16 U.S. Code § 698m–4 - Oil and gas exploration, development, and production in Big Cypress National Preserve and Addition
(a) Promulgation of rules and regulations
Within nine months from April 29, 1988, the Secretary shall promulgate, subject to the requirements of subsections (b)–(e) of this section, such rules and regulations governing the exploration for and development and production of non-Federal interests in oil and gas located within the boundaries of the Big Cypress National Preserve and the Addition, including but not limited to access on, across, or through all lands within the boundaries of the Big Cypress National Preserve and the Addition for the purpose of conducting such exploration or development and production, as are necessary and appropriate to provide reasonable use and enjoyment of privately owned oil and gas interests, and consistent with the purposes for which the Big Cypress National Preserve and the Addition were established. Rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to the authority of this section may be made by appropriate amendment to or in substitution of the rules and regulations respecting non-Federal oil and gas rights (currently codified at 36 CFR 9.30, et seq. (1986)).
(b) Contents of rule or regulation; permit from National Park Service
Any rule or regulation promulgated by the Secretary under subsection (a) of this section shall provide that—
(1) exploration or development and production activities may not be undertaken, except pursuant to a permit issued by the National Park Service authorizing such activities or access; and
(2) final action by the National Park Service with respect to any application for a permit authorizing such activities shall occur within 90 days from the date such an application is submitted unless—
(A) the National Park Service and the applicant agree that such final action shall occur within a shorter or longer period of time; or
(B) the National Park Service determines that an additional period of time is required to ensure that the National Park Service has, in reviewing the application, complied with other applicable law, Executive orders and regulations; or
(C) the National Park Service, within 30 days from the date of submission of such application, notifies the applicant that such application does not contain all information reasonably necessary to allow the National Park Service to consider such application and requests that such additional information be provided. After receipt of such notification to the applicant, the applicant shall supply any reasonably necessary additional information and shall advise the National Park Service that the applicant believes that the application contains all reasonably necessary information and is therefore complete, whereupon the National Park Service may—
(i) within 30 days of receipt of such notice from the applicant to the National Park Service determine that the application does not contain all reasonably necessary additional information and, on that basis, deny the application; or
(c) Activities to conform to requirements of National Park Service
Such activities shall be permitted to occur if such activities conform to requirements established by the National Park Service under authority of law.
(d) Consideration of practices used in similar habitats or ecosystems
In establishing standards governing the conduct of exploration or development and production activities within the boundaries of the Big Cypress National Preserve or the Addition, the Secretary shall take into consideration oil and gas exploration and development and production practices used in similar habitats or ecosystems within the Big Cypress National Preserve or the Addition at the time of promulgation of the rules and regulations under subsection (a) of this section or at the time of the submission of the application seeking authorization for such activities, as appropriate.
(e) Interim agreements with owners of non-Federal oil and gas interests prior to promulgation of rules and regulations
Prior to the promulgation of rules or regulations under this section, the Secretary is authorized, consistent with the purposes of which the Big Cypress National Preserve Addition was established, to enter into interim agreements with owners of non-Federal oil and gas interests governing the conduct of oil and gas exploration, development or production activities within the boundaries of the Addition, which agreements shall be superseded by the rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary when applicable: Provided, That such agreement shall be consistent with the requirements of subsections (b)–(d) of this section and may be altered by the terms of rules and regulations subsequently promulgated by the Secretary: Provided further, That this provision shall not be construed to enlarge or diminish the authority of the Secretary to establish rules and regulations applicable to the conduct of exploration or development and production activities within the Big Cypress National Preserve or the Addition.
(f) Minerals Management Office; establishment; duties
There is hereby authorized to be established a Minerals Management Office within the Office of the Superintendent of the Big Cypress National Preserve, for the purpose of ensuring, consistent with the purposes for which the Big Cypress National Preserve was established, timely consideration of and final action on applications for the exploration or development and production of non-Federal oil and gas rights located beneath the surface of lands within the boundaries of the Big Cypress National Preserve and the Addition.
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