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United States
Public Law 106-256 106th Congress Oceans Act of 2000

[DOCID: f:publ256.106]

[[Page 114 STAT. 644]]

Public Law 106-256
106th Congress

An Act

To establish a Commission on Ocean Policy, and for other
purposes. <>

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress <2000. Environmental protection. Fish and fishing. Inter-
governmental relations.>> assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ``Oceans Act of 2000''.


The purpose of this Act is to establish a commission to make
recommendations for coordinated and comprehensive national ocean policy
that will promote--
(1) the protection of life and property against natural and
manmade hazards;
(2) responsible stewardship, including use, of fishery
resources and other ocean and coastal resources;
(3) the protection of the marine environment and prevention
of marine pollution;
(4) the enhancement of marine-related commerce and
transportation, the resolution of conflicts among users of the
marine environment, and the engagement of the private sector in
innovative approaches for sustainable use of living marine
resources and responsible use of non-living marine resources;
(5) the expansion of human knowledge of the marine
environment including the role of the oceans in climate and
global environmental change and the advancement of education and
training in fields related to ocean and coastal activities;
(6) the continued investment in and development and
improvement of the capabilities, performance, use, and
efficiency of technologies for use in ocean and coastal
activities, including investments and technologies designed to
promote national energy and food security;
(7) close cooperation among all government agencies and
departments and the private sector to ensure--
(A) coherent and consistent regulation and
management of ocean and coastal activities;
(B) availability and appropriate allocation of
Federal funding, personnel, facilities, and equipment
for such activities;
(C) cost-effective and efficient operation of
Federal departments, agencies, and programs involved in
ocean and coastal activities; and
(D) enhancement of partnerships with State and local
governments with respect to ocean and coastal
activities, including the management of ocean and
coastal resources

[[Page 114 STAT. 645]]

and identification of appropriate opportunities for
policy-making and decision-making at the State and local
level; and
(8) the preservation of the role of the United States as a
leader in ocean and coastal activities, and, when it is in the
national interest, the cooperation by the United States with
other nations and international organizations in ocean and
coastal activities.


(a) Establishment.--There is hereby established the Commission on
Ocean Policy. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), except
for sections 3, 7, and 12, does not apply to the Commission.
(b) Membership.--
(1) Appointment.--The <> Commission shall
be composed of 16 members appointed by the President from among
individuals described in paragraph (2) who are knowledgeable in
ocean and coastal activities, including individuals representing
State and local governments, ocean-related industries, academic
and technical institutions, and public interest organizations
involved with scientific, regulatory, economic, and
environmental ocean and coastal activities. The membership of
the Commission shall be balanced by area of expertise and
balanced geographically to the extent consistent with
maintaining the highest level of expertise on the Commission.
(2) Nominations.--
The <> President shall
appoint the members of the Commission, within 90 days after the
effective date of this Act, including individuals nominated as
(A) 4 members shall be appointed from a list of 8
individuals who shall be nominated by the Majority
Leader of the Senate in consultation with the Chairman
of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and
(B) 4 members shall be appointed from a list of 8
individuals who shall be nominated by the Speaker of the
House of Representatives in consultation with the
Chairmen of the House Committees on Resources,
Transportation and Infrastructure, and Science.
(C) 2 members shall be appointed from a list of 4
individuals who shall be nominated by the Minority
Leader of the Senate in consultation with the Ranking
Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and
(D) 2 members shall be appointed from a list of 4
individuals who shall be nominated by the Minority
Leader of the House in consultation with the Ranking
Members of the House Committees on Resources,
Transportation and Infrastructure, and Science.
(3) Chairman.--The Commission shall select a Chairman from
among its members. The Chairman of the Commission shall be
responsible for--
(A) the assignment of duties and responsibilities
among staff personnel and their continuing supervision;
(B) the use and expenditure of funds available to
the Commission.

[[Page 114 STAT. 646]]

(4) Vacancies.--Any vacancy on the Commission shall be
filled in the same manner as the original incumbent was

(c) Resources.--In carrying out its functions under this section,
the Commission--
(1) is authorized to secure directly from any Federal agency
or department any information it deems necessary to carry out
its functions under this Act, and each such agency or department
is authorized to cooperate with the Commission and, to the
extent permitted by law, to furnish such information (other than
information described in section 552(b)(1)(A) of title 5, United
States Code) to the Commission, upon the request of the
(2) may enter into contracts, subject to the availability of
appropriations for contracting, and employ such staff experts
and consultants as may be necessary to carry out the duties of
the Commission, as provided by section 3109 of title 5, United
States Code; and
(3) <> in consultation with the Ocean
Studies Board of the National Research Council of the National
Academy of Sciences, shall establish a multidisciplinary science
advisory panel of experts in the sciences of living and non-
living marine resources to assist the Commission in preparing
its report, including ensuring that the scientific information
considered by the Commission is based on the best scientific
information available.

(d) Staffing.--The Chairman of the Commission may, without regard to
the civil service laws and regulations, appoint and terminate an
Executive Director and such other additional personnel as may be
necessary for the Commission to perform its duties. The Executive
Director shall be compensated at a rate not to exceed the rate payable
for Level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5136 of title 5,
United States Code. The employment and termination of an Executive
Director shall be subject to confirmation by a majority of the members
of the Commission.
(e) Meetings.--
(1) Administration.--All < information.>> meetings of the Commission shall be open to the
public, except that a meeting or any portion of it may be closed
to the public if it concerns matters or information described in
section 552b(c) of title 5, United States Code. Interested
persons shall be permitted to appear at open meetings and
present oral or written statements on the subject matter of the
meeting. The Commission may administer oaths or affirmations to
any person appearing before it:
(A) <> All
open meetings of the Commission shall be preceded by
timely public notice in the Federal Register of the
time, place, and subject of the meeting.
(B) <> Minutes of each meeting shall
be kept and shall contain a record of the people
present, a description of the discussion that occurred,
and copies of all statements filed. Subject to section
552 of title 5, United States Code, the minutes and
records of all meetings and other documents that were
made available to or prepared for the Commission shall
be available for public inspection and copying at a
single location in the offices of the Commission.

[[Page 114 STAT. 647]]

(2) Initial meeting.--The <> Commission
shall hold its first meeting within 30 days after all 16 members
have been appointed.
(3) Required public meetings.--
The <> Commission shall hold at least one public
meeting in Alaska and each of the following regions of the
United States:
(A) The Northeast (including the Great Lakes).
(B) The Southeast (including the Caribbean).
(C) The Southwest (including Hawaii and the Pacific
(D) The Northwest.
(E) The Gulf of Mexico.

(f) Report.--
(1) In general.--Within <> 18 months after
the establishment of the Commission, the Commission shall submit
to Congress and the President a final report of its findings and
recommendations regarding United States ocean policy.
(2) Required matter.--The final report of the Commission
shall include the following assessment, reviews, and
(A) An assessment of existing and planned facilities
associated with ocean and coastal activities including
human resources, vessels, computers, satellites, and
other appropriate platforms and technologies.
(B) A review of existing and planned ocean and
coastal activities of Federal entities, recommendations
for changes in such activities necessary to improve
efficiency and effectiveness and to reduce duplication
of Federal efforts.
(C) A review of the cumulative effect of Federal
laws and regulations on United States ocean and coastal
activities and resources and an examination of those
laws and regulations for inconsistencies and
contradictions that might adversely affect those ocean
and coastal activities and resources, and
recommendations for resolving such inconsistencies to
the extent practicable. Such review shall also consider
conflicts with State ocean and coastal management
(D) A review of the known and anticipated supply of,
and demand for, ocean and coastal resources of the
United States.
(E) A review of and recommendations concerning the
relationship between Federal, State, and local
governments and the private sector in planning and
carrying out ocean and coastal activities.
(F) A review of opportunities for the development of
or investment in new products, technologies, or markets
related to ocean and coastal activities.
(G) A review of previous and ongoing State and
Federal efforts to enhance the effectiveness and
integration of ocean and coastal activities.
(H) Recommendations for any modifications to United
States laws, regulations, and the administrative
structure of Executive agencies, necessary to improve
the understanding, management, conservation, and use of,
and access to, ocean and coastal resources.
(I) A review of the effectiveness and adequacy of
existing Federal interagency ocean policy coordination

[[Page 114 STAT. 648]]

mechanisms, and recommendations for changing or
improving the effectiveness of such mechanisms necessary
to respond to or implement the recommendations of the
(3) Consideration of factors.--In making its assessment and
reviews and developing its recommendations, the Commission shall
give equal consideration to environmental, technical
feasibility, economic, and scientific factors.
(4) Limitations.--The recommendations of the Commission
shall not be specific to the lands and waters within a single

(g) Public and Coastal State Review.--
(1) Notice.--Before submitting the final report to the
Congress, the Commission shall--
(A) <> publish
in the Federal Register a notice that a draft report is
available for public review; and
(B) provide a copy of the draft report to the
Governor of each coastal State, the Committees on
Resources, Transportation and Infrastructure, and
Science of the House of Representatives, and the
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of
the Senate.
(2) Inclusion of governors' comments.--The Commission shall
include in the final report comments received from the Governor
of a coastal State regarding recommendations in the draft

(h) Administrative Procedure for Report and Review.--Chapter 5 and
chapter 7 of title 5, United States Code, do not apply to the
preparation, review, or submission of the report required by subsection
(e) or the review of that report under subsection (f).
(i) Termination.--The Commission shall cease to exist 30 days after
the date on which it submits its final report.
(j) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be
appropriated to carry out this section a total of $6,000,000 for the 3
fiscal-year period beginning with fiscal year 2001, such sums to remain
available until expended.


(a) National <> Ocean Policy.--Within 120 days
after receiving and considering the report and recommendations of the
Commission under section 3, the President shall submit to Congress a
statement of proposals to implement or respond to the Commission's
recommendations for a coordinated, comprehensive, and long-range
national policy for the responsible use and stewardship of ocean and
coastal resources for the benefit of the United States. Nothing in this
Act authorizes the President to take any administrative or regulatory
action regarding ocean or coastal policy, or to implement a
reorganization plan, not otherwise authorized by law in effect at the
time of such action.

(b) Cooperation and Consultation.--In the process of developing
proposals for submission under subsection (a), the President shall
consult with State and local governments and non-Federal organizations
and individuals involved in ocean and coastal activities.


Beginning <note.>> in September, 2001, the President shall transmit to the Congress
biennially a report that includes a detailed listing

[[Page 114 STAT. 649]]

of all existing Federal programs related to ocean and coastal
activities, including a description of each program, the current funding
for the program, linkages to other Federal programs, and a projection of
the funding level for the program for each of the next 5 fiscal years
beginning after the report is submitted.


In this Act:
(1) Marine environment.--The term ``marine environment''
(A) the oceans, including coastal and offshore
(B) the continental shelf; and
(C) the Great Lakes.
(2) Ocean and coastal resource.--The term ``ocean and
coastal resource'' means any living or non-living natural,
historic, or cultural resource found in the marine environment.
(3) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the
Commission on Ocean Policy established by section 3.


This Act shall become effective on January 20, 2001.

Approved August 7, 2000.


SENATE REPORTS: No. 106-301 (Comm. on Commerce, Science, and
June 26, considered and passed Senate.
July 25, considered and passed House.
Aug. 7, Presidential remarks and statement.