33 U.S. Code § 1952 - NOAA Marine Debris Program

(a) Establishment of Program

There is established, within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a Marine Debris Program to identify, determine sources of, assess, prevent, reduce, and remove marine debris and address the adverse impacts of marine debris on the economy of the United States, the marine environment, and navigation safety.

(b) Program componentsThe Administrator, acting through the Program and subject to the availability of appropriations, shall—
identify, determine sources of, assess, prevent, reduce, and remove marine debris, with a focus on marine debris posing a threat to living marine resources and navigation safety;
provide national and regional coordination to assist States, Indian tribes, and regional organizations in the identification, determination of sources, assessment, prevention, reduction, and removal of marine debris;
(3) undertake efforts to reduce the adverse impacts of lost and discarded fishing gear on living marine resources and navigation safety, including—
research and development of alternatives to gear posing threats to the marine environment and methods for marking gear used in certain fisheries to enhance the tracking, recovery, and identification of lost and discarded gear; and
the development of effective nonregulatory measures and incentives to cooperatively reduce the volume of lost and discarded fishing gear and to aid in gear recovery;
undertake outreach and education activities for the public and other stakeholders on sources of marine debris, threats associated with marine debris, and approaches to identifying, determining sources of, assessing, preventing, reducing, and removing marine debris and its adverse impacts on the United States economy, the marine environment, and navigation safety, including outreach and education activities through public-private initiatives;
(5) develop, in consultation with the Interagency Committee, interagency plans for the timely response to events determined by the Administrator to be severe marine debris events, including plans to—
coordinate across agencies and with relevant State, tribal, and local governments to ensure adequate, timely, and efficient response;
assess the composition, volume, and trajectory of marine debris associated with a severe marine debris event; and
estimate the potential impacts of a severe marine debris event, including economic impacts on human health, navigation safety, natural resources, tourism, and livestock, including aquaculture;
work to develop outreach and education strategies with other Federal agencies to address sources of marine debris;
except for discharges of marine debris from vessels, in consultation with the Department of State and other Federal agencies, promote international action, as appropriate, to reduce the incidence of marine debris, including providing technical assistance to expand waste management systems internationally; and
(8) in the case of an event determined to be a severe marine debris event under subsection (c)—
assist in the cleanup and response required by the severe marine debris event; or
conduct such other activity as the Administrator determines is appropriate in response to the severe marine debris event.
(c) Severe marine debris events

At the discretion of the Administrator or at the request of the Governor of an affected State, the Administrator shall determine whether there is a severe marine debris event.

(d) Grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts
(1) In general

The Administrator, acting through the Program, shall enter into cooperative agreements and contracts and provide financial assistance in the form of grants for projects to accomplish the purpose set forth in section 1951 of this title.

(2) Grant cost sharing requirement
(A) In general

Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), Federal funds for any grant under this section may not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of such project. For purposes of this subparagraph, the non-Federal share of project costs may be provided by in-kind contributions and other noncash support.

(B) Waiver

The Administrator may waive all or part of the matching requirement under subparagraph (A) if the Administrator determines that no reasonable means are available through which applicants can meet the matching requirement and the probable benefit of such project outweighs the public interest in such matching requirement.

(C) Severe marine debris eventsNotwithstanding subparagraph (A), the Federal share of the cost of an activity carried out under a determination made under subsection (c) shall be—
100 percent of the cost of the activity, for an activity funded wholly by funds made available by a person, including the government of a foreign country, to the Federal Government for the purpose of responding to a severe marine debris event; or
75 percent of the cost of the activity, for any activity other than an activity funded as described in clause (i).
(3) Amounts paid and services rendered under consent
(A) Consent decrees and orders

If authorized by the Administrator or the Attorney General, as appropriate, the non-Federal share of the cost of a project carried out under this chapter may include money paid pursuant to, or the value of any in-kind service performed under, an administrative order on consent or judicial consent decree that will remove or prevent marine debris.

(B) Other decrees and orders

The non-Federal share of the cost of a project carried out under this chapter may not include any money paid pursuant to, or the value of any in-kind service performed under, any other administrative order or court order.

(4) Eligibility

Any State, local, or tribal government whose activities affect research or regulation of marine debris, and any institution of higher education, nonprofit organization, or commercial organization with expertise in a field related to marine debris, is eligible to submit to the Administrator a marine debris proposal under the grant program.

(5) Project review and approvalThe Administrator shall—
review each marine debris project proposal to determine if it meets the grant criteria and supports the goals of this chapter;
after considering any written comments and recommendations based on the review, approve or disapprove the proposal; and
provide notification of that approval or disapproval to the person who submitted the proposal.
(6) Project reporting

Each grantee under this section shall provide periodic reports as required by the Administrator. Each report shall include all information required by the Administrator for evaluating the progress and success in meeting its stated goals, and impact of the grant activities on the marine debris problem.

Editorial Notes

2018—Subsec. (b)(6) to (8). Pub. L. 115–265, § 101(1), added pars. (6) to (8).

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 115–265, § 101(2), (3), added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).

Subsec. (d)(2)(A). Pub. L. 115–265, § 101(4)(A), substituted “subparagraphs (B) and (C)” for “subparagraph (B)”.

Subsec. (d)(2)(C). Pub. L. 115–265, § 101(4)(B), added subpar. (C).

2012—Pub. L. 112–213, § 604(a)(1), struck out “Prevention and Removal” before “Program” in section catchline.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–213, § 604(a)(2), substituted “Program to identify, determine sources of, assess, prevent, reduce, and remove marine debris and address the” for “Prevention and Removal Program to reduce and prevent the occurrence and” and “marine debris on the economy of the United States, the marine environment, and” for “marine debris on the marine environment and”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–213, § 604(b), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) described components of the Marine Debris Prevention and Removal Program.

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 112–213, § 604(c)(1), substituted “section 1951” for “section 1951(1)”.

Subsec. (c)(5) to (7). Pub. L. 112–213, § 604(c)(2), (3), redesignated pars. (6) and (7) as (5) and (6), respectively, and struck out former par. (5) which required the Administrator to promulgate necessary guidelines for implementation of the grant program within 180 days after Dec. 22, 2006.

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