The Secretary shall, as soon as practicable after January 3, 1975, and after consultation with other Federal agencies, issue regulations to carry out the purposes and provisions of this chapter in accordance with the provisions of section 553 of title 5, without regard to subsection (a) thereof. Such regulations shall pertain to, but need not be limited to, application, issuance, transfer, renewal, suspension, and termination of licenses. Such regulations shall provide for full consultation and cooperation with all other interested Federal agencies and departments and with any potentially affected coastal State, and for consideration of the views of any interested members of the general public. The Secretary is further authorized, consistent with the purposes and provisions of this chapter, to amend or rescind any such regulation.
The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shall, as soon as practicable after January 3, 1975, prescribe regulations relating to those activities involved in site evaluation and preconstruction testing at potential deepwater port locations that may (1) adversely affect the environment; (2) interfere with authorized uses of the Outer Continental Shelf; or (3) pose a threat to human health and welfare. Such activity may thenceforth not be undertaken except in accordance with regulations prescribed pursuant to this subsection. Such regulations shall be consistent with the purposes of this chapter.
For all applications, the Secretary, in cooperation with other involved Federal agencies and departments, shall comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332) [42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.]. Such compliance shall fulfill the requirement of all Federal agencies in carrying out their responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 pursuant to this chapter.
A license may be issued only after public notice and public hearings in accordance with this subsection. At least one such public hearing shall be held in each adjacent coastal State. Any interested person may present relevant material at any hearing. After hearings in each adjacent coastal State are concluded if the Secretary determines that there exists one or more specific and material factual issues which may be resolved by a formal evidentiary hearing, at least one adjudicatory hearing shall be held in accordance with the provisions of section 554 of title 5 in the District of Columbia. The record developed in any such adjudicatory hearing shall be basis for the Secretary’s decision to approve or deny a license. Hearings held pursuant to this subsection shall be consolidated insofar as practicable with hearings held by other agencies. All public hearings on all applications for any designated application area shall be consolidated and shall be concluded not later than 240 days after notice of the initial application has been published pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.