50 C.F.R. Subpart A—General Provisions


Title 50 - Wildlife and Fisheries


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 37—GEOLOGICAL AND GEOPHYSICAL EXPLORATION OF THE COASTAL PLAIN, ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, ALASKA

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Subpart A—General Provisions

§ 37.1   Purpose.

These regulations implement the requirement of section 1002(d) of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, 94 Stat. 2450, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 3142(d), that the Secretary establish guidelines governing surface geological and geophysical exploration for oil and gas within the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Section 1002 mandates an oil and gas exploration program for the refuge's coastal plain. The program shall culminate in a report to Congress which contains, among other things, the identification of those areas within the coastal plain that have oil and gas production potential, an estimate of the volume of oil and gas concerned, the description of the wildlife, its habitat, and other resources that are within the areas identified, and an evaluation of the adverse effects that the carrying out of further exploration for, and the development and production of, oil and gas within such areas will have on the refuge's resources. It is the objective of this program to ascertain the best possible data and information concerning the probable existence, location, volume, and potential for further exploration, development, and production of oil and gas within the coastal plain without significantly adversely affecting the wildlife, its habitat, or the environment and without unnecessary duplication of exploratory activities. These regulations prescribe the requirements and procedures for obtaining authorization for and the conduct of such exploratory activities, and for submitting to the Department the resulting data and information. These regulations also describe other matters relating to the administration of the program.

§ 37.2   Definitions.

The following definitions are applicable to the sections of this part.

(a) Act means section 1002 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, 94 Stat. 2449, as amended by section 110 of Pub. L. 97–394, 96 Stat. 1982, 16 U.S.C. 3142.

(b) Adequate protective cover means snow or a frostline, or both, sufficient to protect the vegetation and soil from significant adverse effects due to the operation of surface equipment, as determined by the Regional Director.

(c) Coastal lagoons means the waters and submerged lands between the mainland and the offshore barrier islands that lie between Brownlow Point and the Aichilik River within the coastal plain.

(d) Coastal plain means that area shown on the map entitled “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge”, dated August 1980, and legally described in appendix I of this part.

(e) Cultural resource means any district, site, building, structure, or object significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering or culture, as determined in accordance with 36 CFR 60.6.

(f) Department means the Department of the Interior and any of its component bureaus and offices.

(g) Director means the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of his authorized representative.

(h) Exploration plan means the way in which a program of exploratory activities is proposed to be arranged and carried out.

(i) Exploratory activities means surface geological exploration or seismic exploration or both of the coastal plain and all related activities and logistics required for either or both, and any other type of geophysical exploration of the coastal plain which involves or is a component of an exploration program for the coastal plain involving surface use of refuge lands and all related activities and logistics required for such exploration.

(j) Harass means to pursue, hunt, take, capture, molest, collect, harm, shoot or kill or attempt to engage in any of the preceding by either intentional or negligent act or omission.

(k) Hazardous substances means petroleum, petroleum products, toxic materials, chemical effluent, explosives, or other materials which are likely to cause significant adverse effects to the refuge's wildlife, its habitat, the environment, or humans.

(l) Permittee means the person authorized by a special use permit issued pursuant to this part to conduct exploratory activities on the coastal plain; any official, employee, contractor, subcontractor or agent of the permittee or of the permittee's designee; and any participant to the permittee's permit.

(m) Person means any individual, partnership, firm, corporation, association, organization, or agency.

(n) Plan of operation means detailed procedures, covering a period not to exceed 12 months, proposed for executing an exploration plan.

(o) Processed, analyzed and interpreted data or information means any data or information which results from any subsequent modification, processing, analysis, or interpretation of raw data and information by human or electronic means, on or off the refuge.

(p) Raw data and information means all original observations and recordings in written or electronic form and samples obtained during field operations.

(q) Refuge means the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

(r) Regional Director means the Regional Director, Region 7 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or his authorized representative.

(s) Rehabilitation means the act of returning the landform and vegetation to as near its original shape and condition as practicable, as determined by the Regional Director.

(t) Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior or his authorized representative.

(u) Service means the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

(v) Solicitor means the Solicitor of the Department of the Interior or his authorized representative.

(w) Special use permit means a revocable, nonpossessory privilege issued in writing by the Regional Director and authorizing the permittee to enter and use the refuge for a specified period to conduct exploratory activities, and other activities necessary thereto.

(x) Support facilities means facilities on or near the refuge used to provide logistical support for the field exploratory activities.

(y) Third party means any person other than a representative of the permittee or the United States government.

(z) Waste means all material for discard from exploratory activities. It includes, but is not limited to, human waste, trash, garbage, refuse, fuel drums, shot wire, survey stakes, explosives boxes, ashes, and functional and nonfunctional equipment.

(aa) Wildlife means fish or wildlife or both.

§ 37.3   Other applicable laws.

(a) Nothing in this part shall be construed to relieve a permittee or any person from complying with any applicable federal laws or any applicable state and local laws, the requirements of which are not inconsistent with this part.

(b) Until the litigation between the United States and the State of Alaska over title to the submerged lands of the coastal lagoons, “United States v. Alaska”, Sup. Ct., No. 84, Orig. (1979), is resolved, the permittee shall satisfy both federal and state requirements for conducting oil and gas exploration in the coastal lagoons. In the event of an inconsistency between such requirements the permittee shall satisfy that requirement which provides the greatest environmental protection.

§ 37.4   Disclaimer and disqualification.

(a) Authorization granted under this part to conduct exploratory activities shall not confer a right to any discovered oil, gas, or other mineral in any manner.

(b) Any person who obtains access pursuant to §37.54 to data and information obtained as a result of carrying out exploratory activities shall be disqualified from obtaining or participating in any lease of the oil and gas to which such data and information pertain. Any person who obtains access to data and information obtained as a result of carrying out exploratory activities from any person other than the permittee who obtained such data and information shall be disqualified from obtaining or participating in any lease of the oil and gas to which such data and information pertain.

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