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Title 40 Part 8

Title 40 → Chapter I → Subchapter A → Part 8

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 40 Part 8

e-CFR data is current as of August 15, 2018

Title 40Chapter ISubchapter A → Part 8


Title 40: Protection of Environment


§8.1   Purpose.

(a) This part is issued pursuant to the Antarctic Science, Tourism, and Conservation Act of 1996. As provided in that Act, this part implements the requirements of Article 8 and Annex I to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and provides for:

(1) The environmental impact assessment of nongovernmental activities, including tourism, for which the United States is required to give advance notice under paragraph 5 of Article VII of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959; and

(2) Coordination of the review of information regarding environmental impact assessment received by the United States from other Parties under the Protocol.

(b) The procedures in this part are designed to: ensure that nongovernmental operators identify and assess the potential impacts of their proposed activities, including tourism, on the Antarctic environment; that operators consider these impacts in deciding whether or how to proceed with proposed activities; and that operators provide environmental documentation pursuant to the Act and Annex I of the Protocol. These procedures are consistent with and implement the environmental impact assessment provisions of Article 8 and Annex I to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.

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§8.2   Applicability and effect.

(a) This part is intended to ensure that potential environmental effects of nongovernmental activities undertaken in Antarctica are appropriately identified and considered by the operator during the planning process and that to the extent practicable, appropriate environmental safeguards which would mitigate or prevent adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment are identified by the operator.

(b) The requirements set forth in this part apply to nongovernmental activities for which the United States is required to give advance notice under paragraph 5 of Article VII of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959: All nongovernmental expeditions to and within Antarctica organized in or proceeding from its territory.

(c) This part does not apply to activities undertaken in the Antarctic Treaty area that are governed by the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources or the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals. Persons traveling to Antarctica are subject to the requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, 16 U.S.C. 1371 et seq.

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§8.3   Definitions.

As used in this part:

Act means 16 U.S.C. 2401 et seq., Public Law 104-227, the Antarctic Science, Tourism, and Conservation Act of 1996.

Annex I refers to Annex I, Environmental Impact Assessment, of the Protocol.

Antarctic environment means the natural and physical environment of Antarctica and its dependent and associated ecosystems, but excludes social, economic, and other environments.

Antarctic Treaty area means the area south of 60 degrees south latitude.

Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) means a meeting of the Parties to the Antarctic Treaty, held pursuant to Article IX(1) of the Treaty.

Antarctica means the Antarctic Treaty area; i.e., the area south of 60 degrees south latitude.

Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation (CEE) means a study of the reasonably foreseeable potential effects of a proposed activity on the Antarctic environment, prepared in accordance with the provisions of this part and includes all comments received thereon. (See: §8.8.)

Environmental document or environmental documentation (Document) means a preliminary environmental review memorandum, an initial environmental evaluation, or a comprehensive environmental evaluation.

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) means the environmental review process required by the provisions of this part and by Annex I of the Protocol, and includes preparation by the operator and U.S. government review of an environmental document, and public access to and circulation of environmental documents to other Parties and the Committee on Environmental Protection as required by Annex I of the Protocol.

EPA means the Environmental Protection Agency.

Expedition means any activity undertaken by one or more nongovernmental persons organized within or proceeding from the United States to or within the Antarctic Treaty area for which advance notification is required under Paragraph 5 of Article VII of the Treaty.

Impact means impact on the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystems.

Initial Environmental Evaluation (IEE) means a study of the reasonably foreseeable potential effects of a proposed activity on the Antarctic environment prepared in accordance with §8.7.

More than a minor or transitory impact has the same meaning as the term “significantly” as defined in regulations under the National Environmental Policy Act at 40 CFR 1508.27.

Operator or operators means any person or persons organizing a nongovernmental expedition to or within Antarctica.

Person has the meaning given that term in section 1 of title 1, United States code, and includes any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States except that the term does not include any department, agency, or other instrumentality of the Federal Government.

Preliminary environmental review means the environmental review described under that term in §8.6.

Preliminary Environmental Review Memorandum (PERM) means the documentation supporting the conclusion of the preliminary environmental review that the impact of a proposed activity will be less than minor or transitory on the Antarctic environment.

Protocol means the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, done at Madrid October 4, 1991, and all annexes thereto which are in force for the United States.

This part means 40 CFR part 8.

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§8.4   Preparation of environmental documents, generally.

(a) Basic information requirements. In addition to the information required pursuant to other sections of this part, all environmental documents shall contain the following:

(1) The name, mailing address, and phone number of the operator;

(2) The anticipated date(s) of departure of each expedition to Antarctica;

(3) An estimate of the number of persons in each expedition;

(4) The means of conveyance of expedition(s) to and within Antarctica;

(5) Estimated length of stay of each expedition in Antarctica;

(6) Information on proposed landing sites in Antarctica; and

(7) Information concerning training of staff, supervision of expedition members, and what other measures, if any, that will be taken to avoid or minimize possible environmental impacts.

(b) Preparation of an environmental document. Unless an operator determines and documents that a proposed activity will have less than a minor or transitory impact on the Antarctic environment, the operator will prepare an IEE or CEE in accordance with this part. In making the determination what level of environmental documentation is appropriate, the operator should consider, as applicable, whether and to what degree the proposed activity:

(1) Has the potential to adversely affect the Antarctic environment;

(2) May adversely affect climate or weather patterns;

(3) May adversely affect air or water quality;

(4) May affect atmospheric, terrestrial (including aquatic), glacial, or marine environments;

(5) May detrimentally affect the distribution, abundance, or productivity of species, or populations of species of fauna and flora;

(6) May further jeopardize endangered or threatened species or populations of such species;

(7) May degrade, or pose substantial risk to, areas of biological, scientific, historic, aesthetic, or wilderness significance;

(8) Has highly uncertain environmental effects, or involves unique or unknown environmental risks; or

(9) Together with other activities, the effects of any one of which is individually insignificant, may have at least minor or transitory cumulative environmental effects.

(c) Type of environmental document. The type of environmental document required under this part depends upon the nature and intensity of the environmental impacts that could result from the activity under consideration. A PERM must be prepared by the operator to document the conclusion of the operator's preliminary environmental review that the impact of a proposed activity on the Antarctic environment will be less than minor or transitory. (See §8.6.) An IEE must be prepared by the operator for proposed activities which may have at least (but no more than) a minor or transitory impact on the Antarctic environment. (See §8.7.) A CEE must be prepared by the operator if an IEE indicates, or if it is otherwise determined, that a proposed activity is likely to have more than a minor or transitory impact on the Antarctic environment (See §8.8.)

(d) Incorporation of information, consolidation of environmental documentation, and multi-year environmental documentation. (1) An operator may incorporate material into an environmental document by referring to it in the document when the effect will be to reduce paperwork without impeding the review of the environmental document by EPA and other federal agencies. The incorporated material shall be cited and its content briefly described. No material may be incorporated by referring to it in the document unless it is reasonably available to the EPA.

(2) Provided that environmental documentation complies with all applicable provisions of Annex I to the Protocol and this part and is appropriate in light of the specific circumstances of the operator's proposed expedition or expeditions, an operator may include more than one proposed expedition within one environmental document and one environmental document may also be used to address expeditions being carried out by more than one operator provided that the environmental document indicates the names of each operator for which the environmental documentation is being submitted pursuant to obligations under this part.

(e) Multi-year environmental documentation. (1) Provided that environmental documentation complies with all applicable provisions of Annex I to the Protocol and this part, an operator may submit environmental documentation for proposed expeditions for a period of up to five consecutive austral summer seasons, provided that the conditions described in the multi-year environmental document, including the assessment of cumulative impacts, are unchanged and meets the provisions of paragraphs (e)(1) (i) through (iii) of this section.

(i) The operator shall identify the environmental documentation submitted for multi-year documentation purposes in the first year it is submitted. If the operator, or operators, fail to make this initial identification to EPA, this provision shall not be in effect although subsequent years' submissions by the operator, or operators, may use this environmental documentation as provided in paragraphs (d) (1) and (2) of this section.

(ii) In subsequent years, up to a total maximum of five years, the operator, or operators, shall reference the multi-year documentation identified initially if it is necessary to update the basic information requirements listed in paragraph (a) of this section.

(iii) An operator, or operators, may supplement a multi-year environmental document for an additional activity or activities by providing information regarding the proposed activity in accordance with the appropriate provisions of this part. The operator, or operators, shall identify this submission as a proposed supplement to the multi-year documentation in effect. Addition of the supplemental information shall not extend the period of the multi-year environmental documentation beyond the time period associated with the documentation as originally submitted.

(2) Multi-year environmental documentation may include more than one proposed expedition within the environmental document and the multi-year environmental document may also be used to address expeditions being carried out by more than one operator provided that the environmental document indicates the names of each operator for which the environmental documentation is being submitted pursuant to obligations under this part.

(3) The schedules for multi-year environmental documentation depend on the level of the environmental document and shall be the same as the schedules for comparable environmental documentation submitted on an annual basis; e.g., a multi-year PERM shall comply with the schedule in §8.6, a multi-year IEE shall comply with the schedule in §8.7, and a multi-year CEE shall comply with the schedule in §8.8. These schedules apply to the operator's submission of the initial multi-year environmental document; the operator's subsequent annual submissions pursuant to paragraphs (e)(1) (ii) and (iii) of this section; EPA's review, in consultation with other interested federal agencies, and comment on the multi-year environmental documentation and subsequent annual submissions; and a finding the EPA may make, with the concurrence of the National Science Foundation, that the environmental documentation submitted does not meet the requirements of Article 8 and Annex I of the Protocol and the provisions of this part.

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§8.5   Submission of environmental documents.

(a) An operator shall submit environmental documentation to the EPA for review. The EPA, in consultation with other interested federal agencies, will carry out a review to determine if the submitted environmental documentation meets the requirements of Article 8 and Annex I of the Protocol and the provisions of this part. The EPA will provide its comments, if any, on the environmental documentation to the operator and will consult with the operator regarding any suggested revisions. If EPA has no comments, or if the documentation is satisfactorily revised in response to EPA's comments, and the operator does not receive a notice from EPA that the environmental documentation does not meet the requirements of Article 8 and Annex I of the Protocol and the provisions of this part, the operator will have no further obligations pursuant to the applicable requirements of this part provided that any appropriate measures, which may include monitoring, are put in place to assess and verify the impact of the activity. Alternatively, following final response from the operator, the EPA, in consultation with other federal agencies and with the concurrence of the National Science Foundation, will inform the operator that EPA finds that the environmental documentation does not meet the requirements of Article 8 and Annex I of the Protocol and the provisions of this part. If the operator then proceeds with the expedition without fulfilling the requirements of this part, the operator is subject to enforcement proceedings pursuant to sections 7, 8, and 9 of the Antarctic Conservation Act, as amended by the Act; 16 U.S.C. 2407, 2408, 2409, and 45 CFR part 672.

(b) The EPA may waive or modify deadlines pursuant to this part where EPA determines an operator is acting in good faith and that circumstances outside the control of the operator created delays, provided that the environmental documentation fully meets deadlines under the Protocol.

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§8.6   Preliminary environmental review.

(a) Unless an operator has determined to prepare an IEE or CEE, the operator shall conduct a preliminary environmental review that assesses the potential direct and reasonably foreseeable indirect impacts on the Antarctic environment of the proposed expedition. A Preliminary Environmental Review Memorandum (PERM) shall contain sufficient detail to assess whether the proposed activity may have less than a minor or transitory impact, and shall be submitted to the EPA for review no less than 180 days before the proposed departure of the expedition. The EPA, in consultation with other interested federal agencies, will review the PERM to determine if it is sufficient to demonstrate that the activity will have less than a minor or transitory impact or whether additional environmental documentation, i.e., an IEE or CEE, is required to meet the obligations of Article 8 and Annex I of the Protocol. The EPA will provide its comments to the operator within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the PERM, and the operator shall have seventy-five (75) days to prepare a revised PERM or an IEE, if necessary. Following the final response from the operator, EPA may make a finding that the environmental documentation submitted does not meet the requirements of Article 8 and Annex I of the Protocol and the provisions of this part. This finding will be made with the concurrence of the National Science Foundation. If EPA does not provide such notice within thirty (30) days, the operator will be deemed to have met the requirements of this part provided that any required procedures, which may include appropriate monitoring, are put in place to assess and verify the impact of the activity.

(b) If EPA recommends an IEE and one is prepared and submitted within the seventy-five (75) day response period, it will be reviewed under the time frames set out for an IEE in §8.7. If EPA recommends a CEE and one is prepared, it will be reviewed under the time frames set out for a CEE in §8.8.

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§8.7   Initial environmental evaluation.

(a) Submission of IEE to the EPA. Unless a PERM has been submitted pursuant to §8.6 which meets the environmental documentation requirements under Article 8 and Annex I to the Protocol and the provisions of this part or a CEE is being prepared, an IEE shall be submitted by the operator to the EPA no fewer than ninety (90) days before the proposed departure of the expedition.

(b) Contents. An IEE shall contain sufficient detail to assess whether a proposed activity may have more than a minor or transitory impact on the Antarctic environment and shall include the following information:

(1) A description of the proposed activity, including its purpose, location, duration, and intensity; and

(2) Consideration of alternatives to the proposed activity and any impacts that the proposed activity may have on the Antarctic environment, including consideration of cumulative impacts in light of existing and known proposed activities.

(c) Further environmental review. (1) The EPA, in consultation with other interested federal agencies, will review an IEE to determine whether the IEE meets the requirements under Annex I to the Protocol and the provisions of this part. The EPA will provide its comments to the operator within thirty (30) days of receipt of the IEE, and the operator will have forty-five (45) days to prepare a revised IEE, if necessary. Following the final response from the operator, EPA may make a finding that the documentation submitted does not meet the requirements of Article 8 and Annex I of the Protocol and the provisions of this part. This finding will be made with the concurrence of the National Science Foundation. If such a notice is required, EPA will provide it within fifteen (15) days of receiving the final IEE from the operator or, if the operator does not provide a final IEE, within sixty (60) days following EPA's comments on the original IEE. If EPA does not provide notice within these time limits, the operator will be deemed to have met the requirements of this part provided that any required procedures, which may include appropriate monitoring, are put in place to assess and verify the impact of the activity.

(2) If a CEE is required, the operator must adhere to the time limits applicable to such documentation. (See: §8.8.) In this event EPA, at the operator's request, will consult with the operator regarding possible changes in the proposed activity which would allow preparation of an IEE.

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§8.8   Comprehensive environmental evaluation.

(a) Preparation of a CEE. Unless a PERM or an IEE has been submitted and determined to meet the environmental documentation requirements of this part, the operator shall prepare a CEE. A CEE shall contain sufficient information to enable informed consideration of the reasonably foreseeable potential environmental effects of a proposed activity and possible alternatives to that proposed activity. A CEE shall include the following:

(1) A description of the proposed activity, including its purpose, location, duration and intensity, and possible alternatives to the activity, including the alternative of not proceeding, and the consequences of those alternatives;

(2) A description of the initial environmental reference state with which predicted changes are to be compared and a prediction of the future environmental reference state in the absence of the proposed activity;

(3) A description of the methods and data used to forecast the impacts of the proposed activity;

(4) Estimation of the nature, extent, duration and intensity of the likely direct impacts of the proposed activity;

(5) A consideration of possible indirect or second order impacts from the proposed activity;

(6) A consideration of cumulative impacts of the proposed activity in light of existing activities and other known planned activities;

(7) Identification of measures, including monitoring programs, that could be taken to minimize or mitigate impacts of the proposed activity and to detect unforeseen impacts and that could provide early warning of any adverse effects of the activity as well as to deal promptly and effectively with accidents;

(8) Identification of unavoidable impacts of the proposed activity;

(9) Consideration of the effects of the proposed activity on the conduct of scientific research and on other existing uses and values;

(10) An identification of gaps in knowledge and uncertainties encountered in compiling the information required under this section;

(11) A non-technical summary of the information provided under this section; and

(12) The name and address of the person or organization which prepared the CEE and the address to which comments thereon should be directed.

(b) Submission of Draft CEE to the EPA and Circulation to Other Parties. (1) Any operator who plans a nongovernmental expedition that would require a CEE must submit a draft of the CEE by December 1 of the preceding year. Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the draft CEE, EPA will: send it to the Department of State which will circulate it to all Parties to the Protocol and forward it to the Committee for Environmental Protection established by the Protocol, and publish notice of receipt of the CEE and request for comments on the CEE in the Federal Register, and will provide copies to any person upon request. The EPA will accept public comments on the CEE for a period of ninety (90) days following notice in the Federal Register. The EPA, in consultation with other interested federal agencies, will evaluate the CEE to determine if the CEE meets the requirements under Article 8 and Annex I to the Protocol and the provisions of this part and will transmit its comments to the operator within 120 days following publication in the Federal Register of the notice of availability of the CEE.

(2) The operator shall send a final CEE to EPA at least seventy-five (75) days before commencement of the proposed activity in the Antarctic Treaty area. The CEE must address and must include (or summarize) any comments on the draft CEE received from EPA, the public, and the Parties. Following the final response from the operator, the EPA will inform the operator if EPA, with the concurrence of the National Science Foundation, makes the finding that the environmental documentation submitted does not meet the requirements of Article 8 and Annex I of the Protocol and the provisions of this part. This notification will occur within fifteen (15) days of submittal of the final CEE by the operator if the final CEE is submitted by the operator within the time limits set out in this section. If no final CEE is submitted or the operator fails to meet these time limits, EPA will provide such notification sixty (60) days prior to departure of the expedition. If EPA does not provide such notice, the operator will be deemed to have met the requirements of this part provided that procedures, which include appropriate monitoring, are put in place to assess and verify the impact of the activity. The EPA will transmit the CEE, along with a notice of any decisions by the operator relating thereto, to the Department of State which shall circulate it to all Parties no later than sixty (60) days before commencement of the proposed activity in the Antarctic Treaty area. The EPA will also publish a notice of availability of the final CEE in the Federal Register.

(3) No final decision shall be taken to proceed with any activity for which a CEE is prepared unless there has been an opportunity for consideration of the draft CEE by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting on the advice of the Committee for Environmental Protection, provided that no expedition need be delayed through the operation of paragraph 5 of Article 3 to Annex I of the Protocol for longer than 15 months from the date of circulation of the draft CEE.

(c) Decisions based on CEE. The decision to proceed, based on environmental documentation that meets the requirements under Article 8 and Annex I to the Protocol and the provisions of this part, rests with the operator. Any decision by an operator on whether to proceed with or modify a proposed activity for which a CEE was required shall be based on the CEE and other relevant considerations.

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§8.9   Measures to assess and verify environmental impacts.

(a) The operator shall conduct appropriate monitoring of key environmental indicators as proposed in the CEE to assess and verify the potential environmental impacts of activities which are the subject of a CEE. The operator may also need to carry out monitoring in order to assess and verify the impact of an activity for which an IEE has been prepared.

(b) All proposed activities for which an IEE or CEE has been prepared shall include procedures designed to provide a regular and verifiable record of the impacts of these activities, in order, inter alia, to:

(1) Enable assessments to be made of the extent to which such impacts are consistent with the Protocol; and

(2) Provide information useful for minimizing and mitigating those impacts, and, where appropriate, information on the need for suspension, cancellation, or modification of the activity.

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§8.10   Cases of emergency.

This part shall not apply to activities taken in cases of emergency relating to the safety of human life or of ships, aircraft, equipment and facilities of high value, or the protection of the environment, which require an activity to be undertaken without completion of the procedures set out in this part. Notice of any such activities which would have otherwise required the preparation of a CEE shall be provided within fifteen (15) days to the Department of State, as provided in this paragraph, for circulation to all Parties to the Protocol and to the Committee on Environmental Protection, and a full explanation of the activities carried out shall be provided within forty-five (45) days of those activities. Notification shall be provided to: The Director, The Office of Oceans Affairs, OES/OA, Room 5805, Department of State, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20520-7818.

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§8.11   Prohibited acts, enforcement and penalties.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any operator to violate this part.

(b) An operator who violates any of this part is subject to enforcement, which may include civil and criminal enforcement proceedings, and penalties, pursuant to sections 7,8, and 9 of the Antarctic Conservation Act, as amended by the Act; 16 U.S.C. 2407, 2408, 2409, and 45 CFR part 672.

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§8.12   Coordination of reviews from other Parties.

(a) Upon receipt of a draft CEE from another Party, the Department of State shall publish notice in the Federal Register and shall circulate a copy of the CEE to all interested federal agencies. The Department of State shall coordinate responses from federal agencies to the CEE and shall transmit the coordinated response to the Party which has circulated the CEE. The Department of State shall make a copy of the CEE available upon request to the public.

(b) Upon receipt of the annual list of IEEs from another Party prepared in accordance with Article 2 of Annex I and any decisions taken in consequence thereof, the Department of State shall circulate a copy to all interested federal agencies. The Department of State shall make a copy of the list of IEEs prepared in accordance with Article 2 and any decisions taken in consequence thereof available upon request to the public.

(c) Upon receipt of a description of appropriate national procedures for environmental impact assessments from another Party, the Department of State shall circulate a copy to all interested federal agencies. The Department of State shall make a copy of these descriptions available upon request to the public.

(d) Upon receipt from another Party of significant information obtained, and any action taken in consequence therefrom from procedures put in place with regard to monitoring pursuant to Articles 2(2) and 5 of Annex I to the Protocol, the Department of State shall circulate a copy to all interested federal agencies. The Department of State shall make a copy of this information available upon request to the public.

(e) Upon receipt from another Party of a final CEE, the Department of State shall circulate a copy to all interested federal agencies. The Department of State shall make a copy available upon request to the public.

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