyle (including subsistence) of affected Native and other people.
Within eighteen months after December 2, 1980, the Secretary shall publish the results of the study as of that date and shall thereafter publish such revisions thereto as are appropriate as new information is obtained.
(1) Within two years after December 2, 1980, the Secretary shall by regulation establish initial guidelines governing the carrying out of exploratory activities. The guidelines shall be based upon the results of the study required under subsection (c) and such other information as may be available to the Secretary. The guidelines shall include such prohibitions, restrictions, and conditions on the carrying out of exploratory activities as the Secretary deems necessary or appropriate to ensure that exploratory activities do not significantly adversely affect the fish and wildlife, their habitats, or the environment, including, but not limited to—
(A) a prohibition on the carrying out of exploratory activity during caribou calving and immediate post-calving seasons or during any other period in which human activity may have adverse effects;
(B) temporary or permanent closing of appropriate areas to such activity;
(C) specification of the support facilities, equipment and related manpower that is appropriate in connection with exploratory activity; and
(D) requirements that exploratory activities be coordinated in such a manner as to avoid unnecessary duplication.
(2) The initial guidelines prescribed by the Secretary to implement this subsection shall be accompanied by an environmental impact statement on exploratory activities. The initial guidelines shall thereafter be revised to reflect changes made in the baseline study and other appropriate information made available to the Secretary.
(e) Exploration plans
(1) After the initial guidelines are prescribed under subsection (d), any person including the United States Geological Survey may submit one or more plans for exploratory activity (hereinafter in this section referred to as "exploration plans") to the Secretary for approval. An exploration plan must set forth such information as the Secretary may require in order to determine whether the plan is consistent with the guidelines, including, but not limited to—
(A) a description and schedule of the exploratory activity proposed to be undertaken;
(B) a description of the equipment, facilities, and related manpower that would be used in carrying out the activity;
(C) the area in which the activity would be undertaken; and
(D) a statement of the anticipated effects that the activity may have on fish and wildlife, their habitats and the environment.
(2) Upon receiving any exploration plan for approval, the Secretary shall promptly publish notice of the application and the text of the plan in the Federal Register and newspapers of general circulation in the State. The Secretary shall determine, within one hundred and twenty days after any plan is submitted for approval, if the plan is consistent with the guidelines established under subsection (d). If the Secretary determines that the plan is so consistent, he shall approve the plan: except that no plan shall be approved during the two-year period following December 2, 1980. Before making the determination, the Secretary shall hold at least one public hearing in the State for purposes of receiving the comments and views of the public on the plan. The Secretary shall not approve of any plan submitted by the United States Geological Survey unless he determines that (1) no other person has submitted a plan for the area involved which meets established guidelines and (2) the information which would be obtained is needed to make an adequate report under subsection (h). The Secretary, as a condition of approval of any plan under this section—
(A) may require that such modifications be made to the plan as he considers necessary and appropriate to make it consistent with the guidelines;
(B) shall require that all data and information (including processed, analyzed and interpreted information) obtained as a result of carrying out the plan shall be submitted to the Secretary; and
(C) shall make such data and information available to the public except that any processed, analyzed and interpreted data or information shall be held confidential by the Secretary for a period of not less than two years following any lease sale including the area from which the information was obtained and: Provided, That the Secretary shall prohibit by regulation any person who obtains access to such data and information from the Secretary or from any person other than a permittee from participation in any lease sale which includes the areas from which the information was obtained and from any commercial use of the information. The Secretary shall require that any permittee shall make available such data to any person at fair cost.
(f) Modification to exploration plans
If at any time while exploratory activity is being carried out under an exploration plan approved under subsection (e), the Secretary, on the basis of information available to him, determines that continuation of further activities under the plan or permit will significantly adversely affect fish or wildlife, their habitat, or the environment, the Secretary may suspend the carrying out of activities under the plan or permit for such time, make such modifications to the plan or to the terms and conditions of the permit (or both suspend and so modify) as he determines necessary and appropriate.
(g) Civil penalties
(1) Any person who is found by the Secretary, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with section 554 of title 5, to have violated any provision of a plan approved under subsection (e) or any term or condition of a permit issued under subsection (f), or to have committed any act prohibited under subsection (d) shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty. The amount of the civil penalty shall not exceed $10,000 for each violation. Each day of a continuing violation shall constitute a separate offense. The amount of such civil penalty shall be assessed by the Secretary by written notice. In determining the amount of such penalty, the Secretary shall take into account the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the prohibited act committed, and, with respect to the violator, the history of any prior offenses, his demonstrated good faith in attempting to achieve timely compliance after being cited for the violation, and such other matters as justice may require.
(2) Any person against whom a civil penalty is assessed under paragraph (1) may obtain review thereof in the appropriate district court of the United States by filing a notice of appeal in such court within thirty days from the date of such order and by simultaneously sending a copy of such notice by certified mail to the Secretary. The Secretary shall promptly file in such court a certified copy of the record upon which such violation was found or such penalty imposed, as provided in section 2112 of title 28. The findings and order of the Secretary shall be set aside by such court if they are not found to be supported by substantial evidence, as provided in section 706(2)(E) of title 5.
(3) If any person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty against him under paragraph (1) after it has become final, or after the appropriate court has entered final judgment in favor of the Secretary, the Secretary shall refer the matter to the Attorney General of the United States, who shall recover the amount assessed in any appropriate district court of the United States. In such action, the validity and appropriateness of the final order imposing the civil penalty shall not be subject to review.
(4) The Secretary may compromise, modify, or remit, with or without conditions, any civil penalty which is subject to imposition or which has been imposed under this subsection unless the matter is pending in court for judicial review or recovery of assessment.
(h) Report to Congress
Not earlier than five years after December 2, 1980, and not later than five years and nine months after such date, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to Congress a report containing—
(1) the identification by means other than drilling of exploratory wells of those areas within the coastal plain that have oil and gas production potential and estimate of the volume of the oil and gas concerned;
(2) the description of the fish and wildlife, their habitats, and other resources that are within the areas identified under paragraph (1);
(3) an evaluation of the adverse effects that the carrying out of further exploration for, and the development and production of, oil and gas within such areas will have on the resources referred to in paragraph (2);
(4) a description of how such oil and gas, if produced within such area, may be transported to processing facilities;
(5) an evaluation of how such oil and gas relates to the national need for additional domestic sources of oil and gas; and
(6) the recommendations of the Secretary with respect to whether further exploration for, and the development and production of, oil and gas within the coastal plain should be permitted and, if so, what additional legal authority is necessary to ensure that the adverse effects of such activities on fish and wildlife, their habitats, and other resources are avoided or minimized.
(i) Effect of other laws
Until otherwise provided for in law enacted after December 2, 1980, all public lands within the coastal plain are withdrawn from all forms of entry or appropriation under the mining laws, and from operation of the mineral leasing laws, of the United States.
1982—Subsec. (e)(2)(C). Pub. L. 97–394 inserted proviso that the Secretary prohibit by regulation any person who obtains access to such data and information from the Secretary or from any person other than a permittee from participation in any lease sale which includes the areas from which the information was obtained and from any commercial use of the information, and that Secretary require that any permittee make available such data to any person at fair cost.