The Secretary shall work closely with the State of Alaska and Native Village and Regional Corporations in evaluating the impact of oil and gas exploration, development, production, and transportation and other human activities on the wildlife resources of these lands, including impacts on the Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds, polar bear, muskox, grizzly bear, wolf, wolverine, seabirds, shore birds, and migratory waterfowl. In addition the Secretary shall consult with the appropriate agencies of the Government of Canada in evaluating such impacts particularly with respect to the Porcupine caribou herd.
(b) Oil spills
(1)The Congress finds that—
(A)Canada has discovered commercial quantities of oil and gas in the Amalagak region of the Northwest Territory;
(B)Canada is exploring alternatives for transporting the oil from the Amalagak field to markets in Asia and the Far East;
(C)one of the options the Canadian Government is exploring involves transshipment of oil from the Amalagak field across the Beaufort Sea to tankers which would transport the oil overseas;
(D)the tankers would traverse the American Exclusive Economic Zone through the Beaufort Sea into the Chuckchi Sea and then through the Bering Straits;
(E)the Beaufort and Chuckchi Seas are vital to Alaska’s Native people, providing them with subsistence in the form of walrus, seals, fish, and whales;
(F)the Secretary of the Interior has conducted Outer Continental Shelf lease sales in the Beaufort and Chuckchi Seas and oil and gas exploration is ongoing;
(G)an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean, if not properly contained and cleaned up, could have significant impacts on the indigenous people of Alaska’s North Slope and on the Arctic environment; and
(H)there are no international contingency plans involving our two governments concerning containment and cleanup of an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean.
(A)The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Governor of Alaska, shall conduct a study of the issues of recovery of damages, contingency plans, and coordinated actions in the event of an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean.
(B)The Secretary shall, no later than January 31, 1991, transmit a report to the Congress on the findings and conclusions reached as the result of the study carried out under this subsection.
(c) Treaty negotiations
The Congress calls upon the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Governor of Alaska, to begin negotiations with the Foreign Minister of Canada regarding a treaty dealing with the complex issues of recovery of damages, contingency plans, and coordinated actions in the event of an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean.
(d) Report to Congress
The Secretary of State shall report to the Congress on the Secretary’s efforts pursuant to this section no later than June 1, 1991.
1990—Pub. L. 101–380inserted “and impact of potential oil spills in Arctic Ocean” in section catchline, designated existing text as subsec. (a), and added subsecs. (b) to (d).
Effective Date of 1990 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 101–380applicable to incidents occurring after Aug. 18, 1990, see section 1020 ofPub. L. 101–380, set out as an Effective Date note under section
2701 of Title
33, Navigation and Navigable Waters.
“(a) The Congress finds that the barren-ground caribou are a migratory species deserving of careful study and special protection, and that the Western Arctic and the Porcupine herds of such caribou are of national and international significance.
“(b) The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct, and the Governor of Alaska is urged to cooperate with the Secretary in conducting, an ecological study of the barren-ground caribou herds north of the Yukon River and the herds that have been known to migrate between the United States and Canada, including, but not limited to, a determination of the seasonal migration patterns, reproduction and mortality rates, composition and age structure, behavioral characteristics, habitats (including but not limited to calving, feeding, summering and wintering areas, and key migration routes) that are critical to their natural stability and productivity and the effects on the herds of development by man, predation, and disease. In conducting this study the Secretary shall review the experience of other Arctic circumpolar countries with caribou and is authorized to enter into such contracts as he deems necessary to carry out portions or all of this study.”
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