United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 28, 2023
In this subchapter:
The term “outer Continental Shelf” means—
all submerged lands lying seaward and outside of the area of lands beneath navigable waters as defined in section 1301 of this title, and of which the subsoil and seabed appertain to the United States and are subject to its jurisdiction and control or within the exclusive economic zone of the United States and adjacent to any territory of the United States; and
does not include any area conveyed by Congress to a territorial government for administration;
The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior, except that with respect to functions under this subchapter transferred to, or vested in, the Secretary of Energy or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by or pursuant to the Department of Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.), the term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Energy, or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as the case may be.
The term “lease” means any form of authorization which is issued under section 1337 of this title or maintained under section 1335 of this title and which authorizes exploration for, and development and production of, minerals.
The term “person” includes, in addition to a natural person, an association, a State, a political subdivision of a State, or a private, public, or municipal corporation.
The term “coastal zone” means the coastal waters (including the lands therein and thereunder) and the adjacent shorelands (including the waters therein and thereunder), strongly influenced by each other and in proximity to the shorelines of the several coastal States, and includes islands, transition and intertidal areas, salt marshes, wetlands, and beaches, which zone extends seaward to the outer limit of the United States territorial sea and extends inland from the shorelines to the extent necessary to control shorelands, the uses of which have a direct and significant impact on the coastal waters, and the inward boundaries of which may be identified by the several coastal States, pursuant to the authority of section 1454(b)(1) 1
of title 16.
1See References in Text note below.
The term “affected State” means, with respect to any program, plan, lease sale, or other activity, proposed, conducted, or approved pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter, any State—
the laws of which are declared, pursuant to section 1333(a)(2) of this title, to be the law of the United States for the portion of the outer Continental Shelf on which such activity is, or is proposed to be, conducted;
which is, or is proposed to be, directly connected by transportation facilities to any artificial island or structure referred to in section 1333(a)(1) of this title;
which is receiving, or in accordnace 2
with the proposed activity will receive, oil for processing, refining, or transshipment which was extracted from the outer Continental Shelf and transported directly to such State by means of vessels or by a combination of means including vessels;
2So in original. Probably should be “accordance”.
which is designated by the Secretary as a State in which there is a substantial probability of significant impact on or damage to the coastal, marine, or human environment, or a State in which there will be significant changes in the social, governmental, or economic infrastructure, resulting from the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas anywhere on the outer Continental Shelf; or
in which the Secretary finds that because of such activity there is, or will be, a significant risk of serious damage, due to factors such as prevailing winds and currents, to the marine or coastal environment in the event of any oilspill, blowout, or release of oil or gas from vessels, pipelines, or other transshipment facilities.
The term “marine environment” means the physical, atmospheric, and biological components, conditions, and factors which interactively determine the productivity, state, condition, and quality of the marine ecosystem, including the waters of the high seas, the contiguous zone, transitional and intertidal areas, salt marshes, and wetlands within the coastal zone and on the outer Continental Shelf.
The term “coastal environment” means the physical atmospheric, and biological components, conditions, and factors which interactively determine the productivity, state, condition, and quality of the terrestrial ecosystem from the shoreline inward to the boundaries of the coastal zone.
The term “human environment” means the physical, social, and economic components, conditions, and factors which interactively determine the state, condition, and quality of living conditions, employment, and health of those affected, directly or indirectly, by activities occurring on the outer Continental Shelf.
The term “Governor” means the Governor of a State, or the person or entity designated by, or pursuant to, State law to exercise the powers granted to such Governor pursuant to this subchapter.
The term “exploration” means the process of searching for minerals, including (1) geophysical surveys where magnetic, gravity, seismic, or other systems are used to detect or imply the presence of such minerals, and (2) any drilling, whether on or off known geological structures, including the drilling of a well in which a discovery of oil or natural gas in paying quantities is made and the drilling of any additional delineation well after such discovery which is needed to delineate any reservoir and to enable the lessee to determine whether to proceed with development and production.
The term “development” means those activities which take place following discovery of minerals in paying quantities, including geophysical activity, drilling, platform construction, and operation of all onshore support facilities, and which are for the purpose of ultimately producing the minerals discovered.
The term “production” means those activities which take place after the successful completion of any means for the removal of minerals, including such removal, field operations, transfer of minerals to shore, operation monitoring, maintenance, and work-over drilling.
The term “antitrust law” means—
the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. 1 et seq.);
the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 12 et seq.);
the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.);
the Wilson Tariff Act (15 U.S.C. 8 et seq.); or
the Act of
June 19, 1936, chapter 592 (15 U.S.C. 13, 13a, 13b, and 21a).
The term “fair market value” means the value of any mineral (1) computed at a unit price equivalent to the average unit price at which such mineral was sold pursuant to a lease during the period for which any royalty or net profit share is accrued or reserved to the United States pursuant to such lease, or (2) if there were no such sales, or if the Secretary finds that there were an insufficient number of such sales to equitably determine such value, computed at the average unit price at which such mineral was sold pursuant to other leases in the same region of the outer Continental Shelf during such period, or (3) if there were no sales of such mineral from such region during such period, or if the Secretary finds that there are an insufficient number of such sales to equitably determine such value, at an appropriate price determined by the Secretary.
The term “major Federal action” means any action or proposal by the Secretary which is subject to the provisions of section 4332(2)(C) of title 42.
The term “minerals” includes oil, gas, sulphur, geopressured-geothermal and associated resources, and all other minerals which are authorized by an Act of Congress to be produced from “public lands” as defined in section 1702 of this title; and 3
3So in original. Probably should be “title.”
So in original. Another subsec. (r) is set out following subsec. (s). Carbon dioxide stream.—
The term “carbon dioxide stream” means carbon dioxide that—
has been captured; and
consists overwhelmingly of—
carbon dioxide plus incidental associated substances derived from the source material or capture process; and
any substances added to the stream for the purpose of enabling or improving the injection process.
The term “carbon dioxide stream” does not include additional waste or other matter added to the carbon dioxide stream for the purpose of disposal.
The term “carbon sequestration” means the act of storing carbon dioxide that has been removed from the atmosphere or captured through physical, chemical, or biological processes that can prevent the carbon dioxide from reaching the atmosphere.
The term “State” means—
5So in original. Another subsec. (r) is set out following subsec. (q).
each of the several States;
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
the United States Virgin Islands; and
the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
(Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345, § 2, 67 Stat. 462; Pub. L. 95–372, title II, § 201,
Sept. 18, 1978, 92 Stat. 632; Pub. L. 117–58, div. D, title III, § 40307(a), Nov. 15, 2021, 135 Stat. 1002; Pub. L. 117–169, title V, § 50251(b)(1)(A), Aug. 16, 2022, 136 Stat. 2054.)
cite as: 43 USC 1331