30 CFR § 582.21 - Plans, general.
(a) No exploration, testing, development, or production activities, except preliminary activities, shall be commenced or conducted on any lease except in accordance with a plan submitted by the lessee and approved by the Director. Plans will not be approved before completion of comprehensive technical and environmental evaluations to assure that the activities described will be carried out in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Prior to the approval of a plan, the Director will assure that the lessee is prepared to take adequate measures to prevent waste; conserve natural resources of the OCS; and protect the environment, human life, and correlative rights. The lessee shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Director that the lease is in good standing, the lessee is authorized and capable of conducting the activities described in the plan, and that an acceptable bond has been provided.
(b) Plans shall be submitted to the Director for approval. The lessee shall submit the number of copies prescribed by the Director. Such plans shall describe in detail the activities that are to be conducted and shall demonstrate that the proposed exploration, testing, development, and production activities will be conducted in an operationally safe and environmentally responsible manner that is consistent with the provisions of the lease, applicable laws, and regulations. The Governor of an affected State and other Federal Agencies shall be provided an opportunity to review and provide comments on proposed Delineation, Testing, and Mining Plans and any proposal for a significant modification to an approved plan. Following review, including the technical and environmental evaluations, the Director shall either approve, disapprove, or require the lessee to modify its proposed plan.
(c) Lessees are not required to submit a Delineation or Testing Plan prior to submittal of a proposed Testing or Mining Plan if the lessee has sufficient data and information on which to base a Testing or Mining Plan without carrying out postlease exploration and/or testing activities. A Mining Plan may include proposed exploration or testing activities where those activities are needed to obtain additional data and information on which to base plans for future mining activities. A Testing Plan may include exploration activities when those activities are needed to obtain additional data or information on which to base plans for future testing or mining activities.
(d) Preliminary activities are bathymetric, geological, geophysical, mapping, and other surveys necessary to develop a comprehensive Delineation, Testing, or Mining Plan. Such activities are those which have no significant adverse impact on the natural resources of the OCS. The lessee shall give notice to the Director at least 30 days prior to initiating the proposed preliminary activities on the lease. The notice shall describe in detail those activities that are to be conducted and the time schedule for conducting those activities.
(e) Leasehold activities shall be carried out with due regard to conservation of resources, paying particular attention to the wise management of OCS mineral resources, minimizing waste of the leased resource(s) in mining and processing, and preventing damage to unmined parts of the mineral deposit and other resources of the OCS.