Sunday, February 26, 2017
 

America Competes Act, 33 U.S.C. §§ 893, 893a, 893b – This Act contains provisions for what is commonly referred to as the NOAA education authority.  These provisions authorize the establishment of a coordinated program (in consultation with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)) of ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, and atmospheric R&D in collaboration with academic institutions and other non-governmental entities.  In addition, these provisions authorize formal and informal educational activities to enhance public awareness and understanding.

Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act, (1993) 16 U.S.C. '' 5101 – 5108; DOO-10-15 Section 3.01(nn). The Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act (ACFCMA or the Atlantic Coastal Act) provides for a cooperative state and Federal management regime designed to support the interstate coastal fisheries management efforts of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC or the Commission).  This regime is based on Congress’s finding that primary management responsibilities rest with the states, via the Commission, and that the Federal government should serve in a supportive role.

Atlantic Tunas Convention Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 971 et seq. – The Act is the implementing statute for the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), to which the United States is a party.  ICCAT is a regional fishery management organization that manages and conserves bluefin tuna, swordfish, and other tuna and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean.  The Act authorizes the Secretary of State, with the concurrence of the Secretary of Commerce (and for enforcement matters, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating), to take action in response to recommendations from the Commission. 16 U.S.C. § 971d; see also 16 U.S.C. § 971c(a).

Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. § 7401)  requires that NOAA identify and assess the extent of deposition of atmospheric pollutants to the Great Lakes and coastal waters; and conduct research, in conjunction with other agencies, to improve understanding of the short-term and long-term causes, effects, and trends of damage from air pollutants on ecosystems.

Clean Water Act. 33 U.S.C. ' 1311.  The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the principal statute governing water quality.  The Act’s goal is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.  The CWA regulates both the direct and indirect discharge of pollutants into the Nation's waters.  Section 301 of the Act () prohibits the discharge into navigable waters of any pollutant by any person from a point source unless it is in compliance with a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Section 311 of the CWA (33 U.S.C. ' 1321) regulates the discharge of oil and other hazardous substances into navigable waters and waters of the contiguous zone, as well as onto adjoining shorelines, that may be harmful to the public or to natural resources (CWA section 311(b)(1)). The Act allows the Federal government to remove the substance and assess the removal costs against the responsible party (CWA section 311(c)).  The CWA defines removal costs to include costs for the restoration or replacement of natural resources damaged or destroyed as a result of a discharge of oil or a hazardous substance (CWA section 311(f)(4)).

Consumer Option for an Alternative System To Allocate Losses Act of 2011 or COASTAL Act of 2011 will lower costs to the National Flood Insurance Program by better discerning wind versus storm surge damages in the case of “clean slabs,” where little tangible evidence beyond a building’s foundation remains for the proper adjustment of insurance claims for homes totally destroyed by a hurricane or tropical storm, and will enable a more timely claims adjustment process which has frequently faced excessive delays due to litigation between the Federal government and private insurers, resulting from an inability to determine to what extent the damage should be covered by the National Flood Insurance Program or by private insurers covering wind damage. Under the new law,NOAA is required to produce detailed post-storm analyses (hind-cast models) following named storms that impact the coastal zone of the U.S. These analyses are then required to be submitted to the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA) within 90 days.  NOAA is required to make all data and post-storm assessments available to the public and to maintain an online database. The database and post-storm model are mandated to be operational by Dec. 28, 2013 (540 days after enactment)

Coast and Geodetic Survey Act, 33 U.S.C. §§ 883a et seq. – This Act provides the basis for NOAA’s navigation service programs.  The Act authorizes the Secretary to conduct hydrographic and topographic surveys, tide and current observations, and geodetic-control surveys, geomagnetic, seismological, gravity and related geophysical measurements to provide: (1) charts and other information for safe marine navigation; and (2) basic data for engineering and scientific purposes and for other commercial and industrial need.  33 U.S.C. §§ 883a, 883b.  The Act establishes NOAA as the depository for geomagnetic data, 33 U.S.C. § 883c, and authorizes NOAA to establish national standards for hydrographic data and assure that such data is available in a uniform and easily accessible format, 33 U.S.C. § 892.  

Coastal Ocean Program (201(c) of PL 102-567):  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Reauthorization Act authorizes a Coastal Ocean Program, and is therefore basic authorizing legislation for NCCOS.  In the words of the law: “Such program shall augment and integrate existing programs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and shall include efforts to improve predictions of fish stocks, to better conserve and manage living marine resources, to improve predictions of coastal ocean pollution to help correct and prevent degradation of the ocean environment, to promote development of ocean technology to support the effort of science to understand and characterize the role oceans play in global climate and environmental analysis, and to improve predictions of coastal hazards to protect human life and personal property.”

 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act, 16 U.S.C. '' 3951-3956; DOO-10-15 Section 3.01(dd). This Act creates a Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Conservation and Restoration Task Force, with the Secretary of the Army as its chairman and the Secretary of Commerce (among others) as a member.  The Secretary of the Army is required to convene meetings of the Task Force to ensure that it produces a list of coastal wetlands restoration projects in Louisiana, to provide for long-term conservation of such wetlands and dependent fish and wildlife populations.  The Task Force is required to prepare a plan to identify coastal wetlands restoration projects, to develop a comprehensive approach to restore, and prevent loss of, coastal wetlands in Louisiana.

Coastal Zone Management Act. The goal of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) is to encourage states to preserve, protect, develop and, where possible, restore and enhance valuable natural coastal resources. Participation by states is voluntary.  To encourage states to participate, the Federal government, through the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), may provide grants to states that are willing to develop and implement a comprehensive coastal management program (CZMA, section 306).  Thirty-four coastal and Great Lakes states have a Federally approved program.  This represents 99% of the nation’s 95,331 miles of ocean and Great Lakes coastline.  Illinois is the only potentially eligible state that does not yet have an approved program, and Illinois is currently working towards approval.   The CZMA also authorizes the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.  Under the CZMA, the Secretary may make grants, not to exceed 50% of the cost of the project, which enable coastal states to acquire, develop, and operate estuarine research reserves (CZMA, section 315). Designation of an estuarine reserve requires a state to agree to long-term management of the site for research purposes, and to provide information for use by coastal zone managers.

Commerce and Trade, 21  15 U.S.C. § 1511 “Sec. 2901. Findings.  The following are hereby transferred to the Secretary of Commerce: (e) Those functions vested in the Secretary of Defense or in any officer, employee, or organizational entity of the Department of Defense by the provision of Public Law 91- 144, 83 Stat. 326, under the heading``... (2) the conception, planning, and conduct of basic R&D in the fields of water motion, water characteristics, water quantity, and ice and snow, and (3) the publication of data and the results of research projects in forms useful to the Corps of Engineers and the public, and the operation of a Regional Data Center for the collection, coordination, analysis, and the furnishing to interested agencies of data relating to water resources of the Great Lakes.”

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. ' 9601 et seq., Pub. L. No. 96-510, (1980) as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) Pub. L. No. 99-499; DOO-10-15 Section 3.01mm. CERCLA establishes the Federal government’s authority to respond to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances into the environment.  It establishes the legal framework for ensuring the comprehensive cleanup of contaminants released to the environment as the result of past actions or current spills.  Primary responsibility for enforcing the act rests with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  CERCLA section 120, entitled “Federal Facilities,” describes the applicability of CERCLA to Federal facilities.  Under section 120, United States Government agencies and departments must remediate environmental hazards to the same extent as other, non-governmental entities.  CERCLA 120 also serves to provide for the expedient identification of uncontaminated government properties to ensure their timely transfer to the private sector for development.  This portion of the Act is considered a statute of general applicability to NOAA. 

Coral Reef Conservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 6401. The purposes of this title are (1) to preserve, sustain, and restore the condition of coral reef ecosystems; (2) to promote the wise management and sustainable use of coral reef ecosystems to benefit local communities and the Nation; (3) to develop sound scientific information on the condition of coral reef ecosystems and the threats to such ecosystems; (4) to assist in the preservation of coral reefs by supporting conservation programs, including projects that involve affected local communities and nongovernmental organizations; (5) to provide financial resources for those programs and projects; and (6) to establish a formal mechanism for collecting and allocating monetary donations from the private sector to be used for coral reef conservation projects.

Data Quality Act (a.k.a. Information Quality Act) P.L 106-554. Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 Section 515,directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue government‑wide guidelines that provide policy and procedural guidance to federal agencies for ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by federal agencies.OMB complied by issuing guidelines which direct each federal agency to: (A) issue its own guidelines ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information disseminated by the agency; (B) establish administrative mechanisms allowing affected persons to seek and obtain correction of information that does not comply with the OMB 515 Guidelines (Federal Register: February 22, 2002, Volume 67, Number 36, pp. 8452‑8460, herein OMB Guidelines or the agency guidelines; and (C) report periodically to the Director of OMB on the number and nature of complaints received by the agency regarding the accuracy of information disseminated by the agency and how such complaints were handled by the agency.

Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) imposes a number of mandatory duties on the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior.  Section 4(a)(2) of the statute provides that the Secretary of Commerce generally exercises these responsibilities for most marine and anadromous species and the Secretary of the Interior for land-based and freshwater species, pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970 that created NOAA. 16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(2). In 1974, the Directors of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the National Marine Fisheries Service signed a Memorandum of Understanding that clarified responsibilities based on scientific division of species, but leaving the same general division of responsibilities between the Services intact.  Memorandum of Understanding Between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Department of the Interior, and the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Department of Commerce, Regarding Jurisdictional Responsibilities and Listing Procedures Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (August 28, 1974). For certain species, including sea turtles and Atlantic salmon, the Services subsequently agreed to exercise joint responsibility.  Memorandum of Understanding Defining the Roles of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service in Joint Administration of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as to Marine Turtles (July 18, 1977); Memorandum of Agreement Between the Northeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Northeast Region, National Marine Fisheries Service, Concerning the Anadromous Atlantic Salmon (March 14, 1994).

Establishment of Great Lakes Research Office, 33 U.S.C. § 1268: There is established within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the Great Lakes Research Office.  The Research Office shall conduct, through the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, the National Sea Grant College program, other Federal laboratories, and the private sector, appropriate research and monitoring activities which address priority issues and current needs relating to the Great Lakes.

Estuary Restoration Act of 2000, 33 U.S.C. '' 2901-2909.This Act establishes an estuary habitat restoration program under which the Secretary of the Army (Corps of Engineers) may carry out estuary habitat restoration projects and provide technical assistance.  The restoration projects must be originated by non-Federal interests and require non-Federal match (Federal share cannot exceed 65%).  The Secretary of the Army selects the projects, but must select projects from a list of proposals submitted by the Estuary Habitat Restoration Council.  33 U.S.C. ' 2903.

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, 7 U.S.C. ' 136 et seq.The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is primarily implemented by 40 C.F.R. '' 152-186.  The Act and its implementing regulations are designed to manage the development, storage, application, and disposal of pesticides.  The Act is a statute of general applicability to NOAA, and the disposal regulations are of most relevance to NOAA.

Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2009, 33 U.S.C. §§ 3701 – 3708 – The Act provides authority to establish and maintain an ocean acidification program to include conducting interdisciplinary and coordinated research and long-term monitoring of ocean acidification.  The Secretary of Commerce is directed to establish and maintain an ocean acidification program to include conducting interdisciplinary and coordinated research and long-term monitoring of ocean acidification.  The Secretary of Commerce may enter into and perform such contracts, leases, grants or cooperative agreements as may be necessary.

Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, (1934) 16 U.S.C. '661-666c; Pub. L. No. 85-624. The purpose of the Act is to ensure that wildlife conservation receives equal consideration, and be coordinated with, other aspects of water resources development.  The Act requires Federal departments and agencies that undertake an action, or issue a Federal permit or license that proposes to modify any stream or other body of water, for any purpose including navigation and drainage, to first consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior; the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Department of Commerce; and appropriate state fish and wildlife agencies.  The Federal and state resource agencies provide recommendations and comments to the Federal action agency that should provide for the conservation of fish and wildlife resources by preventing loss of or damage to the resources.  The action agency then must give equal consideration to the conservation of fish and wildlife resources in making water resource development decisions.  The Department of the Interior, NMFS and state agencies may develop reports that determine the possible damage to fish and wildlife resources and recommend means and measures that should be adopted to prevent the loss of or damage to fish and wildlife resources while allowing for the development and improvement of such water resources.  Agencies shall include in any reports to Congress supporting a recommendation for authorization of any new project an estimate of the wildlife benefits or losses expected from the project. 

Geophysical Sciences Authorities, 33 U.S.C. §§ 883d, 883e – These provisions authorize the Secretary to conduct surveys, research, and investigations in geophysical sciences.  In order to improve efficiency and increase engineering and scientific knowledge, the Secretary of Commerce is authorized to conduct developmental work for improvement of surveying and cartographic methods, instruments, and equipment; and to conduct investigations/research in geophysical sciences (including geodesy, oceanography, seismology, and geomagnetism.).  33 U.S.C. § 883d.   The Secretary of Commerce is further authorized to enter into cooperative agreements with, and to receive and expend funds made available by State or Federal agency, as well as any public or private organization or individual for purposes of surveying or mapping activities, including special purpose maps.  33 U.S.C. § 883e.

Global Change Research Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 2921 et seq. – The Act establishes a comprehensive and integrated U.S. research program aimed at understanding climate variability and its predictability.  The Secretary of Commerce shall ensure that relevant research activities of the National Climate Program are considered in developing national global change research efforts.

Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998, , 33 U.S.C. § 145: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, through its ongoing research, education, grant, and coastal resource management programs, possesses a full range of capabilities necessary to support a near and long-term comprehensive effort to prevent, reduce, and control harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; funding for the research and related programs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will aid in improving the Nation's understanding and capabilities for addressing the human and environmental costs associated with harmful algal blooms and hypoxia.

High-Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991:  “NOAA shall conduct basic and applied research in weather prediction and ocean sciences, particularly in development of new forecast models, in computational fluid dynamics, and in the incorporation of evolving computer architectures and networks into the systems that carry out Agency missions.”

Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System (ICOOS) Act of 2009, 33 U.S.C. §3601-3610.  This act establishes a national integrated System of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observing systems, comprised of Federal and non-Federal components including in situ, remote, and other coastal and ocean observation, technologies, and data management and communication systems. The System is designed to address regional and national needs for ocean information; to gather specific data on key coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes variables; and to ensure timely and sustained dissemination and availability of these data to support a variety of societal benefits. These benefits include supporting national defense; marine commerce; navigation safety; weather, climate, and marine forecasting; energy siting and production; economic development; ecosystem-based management of marine and coastal areas; conservation of ocean and coastal resources; and public safety. The System is also designed to promote research to develop, test, and deploy innovations and improvements in coastal and ocean observation technologies and modeling systems.

Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation & Management Act (MSA), 16 U.S.C. §§ 1801 et seq. – The MSA establishes exclusive Federal management authority over fishery resources of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and requires, among other things, rebuilding of overfished stocks of fish and preventing overfishing while maintaining, on a continuing basis, optimum yield from fisheries.  16 U.S.C. § 303(a).  Most fishery management plans (FMPs) are developed by regional fishery management councils and must comply with ten National Standards, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1851(a), 1852.  The Secretary is responsible for reviewing and implementing FMPs through regulations.  16 U.S.C. § 1854.

Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act, 33 U.S.C. 1951 note; Pub. L. No. 109-449.

This Act establishes within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a Marine Debris Prevention and Removal Program to reduce and prevent the occurrence and adverse impacts of marine debris on the marine environment and navigation safety. Requires the Administrator of NOAA (Administrator), subject to the availability of appropriations, to: (1) undertake marine debris mapping, impact assessment, prevention, and removal efforts, with a focus on marine debris posing a threat to living marine resources and navigation safety; (2) improve efforts to reduce adverse impacts of lost and discarded fishing gear on living marine resources and navigation safety; (3) undertake outreach and education of the public and other stakeholders in the fishing, fishing gear manufacturers, other marine-dependent, and plastic and waste management industries, on sources of, and threats associated with, marine debris and approaches to identify, determine sources of, assess, reduce, and prevent such debris and its adverse impacts on the marine environment and navigational safety; and (4) develop and promulgate, jointly with the Coast Guard, a definition of the term "marine debris" for the purposes of this Act.

Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) was enacted to protect certain species and stocks of marine mammals and to achieve healthy populations of marine mammals.  Pursuant to the MMPA, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) maintains jurisdiction over cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and pinnipeds (seals and sea lions).  The Secretary of the Interior maintains jurisdiction over all other marine mammals, e.g., polar bears, walrus, and manatee.  The MMPA generally prohibits taking and importation of all marine mammals, except under limited exceptions.  These exceptions include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) taking incidental to specified activities such as construction projects, military activities, or oil and gas development; (2) taking incidental to commercial fishing operations; (3) taking by Federal, State or local government official duties; and (4) the intentional lethal taking of individually identifiable pinnipeds which are having a significant negative impact on the decline or recovery of at-risk salmonids.  In addition, the Secretary may issue permits to authorize the taking or importation of any marine mammal as part of scientific research, public display, or to enhance the survival or recovery of a species or stock (MMPA ' 1374).

Meteorological Services to Support Aviation Authority, 49 U.S.C. § 44720 – This provision of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 requires the Secretary of Commerce to cooperate with the FAA in providing meteorological services necessary for the safe and efficient movement of aircraft in air commerce; i.e., to support aviation.  The Secretary of Commerce is required to observe and study atmospheric phenomena, and maintain meteorological stations and offices; provide reports that will facilitate safety in air navigation; cooperate with those engaged in air commerce and in meteorological services; maintain and coordinate international exchanges of meteorological information; participate in developing an international basic meteorological reporting network; coordinate meteorological requirements in the U.S. to maintain standards and promote safety and efficiency of air navigation; and promote and develop meteorological science, including support for research projects in meteorology.

Migratory Bird Conservation Act, 126 U.S.C. 715 et seq.

National Aquaculture Act, 16 U.S.C. ' 2801-2810; DOO-10-15 Section 3.01(jj) The Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce and the Interior (Secretaries) shall establish a National Aquaculture Development Plan, (Plan) in consultation with appropriate Federal officers, States, Regional Fishery Management Councils and the aquaculture industry, that shall, inter alia identify aquatic species which have potential for culturing, recommend actions necessary to achieve such potential and specify time frames for completion of actions and which department has responsibility for implementation of each action.  The Secretaries shall maintain a continuing assessment of aquaculture in the United States.

National Climate Program Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 2901-2908 – The Act authorizes a National Climate Program.  The Act grants NOAA the authority to enter into contracts, grants or cooperative agreements for climate-related activities.  These activities include assessments of the effect of climate on the natural environment, land and water resources and national security; basic and applied research to improve understanding of climate processes and climate change; methods for improving climate forecasts; global data collection and monitoring and analysis activities; systems for management and dissemination of climatological data; measures for increasing international cooperation in climate research, monitoring, analysis and data dissemination; mechanisms for intergovernmental climate-related studies and services including participation by universities; and experimental climate forecast centers.

National Coastal Monitoring Act (Title V of 33 USC 2801-2805):  The Act requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the NOAA Under Secretary, in conjunction with other federal, state and local authorities, jointly to develop and implement a program for the long-term collection, assimilation, and analysis of scientific data designed to measure the environmental quality of the nation’s coastal ecosystems.

National Marine Sanctuaries Act. 16 U.S.C. ' 1433. The National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) provides the Secretary of Commerce with the authority to protect and manage the resources of significant marine areas of the United States.  NOAA's administration of the marine sanctuary program involves designating marine sanctuaries and adopting management practices to protect the conservation, recreational, ecological, educational, and aesthetic values of these areas. 

The NMSA states that the Secretary of Commerce may designate any discrete area of the marine environment as a national marine sanctuary and promulgate regulations implementing the designation, if the Secretary determines the designation will fulfill the purposes of the Act and the designation meets certain criteria.  The Act spells out factors for the Secretary to consider in making a designation, and requires consultation with Congress. The Secretary is required to evaluate periodically the implementation of each sanctuary’s management plan and goals for the sanctuary.  The Secretary is required to conduct research monitoring, evaluation, and education programs as are necessary and reasonable to carry out the purposes and policies of the NMSA.  The Act states the Secretary may establish advisory councils to provide assistance regarding the designation and management of national marine sanctuaries.

National Sea Grant College Program Act, 33 U.S.C. §§ 1121-1131 – The Act establishes a comprehensive NOAA Sea Grant Program, run by NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR).  The Act provides that the Secretary of Commerce shall establish a National Sea Grant College Program that shall consist of the financial assistance and other authorized activities that provide support for the elements of the program, including in support of solving coastal problems and developing marine resources.  The Secretary of Commerce may make grants and enter into contracts under this Act to assist any sea grant program or project if the Secretary finds that such program or project will implement the objective of the Act and be responsive to the needs or problems of individual states or regions.

Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 and National Invasive Species Act of 1996, 16 U.S.C. '' 4701-4751; DOO-10-15 Section 3.03f. These Acts are intended to manage the adverse impacts of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) by preventing their unintentional introduction and dispersal into the waters of the United States through ships ballast water and other means.  They also provide for the management of those ANS which have already become established and for research and development.  The Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act establishes an interagency Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere is mandated to serve as the co-chairperson of this Task Force. The Task Force, in general, is required to develop and implement a program for U.S. waters to prevent the introduction and dispersal of ANS; to monitor, control, and study such species; and to disseminate related information.  The Under Secretary is authorized to issue rules and regulations as are necessary for accomplishing the objectives of the Task Force.

The Task Force is required to allocate funds for competitive research grants to study all aspects of ANS.  This grant program shall be administered through the National Sea Grant College Program and the Cooperative Fishery and Wildlife Research Units; however, to date, it has been administered exclusively by Sea Grant.  The Task Force is also required to: (1) establish and implement educational programs through Sea Grant Marine Advisory Services and any other available resources as it determines necessary to inform the public; and (2) make available $1,625,000 from funds that are otherwise authorized, if they are so authorized, to fund ANS research at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, including $500,000 for research relating to Lake Champlain.  Subject to appropriations, the Secretaries of Interior and Commerce are required to conduct a ballast water management demonstration program to demonstrate technologies and practices to prevent ANS from being introduced through ships ballast water.

NOAA Undersea Research Program Act of 2009, 33 U.S.C. §§ 3421-3426 – The Act authorizes a comprehensive NOAA Undersea Research Program.  Activities authorized under these provisions include core research and exploration based on national and regional undersea research priorities; advanced undersea technology development to support NOAA’s research mission and programs; undersea science-based education and outreach programs to enrich ocean science education and public awareness; development, testing, and transition of advanced undersea technology; and discovery, study and development of natural resources and products from ocean, coastal, and aquatic systems. 

Ocean Exploration Program Act, 33 U.S.C. §§ 3401-3406 – These provisions establish a comprehensive and coordinated National Ocean Exploration Program.  Activities authorized under these provisions include giving priority attention to deep ocean regions, conducting scientific voyages to locate, define and document historic shipwrecks and submerged sites, enhancing the technical capability of the U.S. marine science community and establishing an ocean exploration forum to encourage partnerships and promote communication among experts to enhance the scientific and technical expertise and relevance of the National Ocean Exploration Program.  These activities are further highlighted in Public Law 111–11 of 2009.

Ocean Dumping Act (Titles I and II of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act), 33 U.S.C. '' 1401-1445. The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) provides for the regulation of dumping and transportation for dumping of material, into the territorial sea of the United States, or into a zone contiguous to the territorial sea of the U.S., extending to a line twelve nautical miles seaward from the base line from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.  33 U.S.C. '' 1411.  EPA shares responsibility for administration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which regulates dumping of dredged material, and the U.S. Coast Guard, which has responsibility for surveillance and other enforcement activities to prevent unlawful dumping.  Id. at '' 1413, 1417.

Title II of the Act establishes a comprehensive and continuing monitoring and research program, required to be undertaken by the Secretary of Commerce, in coordination with EPA and the Coast Guard, on the effects of dumping into ocean waters, coastal waters or waters of the Great Lakes and their connecting waters.  Id. at ' 1441.  The Secretary shall initiate this program in close consultation with appropriate federal agencies.  Responsibilities of the research program shall include the long-range effects of pollution, overfishing, and man-induced changes in the environment.  This program shall take into account such factors as international policies, economic considerations, alternatives to existing programs, and ways in which the health of the ocean may be preserved.  Id. at ' 1442.  The Secretary of Commerce is required to report in March of each year on his activities under this subtitle during the previous fiscal year.  Id. at ' 1444.

Oil Pollution Act (OPA), 33 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq.; see 33 U.S.C. §§ 2702(b)(2)(A)), 2706(d)(1) – makes parties who are responsible for oil spills liable for the damage to natural resources resulting from those spills in navigable waters or adjoining shorelines.  Also provides for assessment and restoration of injured natural resources.

Ocean Satellite Data  USC Title 33, Chapter 17, Section 883jThe Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration … shall take such actions, including the sponsorship of applied research, as may be necessary to assure the future availability and usefulness of ocean satellite data to the maritime community.”

Oceans and Human Health Act: 33 U.S.C. § 3101-3104. The Act calls for the coordination of a national research plan by the National Science and Technology Council to study the relationship between human health and the oceans. The Task Force on Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia will aid in designing the ten-year plan, which will: create priorities and goals for federal research into the connections between human health and the oceans; develop specific actions to achieve those priorities and goals; identify Federal agency and department programs, reports, and studies that can contribute to the plan; avoid duplication of Federal efforts, and calculate the funding needed for research.

Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. '' 1331-1356; DOO-10-15 Section 3.01gg.

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to promulgate regulations to lease the OCS in an effort to prevent waste and conserve natural resources and to grant leases to the highest responsible qualified bidder as determined by competitive bidding procedures.  Title II of these amendments provides for the cancellation of leases or permits if a continued activity is likely to cause serious harm to life, including fish and other aquatic life (43 U.S.C. ' 1334(a)(2)). It also stipulates that economic, social, and environmental values of the renewable and nonrenewable resources are to be considered in management of the OCS. Under 43 U.S.C. ' 1346, the Secretary of the Interior shall conduct a study of any area or region included in any oil and gas lease sale or other lease in order to establish information needed for assessment and management of environmental impacts on the human, marine, and coastal environments of the outer Continental Shelf and the coastal areas which may be affected by oil and gas or other mineral development in such area or region.  In executing his responsibilities under this section, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, enter into appropriate arrangements to utilize on a reimbursable basis the capabilities of the Department of Commerce.  Id. at ' 1346(f).

Pacific Salmon Treaty Act of 1985, 16 U.S.C. '' 3631-3644; Pub. L. No. 99-5; DOO-10-15 Section 3.01xx.

This Act implements the Pacific Salmon Treaty between the U.S. and Canada, which was signed January 28, 1985.  It establishes a Commission, and regional panels, comprised of members from the U.S. and Canada.  In the U.S., there is a very strong participation in the process by the states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Idaho, and the Northwest Treaty Indian tribes.  The Commission recommends to the two countries salmon fishery management regimes for the stocks of common interest, and the two countries must manage their fisheries consistent with any regimes recommended by the Commission and approved by the U.S. and Canada.  Many of the fishery management regimes are implemented by states and tribes.

Public Health and Welfare – Pollution Prevention and Control, 42 U.S.C. § 7412: The EPA Administrator, in cooperation with the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, shall conduct a program to identify and assess the extent of atmospheric deposition of hazardous air pollutants (and in the discretion of the Administrator, other air pollutants) to the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, Lake Champlain and coastal waters. As part of such program, the Administrator shall monitor the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, Lake Champlain and coastal waters, including monitoring of the Great Lakes and designing and deploying an atmospheric monitoring network for coastal waters; investigate the sources and deposition rates of atmospheric deposition of air pollutants (and their atmospheric transformation precursors); conduct research to develop and improve monitoring methods and to determine the relative contribution of atmospheric pollutants to total pollution loadings to the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, Lake Champlain, and coastal waters.

Regional Marine Research Programs, 16 U.S.C. § 1447B.  The purpose of this chapter is to establish regional research programs, under effective Federal oversight, to -(1) set priorities for regional marine and coastal research in support of efforts to safeguard the water quality and ecosystem health of each region; and (2) carry out such research through grants and improved coordination.” (a) A Regional Marine Research board shall be established for each of the following regions: The Great Lakes Research Office authorized under section 1268(d) of title 33 shall be responsible for research in the Great Lakes region and shall be considered the Great Lakes counterpart to the research program established pursuant to this chapter.

Space Weather Authority, 15 U.S.C. § 1532 – This provision authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to conduct research on all telecommunications sciences, including wave propagation and reception and conditions which affect such; preparation and issuance of predictions of electromagnetic wave propagation conditions and warnings of disturbances in such conditions; research and analysis in the general field of telecommunications sciences in support of other Federal agencies; investigation of nonionizing electromagnetic radiation and its uses; as well as compilation, evaluation and dissemination of general scientific and technical data.

Study of Migratory Game Fish; Waters Research 16 U.S.C. § 760e.  “The Secretary of Commerce is directed to undertake a comprehensive continuing study of migratory marine fish of interest to recreational fishermen of the United States,….including fish which migrate through or spend part of their lives in the inshore waters of the United States. The study shall include, but not be limited to, research on migrations, identity of stocks, growth rates, mortality rates, variation in survival, environmental influences, both natural and artificial, including pollution and effects of fishing on the species for the purpose of developing wise conservation policies and constructive management activities.”

Tsunami Warning and Education Act, 33 U.S.C. §§ 3201 et seq. –  The Act establishes a comprehensive program to operate and maintain a Tsunami Forecasting and Warning Program, Tsunami Warning Centers, Tsunami Research Program, and National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program. The Act provides authority to operate a Tsunami Forecasting and Warning Program which is charged with providing tsunami detection, forecasting and adequate warnings.  This Program includes: operational tsunami detection technology; tsunami forecasting capability; management of data quality systems; cooperative efforts with the U.S. Geological Survey and NSF; capability for disseminating warnings to at-risk States and tsunami communities; as well as integration of tsunami detection technologies with other environmental observing technologies.

Water Pollution Prevention and Control Act.  These Acts are intended to manage the adverse impacts of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) by preventing their unintentional introduction and dispersal into the waters of the United States through ships’ ballast water and other means.  They also provide for the management of those ANS which have already become established and for R&D.  The Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act establishes an interagency Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere is mandated to serve as the co-chairperson of this Task Force. The Task Force, in general, is required to develop and implement a program for U.S. waters to prevent the introduction and dispersal of ANS; to monitor, control, and study such species; and to disseminate related information.  The Under Secretary is authorized to issue rules and regulations as are necessary for accomplishing the objectives of the Task Force. The Task Force is required to allocate funds for competitive research grants to study all aspects of ANS.  This grant program shall be administered through the National Sea Grant College Program and the Cooperative Fishery and Wildlife Research Units; however, to date, it has been administered exclusively by Sea Grant. 

Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (WRDA 2000) 33 USC 2201. To provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, to authorize the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States, and for other purposes.

Weather Service Organic Act, 15 U.S.C. § 313 – The Act is the implementing statute for NOAA to forecast, record, report, monitor, and distribute meteorological, hydrologic and climate data.  The Secretary of Commerce has responsibility for these and other essential weather related duties for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the Nation’s economy.

 

Non-Legislative Drivers

Chesapeake Bay Restoration Executive Order 13508. This Order directs the Federal government to increase efforts and expertise “to protect and restore the health, heritage, natural resources, and the social and economic value of the nation’s largest estuarine ecosystem and the natural sustainability of its watershed”. As part of the EO, a Federal Leadership Committee prepared a new strategy, in consultation with the States, which provides a roadmap for restoration activities until 2025. The strategy has four essential goals: restore clean water; recover habitats; sustain fish and wildlife; conserve land and increase public access. Four supporting strategies will help achieve these goals: expand citizen stewardship; develop environmental markets; respond to climate change; strengthen science. 

Climate Change Science Program:  The Interagency Climate Change Science Program has oversight over U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI) activities, with a single interagency committee responsible for the entire range of science projects sponsored by both programs.  The Interagency Climate Change Science Program retains the responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the Global Change Research Act of 1990, including its provisions for annual reporting of findings and short-term plans, scientific reviews by the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, and periodic publication of a ten-year strategic plan for the program.

Establishment of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (71 FR 36443/10031; PP 8031/8112).  Presidential Proclamation 8031, under the authority of the Antiquities Act (16 U.S.C. 431-433).  The Secretary of Commerce, through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will have primary responsibility regarding management of the marine areas, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior. The Secretary of the Interior, through the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), will have sole responsibility for management of the areas of the monument that overlay the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, the Battle of Midway National Memorial, and the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce. The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior (collectively, the ‘‘Secretaries’’) shall review and, as appropriate, modify the interagency agreement developed for coordinated management of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, signed on May 19, 2006. To manage the monument, the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the State of Hawaii, shall modify, as appropriate, the plan developed by NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program through the public sanctuary designation process, and will provide for public review of that plan. To the extent authorized by law, the Secretaries, acting through the FWS and NOAA, shall promulgate any additional regulations needed for the proper care and management of the objects identified above.

Global Earth Observation System of Systems:  The Global Earth Observation System of Systems will provide decision-support tools to a wide variety of users. As with the Internet, GEOSS will be a global and flexible network of content providers allowing decision makers to access an extraordinary range of information at their desk.This ‘system of systems’ will proactively link together existing and planned observing systems around the world and support the development of new systems where gaps currently exist. It will promote common technical standards so that data from the thousands of different instruments can be combined into coherent data sets. (http://www.earthobservations.org/geoss.shtml)

Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1978.—Amended 1987. International Agreement between Canada and the United States which involves restoring and enhancing water quality in the Great Lakes System “Implementation: The Parties, in cooperation with State and Provincial Governments, shall conduct research in order to:  a) Determine the mass transfer of pollutants between the Great Lakes basin Ecosystem components of water, sediment, air, land and biota, and the processes controlling the transfer of pollutants across the interfaces between these components in accordance with Annexes 13,14, 15, and 16; b) Develop load reduction models for pollutants in the Great Lakes System in accordance with the research requirements of Annexes 2, 11, 12, and 13; c) Determine the physical and transformational processes affecting the delivery of pollutants by tributaries to the Great Lakes in accordance with Annexes 2,11,12,13; d) Determine cause-effect inter-relationships of productivity and ecotoxicity, and identify future research needs in accordance with Annexes 11, 12, 13 and 15; e) Determine the relationship of contaminated sediments on ecosystem health, in accordance with the research needs of Annexes 2, 12 and 14; f) Determine the pollutant exchanges between the Areas of Concern and the open lakes including cause-effect inter-relationships among nutrients, productivity, sediments, pollutants, biota and ecosystem health, and to develop in-situ chemical, physical and biological remedial options in accordance with Annexes 2, 12,14, and sub-paragraph 1(f) of Annex 3; g) Determine the aquatic effects of varying lake levels in relation to pollution sources, particularly respecting the conservation of wetlands and the fate and effects of pollutants in the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem in accordance with Annexes 2, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 16; h) Determine the ecotoxicity and toxicity effects of pollutants in the development of water quality objectives in accordance with Annex 1; i) Determine the impact of water quality and the introduction of non-native species on fish and wildlife population and habitats in order to develop feasible options for their recovery, restoration or enhancement in accordance with sub-paragraph 1(a) of Article IV and Annexes 1,2,11 and 12; j) Encourage the development of control technologies for treatment of municipal and industrial effluents, atmospheric emissions and the disposal of wastes, including wastes deposited in landfills; k) Develop action levels for contamination that incorporate multi-media exposures and the interactive effects of chemicals; and l) Develop approaches to population-based studies to determine the long-term, low level effects of toxic substances on human health.

ICSU World Data Center Guidelines and Policy: Provide long-term preservation of the Nation’s climate Record. Provide NOAA customers access to Climate Data and Information (timely, easy, and convenient) related to the state and changing state of the climate system in a variety of formats

Invasive Species Executive Order  13112. Executive Order 13112 requires federal agencies, to the extent practicable and permitted by law, to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species, and to not fund, authorize or carry out actions that the federal agency believes are likely to cause or promote introduction or spread of invasive species in the U.S. or elsewhere (unless the agency has determined the benefits of the introduction clearly outweigh the costs and feasible measures to minimize risk of harm will be taken).  Federal agencies are required to carry out their duties in preventing invasive species in consultation with an Invasive Species Council, consistent with a Management Plan spelled out in Section 5, in cooperation with stakeholders, and when working with international organizations and foreign nations (as approved by the State Department). (Section 2)

Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer:  The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was designed to reduce the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances in order to reduce their abundance in the atmosphere, and thereby protect Earth'sthe earth’s fragile ozone Layer. The original Montreal Protocol was agreed on 16 September 1987 and entered into force on 1 January 1989.  The Montreal Protocol includes a unique adjustment provision that enables the Parties to the Protocol to respond quickly to new scientific information and agree to accelerate the reductions required on chemicals already covered by the Protocol. These adjustments are then automatically applicable to all countries that ratified the Protocol. Since its initial adoption, the Montreal Protocol has been adjusted five times. (http://ozone.unep.org/new_site/en/montreal_protocol.php)

NARA Records and Guidelines: Provide long-term preservation of the Nation’s climate Record. Provide NOAA customers access to Climate Data and Information (timely, easy, and convenient) related to the state and changing state of the climate system in a variety of formats

OMB Circular A-16.     The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-16, “Coordination of Geographic Information and  Related Spatial Data Activities,” provides for improvements in the coordination and use of spatial data, and describes effective and economical use and management of spatial data assets in the digital environment for  the benefit of the Federal Government and the Nation. This Supplemental Guidance document further defines and clarifies selected elements of OMB Circular A-16 to facilitate the adoption and implementation of a coordinated and effective Federal geospatial asset management capability that will improve support of mission-critical business requirements of the Federal Government and its stakeholders.

Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes, Executive Order 13547 .This order adopts the recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, except where otherwise provided in this order, and directs executive agencies to implement those recommendations under the guidance of a National Ocean Council. Based on those recommendations, this order establishes a national policy to ensure the protection, maintenance, and restoration of the health of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources, enhance the sustainability of ocean and coastal economies, preserve our maritime heritage, support sustainable uses and access, provide for adaptive management to enhance our understanding of and capacity to respond to climate change and ocean acidification, and coordinate with our national security and foreign policy interests.

U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change:  The Convention on Climate Change sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.  It recognizes that the climate system is a shared resource whose stability can be affected by industrial and other emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.