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e-CFR data is current as of January 19, 2021

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter DPart 971Subpart F → §971.601

Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
Subpart F—Environmental Effects

§971.601   Environmental requirements.

Before issuing a permit for the commercial recovery of deep seabed hard mineral resources, the Administrator must find that:

(a) The issuance of a permit cannot reasonably be expected to result in a significant adverse environmental effect, or, if there is insufficient information to make that determination, that no irreparable harm will result during a period when monitoring of commerical recovery is undertaken to gather sufficient information in order to determine the potential for or occurrence of any significant adverse environmental effect. In examining this issue, NOAA will give consideration to the following Ocean Discharge Criteria of the Clean Water Act (40 CFR part 125, subpart M), as they may pertain to discharges and other environmental perturbations related to the commercial recovery operations:

(1) The quantities, composition and potential for bioaccumulation or persistence of the pollutants to be discharged;

(2) The potential transport of such pollutants by biological, physical or chemical processes;

(3) The composition and vulnerability of the biological communities which may be exposed to such pollutants including the presence of unique species or communities of species, the presence of species identified as endangered or threatened pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, or the presence of those species critical to the structure or function of the ecosystem such as those important for the food chain;

(4) The importance of the receiving water area to the surrounding biological community, including the presence of spawning sites, nursery/forage areas, migratory pathways, or areas necessary for other functions or critical stages in the life cycle of an organism;

(5) The existence of special aquatic sites including but not limited to marine sanctuaries and refuges, parks, national and historic monuments, national seashores, wilderness areas and coral reefs;

(6) The potential impacts on human health through direct and indirect pathways;

(7) Existing or potential recreational and commercial fishing, including finfishing and shellfishing;

(8) Any applicable requirements of an approved Coastal Zone Management plan;

(9) Such other factors relating to the effects of the discharge as may be appropriate;

(10) Marine water quality criteria developed pursuant to section 304(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act; and

(b) The applicant has an approved monitoring plan (§971.603) and the resources and other capabilities to implement it.

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