29.210 How can the public learn about oil and gas activities on refuge lands§ 29.210 How can the public learn about oil and gas activities on refuge lands?
(a) Interested parties may view publicly available documents at the refuge's office during normal business hours or by other means prescribed by the refuge. The availability for public inspection of information about the nature, location, character, or ownership of refuge resources will conform to all applicable laws and implementing regulations, standards, and guidelines.
(b) The refuge will make available for public inspection any documents that an operator submits to the Service under this subpart except those that the operator has identified as proprietary or confidential.
(c) For the information required in § 29.121(f), the operator and the owner of the information will be deemed to have waived any right to protect from public disclosure information submitted through FracFocus or another Service-designated database.
(d) For information required under this subpart that the owner of the information claims to be exempt from public disclosure and is withheld from the Service, a corporate officer, managing partner, or sole proprietor of the operator must sign and the operator must submit to the authorized officer an affidavit that:
(1) Identifies the owner of the withheld information and provides the name, address, and contact information for a corporate officer, managing partner, or sole proprietor of the owner of the information;
(2) Identifies the Federal statute or regulation that would prohibit the Service from publicly disclosing the information if it were in the Service's possession;
(3) Affirms that the operator has been provided the withheld information from the owner of the information and is maintaining records of the withheld information, or that the operator has access and will maintain access to the withheld information held by the owner of the information;
(4) Affirms that the information is not publicly available;
(5) Affirms that the information is not required to be publicly disclosed under any applicable local, State, tribal, or Federal law;
(6) Affirms that the owner of the information is in actual competition and identifies competitors or others that could use the withheld information to cause the owner of the information substantial competitive harm;
(7) Affirms that the release of the information would likely cause substantial competitive harm to the owner of the information and provides the factual basis for that affirmation; and
(8) Affirms that the information is not readily apparent through reverse engineering with publicly available information.
(e) If the operator relies upon information from third parties, such as the owner of the withheld information, to make the affirmations in paragraphs (d)(6) through (d)(8) of this section, the operator must provide a written affidavit from the third party that sets forth the relied-upon information.
(f) The Service may require any operator to submit to the Service any withheld information, and any information relevant to a claim that withheld information is exempt from public disclosure.
(g) If the Service determines that the information submitted under paragraphs (d) or (e) of this section is not exempt from disclosure, the Service will make the information available to the public after providing the operator and owner of the information with no fewer than 10 business days' notice of the Service's determination.
(h) The operator must maintain records of the withheld information until the later of the Service's release of the operator's financial assurance or 7 years after completion of operations on refuge lands. Any subsequent operator will be responsible for maintaining access to records required by this paragraph during its operation of the well. The operator will be deemed to be maintaining the records if it can promptly provide the complete and accurate information to the Service, even if the information is in the custody of its owner.
(i) If any of the chemical identity information required in this subpart is withheld, the operator must provide the generic chemical name in the submission required. The generic chemical name must be only as nonspecific as is necessary to protect the confidential chemical identity, and should be the same as or no less descriptive than the generic chemical name provided to the Environmental Protection Agency.