(1)The Secretary of Commerce, in close consultation with other appropriate Federal departments, agencies, and instrumentalities shall, within six months of October 23, 1972, initiate a comprehensive and continuing program of research with respect to the possible long-range effects of pollution, overfishing, and man-induced changes of ocean ecosystems. These responsibilities shall include the scientific assessment of damages to the natural resources from spills of petroleum or petroleum products. In carrying out such research, the Secretary of Commerce shall take into account such factors as existing and proposed international policies affecting oceanic problems, economic considerations involved in both the protection and the use of the oceans, possible alternatives to existing programs, and ways in which the health of the oceans may best be preserved for the benefit of succeeding generations of mankind.
(2)The Secretary of Commerce shall ensure that the program under this section complements, when appropriate, the activities undertaken by other Federal agencies pursuant to subchapter I of this chapter and section
1443 of this title. That program shall include but not be limited to—
(A)the development and assessment of scientific techniques to define and quantify the degradation of the marine environment;
(B)the assessment of the capacity of the marine environment to receive materials without degradation;
(C)continuing monitoring programs to assess the health of the marine environment, including but not limited to the monitoring of bottom oxygen concentrations, contaminant levels in biota, sediments, and the water column, diseases in fish and shellfish, and changes in types and abundance of indicator species;
(D)the development of methodologies, techniques, and equipment for disposal of waste materials to minimize degradation of the marine environment.
(3)The Secretary of Commerce shall ensure that the comprehensive and continuing research program conducted under this subsection is consistent with the comprehensive plan for ocean pollution research and development and monitoring prepared under section
1703 of this title.
(b) Action with other nations
In carrying out his responsibilities under this section, the Secretary of Commerce, under the foreign policy guidance of the President and pursuant to international agreements and treaties made by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, may act alone or in conjunction with any other nation or group of nations, and shall make known the results of his activities by such channels of communication as may appear appropriate.
(c) Cooperation of other departments, agencies, and independent instrumentalities
Each department, agency, and independent instrumentality of the Federal Government is authorized and directed to cooperate with the Secretary of Commerce in carrying out the purposes of this section and, to the extent permitted by law, to furnish such information as may be requested.
(d) Utilization of personnel, services, and facilities; inter-agency agreements
The Secretary of Commerce, in carrying out his responsibilities under this section, shall, to the extent feasible utilize the personnel, services, and facilities of other Federal departments, agencies, and instrumentalities (including those of the Coast Guard for monitoring purposes), and is authorized to enter into appropriate inter-agency agreements to accomplish this action.
1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–272, § 6062(1)–(3), designated existing provisions as par. (1), substituted “in close consultation” for “in consultation”, and added par. (2).
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–272, § 6062(4), redesignatedsubsec. (d) as (c), and struck out former subsec. (c) which required the Secretary of Commerce to make an annual report to Congress, in March of each year, on the results of activities undertaken by him pursuant to this section during the previous fiscal year, and to include in that report the report to Congress required by section
665 of title
16 on activities of the Department of Commerce under that section.
Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 99–272, § 6062(4), redesignatedsubsec. (e) as (d). Former subsec. (d) redesignated (c).
1980—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 96–381inserted provision including within the responsibilities of the Secretary the scientific assessment of damages to natural resources from spills of petroleum or petroleum products.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 96–470inserted provision requiring the Secretary to include in his annual report the report on activities of the Department of Commerce under section
665 of title
1975—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 94–62substituted “March” for “January”.
Transfer of Functions
For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections
557 of Title
6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section
542 of Title
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