The Administrator shall expand and accelerate the program assessing the effects on the environment from exploration and commercial recovery activities, including seabased processing and the disposal at sea of processing wastes, so as to provide an assessment, as accurate as practicable, of environmental impacts of such activities for the implementation of subsections (b), (c), and (d).
Each license and permit issued under this subchapter shall contain such terms, conditions, and restrictions, established by the Administrator, which prescribe the actions the licensee or permittee shall take in the conduct of exploration and commercial recovery activities to assure protection of the environment. The Administrator shall require in all activities under new permits, and wherever practicable in activities under existing permits, the use of the best available technologies for the protection of safety, health, and the environment wherever such activities would have a significant effect on safety, health, or the environment, except where the Administrator determines that the incremental benefits are clearly insufficient to justify the incremental costs of using such technologies. Before establishing such terms, conditions, and restrictions, the Administrator shall consult with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, concerning such terms, conditions, and restrictions, and the Administrator shall take into account and give due consideration to the information contained in each final environmental impact statement prepared with respect to such license or permit pursuant to subsection (d).
The issuance of, but not the certification of an application for, any license or permit under this subchapter shall be deemed to be a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment for purposes of section 4332 of title 42. In preparing an environmental impact statement pursuant to this subsection, the Administrator shall consult with the agency heads referred to in subsection (b) and shall take into account, and give due consideration to, the relevant information contained in any applicable studies and any other environmental impact statement prepared pursuant to this section. Each draft environmental impact statement prepared pursuant to this subsection shall be published, with the terms, conditions, and restrictions proposed pursuant to section 1415(b) of this title, within 180 days (or such longer period as the Administrator may establish for good cause shown in writing) following the date on which the application for the license or permit concerned is certified by the Administrator. Each final environmental impact statement shall be published 180 days (or such longer period as the Administrator may establish for good cause shown in writing) following the date on which the draft environmental impact statement is published.
For the purposes of this chapter, any vessel or other floating craft engaged in commercial recovery or exploration shall not be deemed to be “a vessel or other floating craft” under section 502(12)(B) of the Clean Water Act [33 U.S.C. 1362(12)(B)] and any discharge of a pollutant from such vessel or other floating craft shall be subject to the Clean Water Act [33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.].