Fracking Requires Consent of Fed. Govt.: 43 USC 1340

Fracking Requires Consent of Fed Govt: 43 USC 1340

43 USC 1340

NB: This unofficial compilation of the U.S. Code is current as of Jan. 5, 2009 (see

– 1 –




§ 1340. Geological and geophysical explorations

(a) Approved exploration plans



Any agency of the United States and any person authorized by the Secretary may conduct

geological and geophysical explorations in the outer Continental Shelf, which do not interfere with


or endanger actual operations under any lease maintained or granted pursuant to this subchapter,


and which are not unduly harmful to aquatic life in such area.




The provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to any person conducting

explorations pursuant to an approved exploration plan on any area under lease to such person


pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter.


(b) Oil and gas exploration

Except as provided in subsection (f) of this section, beginning ninety days after September 18, 1978,

no exploration pursuant to any oil and gas lease issued or maintained under this subchapter may be

undertaken by the holder of such lease, except in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(c) Plan approval; State concurrence; plan provisions



Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, prior to commencing exploration pursuant to

any oil and gas lease issued or maintained under this subchapter, the holder thereof shall submit


an exploration plan to the Secretary for approval. Such plan may apply to more than one lease


held by a lessee in any one region of the outer Continental Shelf, or by a group of lessees acting


under a unitization, pooling, or drilling agreement, and shall be approved by the Secretary if he


finds that such plan is consistent with the provisions of this subchapter, regulations prescribed


under this subchapter, including regulations prescribed by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph


(8) of section 1334 (a) of this title, and the provisions of such lease. The Secretary shall require


such modifications of such plan as are necessary to achieve such consistency. The Secretary shall


approve such plan, as submitted or modified, within thirty days of its submission, except that the


Secretary shall disapprove such plan if he determines that




any proposed activity under such plan would result in any condition described in section

1334 (a)(2)(A)(i) of this title, and




such proposed activity cannot be modified to avoid such condition. If the Secretary

disapproves a plan under the preceding sentence, he may, subject to section 1334 (a)(2)(B) of


this title, cancel such lease and the lessee shall be entitled to compensation in accordance with


the regulations prescribed under section 1334 (a)(2)(C)(i) or (ii) of this title.




The Secretary shall not grant any license or permit for any activity described in detail in an

exploration plan and affecting any land use or water use in the coastal zone of a State with a coastal


zone management program approved pursuant to section 1455 of title 16, unless the State concurs


or is conclusively presumed to concur with the consistency certification accompanying such plan


pursuant to section 1456 (c)(3)(B)(i) or (ii) of title 16, or the Secretary of Commerce makes the


finding authorized by section 1456 (c)(3)(B)(iii) of title 16.




An exploration plan submitted under this subsection shall include, in the degree of detail which

the Secretary may by regulation require—




a schedule of anticipated exploration activities to be understaken;




a description of equipment to be used for such activities;



the general location of each well to be drilled; and



such other information deemed pertinent by the Secretary.

43 USC 1340

NB: This unofficial compilation of the U.S. Code is current as of Jan. 5, 2009 (see

– 2 –



The Secretary may, by regulation, require that such plan be accompanied by a general

statement of development and production intentions which shall be for planning purposes only and


which shall not be binding on any party.


(d) Drilling permit

The Secretary may, by regulation, require any lessee operating under an approved exploration plan to

obtain a permit prior to drilling any well in accordance with such plan.

(e) Plan revisions; conduct of exploration activities



If a significant revision of an exploration plan approved under this subsection is submitted

to the Secretary, the process to be used for the approval of such revision shall be the same as set


forth in subsection (c) of this section.




All exploration activities pursuant to any lease shall be conducted in accordance with an

approved exploration plan or an approved revision of such plan.


(f) Drilling permits issued and exploration plans approved within 90-day period after September

18, 1978



Exploration activities pursuant to any lease for which a drilling permit has been issued or for

which an exploration plan has been approved, prior to ninety days after September 18, 1978, shall


be considered in compliance with this section, except that the Secretary may, in accordance with


section 1334 (a)(1)(B) of this title, order a suspension or temporary prohibition of any exploration


activities and require a revised exploration plan.




The Secretary may require the holder of a lease described in paragraph (1) of this subsection

to supply a general statement in accordance with subsection (c)(4) of this section, or to submit


other information.




Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to amend the terms of any permit or plan to

which this subsection applies.


(g) Determinations requisite to issuance of permits

Any permit for geological explorations authorized by this section shall be issued only if the Secretary

determines, in accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary, that—



the applicant for such permit is qualified;



the exploration will not interfere with or endanger operations under any lease issued or

maintained pursuant to this subchapter; and




such exploration will not be unduly harmful to aquatic life in the area, result in pollution,

create hazardous or unsafe conditions, unreasonably interfere with other uses of the area, or disturb


any site, structure, or object of historical or archeological significance.


(h) Lands beneath navigable waters adjacent to Phillip Burton Wilderness

The Secretary shall not issue a lease or permit for, or otherwise allow, exploration, development, or

production activities within fifteen miles of the boundaries of the Phillip Burton Wilderness as depicted

on a map entitled “Wilderness Plan, Point Reyes National Seashore”, numbered 612–90,000–B and

dated September 1976, unless the State of California issues a lease or permit for, or otherwise allows,

exploration, development, or production activities on lands beneath navigable waters (as such term is

defined in section 1301 of this title) of such State which are adjacent to such Wilderness.


1 So in original. Probably should be “undertaken;”.

(Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345, § 11, 67 Stat. 469; Pub. L. 95–372, title II, § 206, Sept. 18, 1978, 92 Stat. 647;

Pub. L. 99–68, § 1(c), July 19, 1985, 99 Stat. 166.)

43 USC 1340

NB: This unofficial compilation of the U.S. Code is current as of Jan. 5, 2009 (see

– 3 –


1978—Pub. L. 95–372 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a)(1) and added subsecs. (a)(2) to (h).

Change of Name

“Phillip Burton Wilderness” was substituted for “Point Reyes Wilderness” in subsec. (h), pursuant to section 1(c) of

Pub. L. 99–68.

Transfer of Functions

Functions of Secretary of the Interior to promulgate regulations under this subchapter which relate to fostering of

competition for Federal leases, implementation of alternative bidding systems authorized for award of Federal leases,

establishment of diligence requirements for operations conducted on Federal leases, setting of rates for production of

Federal leases, and specifying of procedures, terms, and conditions for acquisition and disposition of Federal royalty

interests taken in kind, transferred to Secretary of Energy by section 7152 (b) of Title 42, The Public Health and

Welfare. Section 7152 (b) of Title 42 was repealed by Pub. L. 97–100, title II, § 201, Dec. 23, 1981, 95 Stat. 1407,

and functions of Secretary of Energy returned to Secretary of the Interior. See House Report No. 97–315, pp. 25, 26,

Nov. 5, 1981.


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