[106th Congress Public Law 256]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[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. <<NOTE: Aug. 7, 2000 -  [S. 2327]>> 

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

SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 33 USC 857-19 note.>> SHORT TITLE.

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

SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 33 USC 857-19 note.>> PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES.

    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 <<NOTE: President.>> 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 <<NOTE: President. Deadline. Congress.>> 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) <<NOTE: Establishment.>> 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 <<NOTE: Public 
        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) <<NOTE: Federal Register, publication.>> 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) <<NOTE: Records.>> 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 <<NOTE: Deadline.>> Commission 
        shall hold its first meeting within 30 days after all 16 members 
        have been appointed.
            (3) Required public meetings.--
        The <<NOTE: Alaska.>> 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 <<NOTE: Deadline.>> 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) <<NOTE: Federal Register, publication.>> 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.

SEC. 4. <<NOTE: President. 33 USC 857-19 note.>> NATIONAL OCEAN POLICY.

    (a) National <<NOTE: Deadline.>> 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: Effective date. President. 33 USC 857-19 and 
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.

SEC. 6. <<NOTE: 33 USC 857-19 note.>> DEFINITIONS.

    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.

SEC. 7. <<NOTE: 33 USC 857-19 note.>> EFFECTIVE DATE.

    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.