1994 US Code
Title 33 - NAVIGATION AND NAVIGABLE WATERS
CHAPTER 40 - OIL POLLUTION
SUBCHAPTER III - MISCELLANEOUS
Sec. 2753 - Outer Banks protection

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Metadata
Publication TitleUnited States Code, 1994 Edition, Title 33 - NAVIGATION AND NAVIGABLE WATERS
CategoryBills and Statutes
CollectionUnited States Code
SuDoc Class NumberY 1.2/5:
Contained WithinTitle 33 - NAVIGATION AND NAVIGABLE WATERS
CHAPTER 40 - OIL POLLUTION
SUBCHAPTER III - MISCELLANEOUS
Sec. 2753 - Outer Banks protection
Containssection 2753
Date1994
Laws in Effect as of DateJanuary 4, 1995
Positive LawNo
Dispositionstandard
Source CreditPub. L. 101-380, title VI, §6003, Aug. 18, 1990, 104 Stat. 555.
Statutes at Large References67 Stat. 462
86 Stat. 1298
95 Stat. 988
104 Stat. 555
Public Law ReferencesPublic Law 92-588, Public Law 97-59, Public Law 101-380


§2753. Outer Banks protection (a) Short title

This section may be cited as the “Outer Banks Protection Act”.

(b) Findings

The Congress finds that—

(1) the Outer Banks of North Carolina is an area of exceptional environmental fragility and beauty;

(2) the annual economic benefits of commercial and recreational fishing activities to North Carolina, which could be adversely affected by oil or gas development offshore the State's coast, exceeds ,000,000,000;

(3) the major industry in coastal North Carolina is tourism, which is subject to potentially significant disruption by offshore oil or gas development;

(4) the physical oceanographic characteristics of the area offshore North Carolina between Cape Hatteras and the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay are not well understood, being affected by Gulf Stream western boundary perturbations and accompanying warm filaments, warm and cold core rings which separate from the Gulf Stream, wind stress, outflow from the Chesapeake Bay, Gulf Stream meanders, and intrusions of Virginia coastal waters around and over the Diamond shoals;

(5) diverse and abundant fisheries resources occur in the western boundary area of the Gulf Stream offshore North Carolina, but little is understood of the complex ecological relationships between the life histories of those species and their physical, chemical, and biological environment;

(6) the environmental impact statements prepared for Outer Continental Shelf lease sales numbered 56 (1981) and 78 (1983) contain insufficient and outdated environmental information from which to make decisions on approval of additional oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development activities;

(7) the draft environmental report, dated November 1, 1989, and the preliminary final environmental report dated June 1, 1990, prepared pursuant to a July 14, 1989 memorandum of understanding between the State of North Carolina, the Department of the Interior, and the Mobil Oil Company, have not allayed concerns about the adequacy of the environmental information available to determine whether to proceed with additional offshore leasing, exploration, or development offshore North Carolina; and

(8) the National Research Council report entitled “The Adequacy of Environmental Information for Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Decisions: Florida and California”, issued in 1989, concluded that—

(A) information with respect to those States, which have received greater scrutiny than has North Carolina, is inadequate; and

(B) there are serious generic defects in the Minerals Management Service's methods of environmental analysis,


reinforcing concerns about the adequacy of the scientific and technical information which are the basis for a decision to lease additional tracts or approve an exploration plan offshore North Carolina, especially with respect to oceanographic, ecological, and socioeconomic information.

(c) Prohibition of oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development (1) Prohibition

The Secretary of the Interior shall not—

(A) conduct a lease sale;

(B) issue any new leases;

(C) approve any exploration plan;

(D) approve any development and production plan;

(E) approve any application for permit to drill; or

(F) permit any drilling,


for oil or gas under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act [43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.] on any lands of the Outer Continental Shelf offshore North Carolina.

(2) Boundaries

For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “offshore North Carolina” means the area within the lateral seaward boundaries between areas offshore North Carolina and areas offshore—

(A) Virginia as provided in the joint resolution entitled “Joint resolution granting the consent of Congress to an agreement between the States of North Carolina and Virginia establishing their lateral seaward boundary” approved October 27, 1972 (86 Stat. 1298); and

(B) South Carolina as provided in the Act entitled “An Act granting the consent of Congress to the agreement between the States of North Carolina and South Carolina establishing their lateral seaward boundary” approved October 9, 1981 (95 Stat. 988).

(3) Duration of prohibition (A) In general

The prohibition under paragraph (1) shall remain in effect until the later of—

(i) October 1, 1991; or

(ii) 45 days of continuous session of the Congress after submission of a written report to the Congress by the Secretary of the Interior, made after consideration of the findings and recommendations of the Environmental Sciences Review Panel under subsection (e) of this section—

(I) certifying that the information available, including information acquired pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, is sufficient to enable the Secretary to carry out his responsibilities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act [43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.] with respect to authorizing the activities described in paragraph (1); and

(II) including a detailed explanation of any differences between such certification and the findings and recommendations of the Environmental Sciences Review Panel under subsection (e) of this section, and a detailed justification of each such difference.

(B) Continuous session of Congress

In computing any 45-day period of continuous session of Congress under subparagraph (A)(ii)—

(i) continuity of session is broken only by an adjournment of the Congress sine die; and

(ii) the days on which either House of Congress is not in session because of an adjournment of more than 3 days to a day certain are excluded.

(d) Additional environmental information

The Secretary of the Interior shall undertake ecological and socioeconomic studies, additional physical oceanographic studies, including actual field work and the correlation of existing data, and other additional environmental studies, to obtain sufficient information about all significant conditions, processes, and environments which influence, or may be influenced by, oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development activities offshore North Carolina to enable the Secretary to carry out his responsibilities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act [43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.] with respect to authorizing the activities described in subsection (c)(1) of this section. During the time that the Environmental Sciences Review Panel established under subsection (e) of this section is in existence, the Secretary of the Interior shall consult with such Panel in carrying out this subsection.

(e) Environmental Sciences Review Panel (1) Establishment and membership

There shall be established an Environmental Sciences Review Panel, to consist of—

(A) 1 marine scientist selected by the Secretary of the Interior;

(B) 1 marine scientist selected by the Governor of North Carolina; and

(C) 1 person each from the disciplines of physical oceanography, ecology, and social science, to be selected jointly by the Secretary of the Interior and the Governor of North Carolina from a list of individuals nominated by the National Academy of Sciences.

(2) Functions

Not later than 6 months after August 18, 1990, the Environmental Sciences Review Panel shall—

(A) prepare and submit to the Secretary of the Interior findings and recommendations—

(i) assessing the adequacy of available physical oceanographic, ecological, and socioeconomic information in enabling the Secretary to carry out his responsibilities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act [43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.] with respect to authorizing the activities described in subsection (c)(1) of this section; and

(ii) if such available information is not adequate for such purposes, indicating what additional information is required to enable the Secretary to carry out such responsibilities; and


(B) consult with the Secretary of the Interior as provided in subsection (d) of this section.

(3) Expenses

Each member of the Environmental Sciences Review Panel shall be reimbursed for actual travel expenses and shall receive per diem in lieu of subsistence for each day such member is engaged in the business of the Environmental Sciences Review Panel.

(4) Termination

The Environmental Sciences Review Panel shall be terminated after the submission of all findings and recommendations required under paragraph (2)(A).

(f) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior to carry out this section not to exceed 0,000 for fiscal year 1991, to remain available until expended.

(Pub. L. 101–380, title VI, §6003, Aug. 18, 1990, 104 Stat. 555.)

References in Text

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act referred to in subsecs. (c)(1), (3)(A)(ii)(I), (d), and (e)(2)(A)(i), is act Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345, 67 Stat. 462, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§1331 et seq.) of chapter 29 of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1331 of Title 43 and Tables.

The joint resolution entitled “Joint resolution granting the consent of Congress to an agreement between the States of North Carolina and Virginia establishing their lateral seaward boundary” approved October 27, 1972, referred to in subsec. (c)(2)(A), is Pub. L. 92–588, Oct. 27, 1972, 86 Stat. 1298, which is not classified to the Code.

The Act entitled “An Act granting the consent of Congress to the agreement between the States of North Carolina and South Carolina establishing their lateral seaward boundary” approved October 9, 1981, referred to in subsec. (c)(2)(B), is Pub. L. 97–59, Oct. 9, 1981, 95 Stat. 988, which is not classified to the Code.

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