40 CFR 8.8 - Comprehensive environmental evaluation.

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§ 8.8 Comprehensive environmental evaluation.

(a) Preparation of a CEE. Unless a PERM or an IEE has been submitted and determined to meet the environmental documentation requirements of this part, the operator shall prepare a CEE. A CEE shall contain sufficient information to enable informed consideration of the reasonably foreseeable potential environmental effects of a proposed activity and possible alternatives to that proposed activity. A CEE shall include the following:

(1) A description of the proposed activity, including its purpose, location, duration and intensity, and possible alternatives to the activity, including the alternative of not proceeding, and the consequences of those alternatives;

(2) A description of the initial environmental reference state with which predicted changes are to be compared and a prediction of the future environmental reference state in the absence of the proposed activity;

(3) A description of the methods and data used to forecast the impacts of the proposed activity;

(4) Estimation of the nature, extent, duration and intensity of the likely direct impacts of the proposed activity;

(5) A consideration of possible indirect or second order impacts from the proposed activity;

(6) A consideration of cumulative impacts of the proposed activity in light of existing activities and other known planned activities;

(7) Identification of measures, including monitoring programs, that could be taken to minimize or mitigate impacts of the proposed activity and to detect unforeseen impacts and that could provide early warning of any adverse effects of the activity as well as to deal promptly and effectively with accidents;

(8) Identification of unavoidable impacts of the proposed activity;

(9) Consideration of the effects of the proposed activity on the conduct of scientific research and on other existing uses and values;

(10) An identification of gaps in knowledge and uncertainties encountered in compiling the information required under this section;

(11) A non-technical summary of the information provided under this section; and

(12) The name and address of the person or organization which prepared the CEE and the address to which comments thereon should be directed.

(b) Submission of Draft CEE to the EPA and Circulation to Other Parties.

(1) Any operator who plans a nongovernmental expedition that would require a CEE must submit a draft of the CEE by December 1 of the preceding year. Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the draft CEE, EPA will: send it to the Department of State which will circulate it to all Parties to the Protocol and forward it to the Committee for Environmental Protection established by the Protocol, and publish notice of receipt of the CEE and request for comments on the CEE in the Federal Register, and will provide copies to any person upon request. The EPA will accept public comments on the CEE for a period of ninety (90) days following notice in the Federal Register. The EPA, in consultation with other interested federal agencies, will evaluate the CEE to determine if the CEE meets the requirements under Article 8 and Annex I to the Protocol and the provisions of this part and will transmit its comments to the operator within 120 days following publication in the Federal Register of the notice of availability of the CEE.

(2) The operator shall send a final CEE to EPA at least seventy-five (75) days before commencement of the proposed activity in the Antarctic Treaty area. The CEE must address and must include (or summarize) any comments on the draft CEE received from EPA, the public, and the Parties. Following the final response from the operator, the EPA will inform the operator if EPA, with the concurrence of the National Science Foundation, makes the finding that the environmental documentation submitted does not meet the requirements of Article 8 and Annex I of the Protocol and the provisions of this part. This notification will occur within fifteen (15) days of submittal of the final CEE by the operator if the final CEE is submitted by the operator within the time limits set out in this section. If no final CEE is submitted or the operator fails to meet these time limits, EPA will provide such notification sixty (60) days prior to departure of the expedition. If EPA does not provide such notice, the operator will be deemed to have met the requirements of this part provided that procedures, which include appropriate monitoring, are put in place to assess and verify the impact of the activity. The EPA will transmit the CEE, along with a notice of any decisions by the operator relating thereto, to the Department of State which shall circulate it to all Parties no later than sixty (60) days before commencement of the proposed activity in the Antarctic Treaty area. The EPA will also publish a notice of availability of the final CEE in the Federal Register.

(3) No final decision shall be taken to proceed with any activity for which a CEE is prepared unless there has been an opportunity for consideration of the draft CEE by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting on the advice of the Committee for Environmental Protection, provided that no expedition need be delayed through the operation of paragraph 5 of Article 3 to Annex I of the Protocol for longer than 15 months from the date of circulation of the draft CEE.

(c) Decisions based on CEE. The decision to proceed, based on environmental documentation that meets the requirements under Article 8 and Annex I to the Protocol and the provisions of this part, rests with the operator. Any decision by an operator on whether to proceed with or modify a proposed activity for which a CEE was required shall be based on the CEE and other relevant considerations.

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