15 CFR 970.204 - Environmental and use conflict analysis.

§ 970.204 Environmental and use conflict analysis.

(a)Environmental information. To enable NOAA to implement better its responsibility under section 109(d) of the Act to develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the issuance of an exploration license, the application must include information for use in preparing NOAA's EIS on the environmental impacts of the activities proposed by the applicant. The applicant must present physical, chemical and biological information for the exploration area. This information should include relevant environmental information, if any, obtained during past exploration activities, but need not duplicate information obtained during NOAA's DOMES Project. Planned activities in the area, including the testing of integrated mining systems which simulate commercial recovery, also must be described. NOAA will need information with the application on location and boundaries of the proposed exploration area, and plans for delineation of features of the exploration area including baseline data or plans for acquiring them. The applicant may at his option delay submission of baseline and equipment data and system test plans. However, applicants so electing should plan to submit this latter information at least one year prior to the initial test, to allow time for the supplement to the site-specific EIS, if one is required, to be prepared by NOAA, circulated, reviewed and filed with EPA. The submission of this information with the application is strongly encouraged, however, to minimize the possibility that a supplement will be required. If such latter information is submitted subsequent to the original application such tests may not be undertaken in the absence of concurrence by NOAA (which, if applicable, will be required in a term, condition, or restriction in the license). NOAA has developed a technical guidance document which will provide assistance for the agency and the applicant, in consultation, to identify the details on information needed in each case. NOAA may refer to such information for purposes of other determinations under the Act as well. NOAA also will seek to facilitate other Federal and, as necessary, state decisions on exploration activities by functioning as lead agency for the EIS on the application and related actions by other agencies, including those pertaining to any onshore impacts which may result from the proposed exploration activities.

(b)Use conflict information. To assist the Administrator in making determinations relating to potential use conflicts between the proposed exploration and other activities in the exploration area, pursuant to §§ 970.503, 970.505, and 970.520, the application must include information known to the applicant with respect to such other activities.

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