(1)The Secretary shall maintain a list of significant thermal features, as defined in section
1001(f) of this title, within units of the National Park System, including but not limited to the following units:
(A)Mount Rainier National Park.
(B)Crater Lake National Park.
(C)Yellowstone National Park.
(D)John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.
(E)Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.
(F)Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.
(G)Katmai National Park.
(H)Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve.
(I)Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
(J)Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.
(K)Hot Springs National Park.
(L)Big Bend National Park (including that portion of the Rio Grande National Wild Scenic River within the boundaries of Big Bend National Park).
(M)Lassen Volcanic National Park.
(N)Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
(O)Haleakala National Park.
(P)Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
(2)The Secretary may, after notice and public comment, add significant thermal features within units of the National Park System to the significant thermal features list.
(3)The Secretary shall consider the following criteria in determining the significance of thermal features:
(A)Size, extent and uniqueness.
(B)Scientific and geologic significance.
(C)The extent to which such features remain in a natural, undisturbed condition.
(D)Significance of thermal features to the authorized purposes for which the National Park System unit was established.
(b) Monitoring program
(1)The Secretary shall maintain a monitoring program for significant thermal features within units of the National Park System.
(2)As part of the monitoring program required by paragraph (1), the Secretary shall establish a research program to collect and assess data on the geothermal resources within units of the National Park System with significant thermal features. Such program shall be carried out by the National Park Service in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey and shall begin with the collection and assessment of data for significant thermal features near current or proposed geothermal development and shall also include such features near areas of potential geothermal development.
(c) Lease application; adverse effect
(1)Upon receipt of an application for a lease under this chapter, the Secretary shall determine on the basis of scientific evidence if exploration, development or utilization of the lands subject to the lease application is reasonably likely to result in a significant adverse effect on a significant thermal feature within a unit of the National Park System. Such determination shall be subject to notice and public comment.
(2)If the Secretary determines that the exploration, development or utilization of the land subject to the lease application is reasonably likely to result in a significant adverse effect on a significant thermal feature within a unit of the National Park System, the Secretary shall not issue such lease.
(3)The Secretary shall not issue any lease under this chapter for those lands, or portions thereof, which are the subject of a determination made pursuant to subparagraph (2).
(d) Lease stipulations
With respect to all leases or drilling permits issued, extended, renewed or modified under this chapter, the Secretary shall include stipulations in such leases and permits necessary to protect significant thermal features within units of the National Park System where the Secretary determines that, based on scientific evidence, the exploration, development or utilization of the land subject to the lease or drilling permit is reasonably likely to adversely affect any such significant thermal feature. Stipulations shall include, but not be limited to—
(1)requiring the lessee to reinject geothermal fluids into the rock formations from which they originate;
(2)requiring the lessee to report annually to the Secretary on activities taken on the lease;
(3)requiring the lessee to continuously monitor geothermal resources production and injection wells; and
(4)requiring the lessee to suspend activity on the lease if the Secretary determines that ongoing exploration, development or utilization activities are having a significant adverse effect on a significant thermal feature within a unit of the National Park System until such time as the significant adverse effect is eliminated. The stipulation shall provide for the termination of the lease by the Secretary if the significant adverse effect cannot be eliminated within a reasonable period of time.
(e) Lands administered by Department of Agriculture
The Secretary of Agriculture shall consider the effects on significant thermal features within units of the National Park System in determining whether to consent to leasing under this chapter on national forest lands or other lands administered by the Department of Agriculture available for leasing under this chapter, including public, withdrawn, and acquired lands.
Nothing in this chapter shall affect the ban on leasing under this chapter with respect to the Island Park Geothermal Area, as designated by the map in the “Final Environmental Impact Statement of the Island Park Geothermal Area” (January 15, 1980, p. XI), and provided for in Public Law 98–473.
“(a) The United States Geological Survey, in consultation with the National Park Service, shall conduct a study on the impact of present and potential geothermal development in the vicinity of Yellowstone National Park on the thermal features within the park. The area to be studied shall be the lands within the Corwin Springs Known Geothermal Resource Area as designated in the July 22, 1975, Federal Register (Fed. Reg. Vol. 40, No. 141). The study shall be transmitted to Congress no later than December 1, 1990.
“(b) Any production from existing geothermal wells or any development of new geothermal wells or other facilities related to geothermal production is prohibited in the Corwin Springs Known Geothermal Resource Area until 180 days after the receipt by Congress of the study provided for in subsection (a) of this section.
“(c) The Secretary may not issue, extend, renew or modify any geothermal lease or drilling permit pursuant to the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 1001–1025) in the Corwin Springs Known Geothermal Resource Area until 180 days after the receipt by Congress of the study provided for in section 8(a) of this Act. This section shall not be construed as requiring such leasing activities subsequent to the 180 days after study submittal.
“(d) If the Secretary determines that geothermal drilling and related activities within the area studied pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may adversely affect the thermal features of Yellowstone National Park, the Secretary shall include in the study required under subsection (a) of this section recommendations regarding the acquisition of the geothermal rights necessary to protect such thermal resources and features.”
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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