30 U.S.C. § 185 - Rights-of-way for pipelines through Federal lands

Cite as30 U.S.C. § 185

(a) Grant of authority

Rights-of-way through any Federal lands may be granted by the Secretary of the Interior or appropriate agency head for pipeline purposes for the transportation of oil, natural gas, synthetic liquid or gaseous fuels, or any refined product produced therefrom to any applicant possessing the qualifications provided in section 181 of this title in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(b) Definitions

(1) For the purposes of this section "Federal lands" means all lands owned by the United States except lands in the National Park System, lands held in trust for an Indian or Indian tribe, and lands on the Outer Continental Shelf. A right-of-way through a Federal reservation shall not be granted if the Secretary or agency head determines that it would be inconsistent with the purposes of the reservation.

(2) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Interior.

(3) "Agency head" means the head of any Federal department or independent Federal office or agency, other than the Secretary of the Interior, which has jurisdiction over Federal lands.

(c) Inter-agency coordination

(1) Where the surface of all of the Federal lands involved in a proposed right-of-way or permit is under the jurisdiction of one Federal agency, the agency head, rather than the Secretary, is authorized to grant or renew the right-of-way or permit for the purposes set forth in this section.

(2) Where the surface of the Federal lands involved is administered by the Secretary or by two or more Federal agencies, the Secretary is authorized, after consultation with the agencies involved, to grant or renew rights-of-way or permits through the Federal lands involved. The Secretary may enter into interagency agreements with all other Federal agencies having jurisdiction over Federal lands for the purpose of avoiding duplication, assigning responsibility, expediting review of rights-of-way or permit applications, issuing joint regulations, and assuring a decision based upon a comprehensive review of all factors involved in any right-of-way or permit application. Each agency head shall administer and enforce the provisions of this section, appropriate regulations, and the terms and conditions of rights-of-way or permits insofar as they involve Federal lands under the agency head's jurisdiction.

(d) Width limitations

The width of a right-of-way shall not exceed fifty feet plus the ground occupied by the pipeline (that is, the pipe and its related facilities) unless the Secretary or agency head finds, and records the reasons for his finding, that in his judgment a wider right-of-way is necessary for operation and maintenance after construction, or to protect the environment or public safety. Related facilities include but are not limited to valves, pump stations, supporting structures, bridges, monitoring and communication devices, surge and storage tanks, terminals, roads, airstrips and campsites and they need not necessarily be connected or contiguous to the pipe and may be the subjects of separate rights-of-way.

(e) Temporary permits

A right-of-way may be supplemented by such temporary permits for the use of Federal lands in the vicinity of the pipeline as the Secretary or agency head finds are necessary in connection with construction, operation, maintenance, or termination of the pipeline, or to protect the natural environment or public safety.

(f) Regulatory authority

Rights-of-way or permits granted or renewed pursuant to this section shall be subject to regulations promulgated in accord with the provisions of this section and shall be subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretary or agency head may prescribe regarding extent, duration, survey, location, construction, operation, maintenance, use, and termination.

(g) Pipeline safety

The Secretary or agency head shall impose requirements for the operation of the pipeline and related facilities in a manner that will protect the safety of workers and protect the public from sudden ruptures and slow degradation of the pipeline.

(h) Environmental protection

(1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to amend, repeal, modify, or change in any way the requirements of section 102(2)(C) [ 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C) ] or any other provision of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 [ 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.].

(2) The Secretary or agency head, prior to granting a right-of-way or permit pursuant to this section for a new project which may have a significant impact on the environment, shall require the applicant to submit a plan of construction, operation, and rehabilitation for such right-of-way or permit which shall comply with this section. The Secretary or agency head shall issue regulations or impose stipulations which shall include, but shall not be limited to:

(A) requirements for restoration, revegetation, and curtailment of erosion of the surface of the land;

(B) requirements to insure that activities in connection with the right-of-way or permit will not violate applicable air and water quality standards nor related facility siting standards established by or pursuant to law;

(C) requirements designed to control or prevent (i) damage to the environment (including damage to fish and wildlife habitat), (ii) damage to public or private property, and (iii) hazards to public health and safety; and

(D) requirements to protect the interests of individuals living in the general area of the right-of-way or permit who rely on the fish, wildlife, and biotic resources of the area for subsistence purposes. Such regulations shall be applicable to every right-of-way or permit granted pursuant to this section, and may be made applicable by the Secretary or agency head to existing rights-of-way or permits, or rights-of-way or permits to be renewed pursuant to this section.

(i) Disclosure

If the applicant is a partnership, corporation, association, or other business entity, the Secretary or agency head shall require the applicant to disclose the identity of the participants in the entity. Such disclosure shall include where applicable (1) the name and address of each partner, (2) the name and address of each shareholder owning 3 per centum or more of the shares, together with the number and percentage of any class of voting shares of the entity which such shareholder is authorized to vote, and (3) the name and address of each affiliate of the entity together with, in the case of an affiliate controlled by the entity, the number of shares and the percentage of any class of voting stock of that affiliate owned, directly or indirectly, by that entity, and, in the case of an affiliate which controls that entity, the number of shares and the percentage of any class of voting stock of that entity owned, directly or indirectly, by the affiliate.

(j) Technical and financial capability

The Secretary or agency head shall grant or renew a right-of-way or permit under this section only when he is satisfied that the applicant has the technical and financial capability to construct, operate, maintain, and terminate the project for which the right-of-way or permit is requested in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(k) Public hearings

The Secretary or agency head by regulation shall establish procedures, including public hearings where appropriate, to give Federal, State, and local government agencies and the public adequate notice and an opportunity to comment upon right-of-way applications filed after the date of enactment of this subsection.

(l) Reimbursement of costs

The applicant for a right-of-way or permit shall reimburse the United States for administrative and other costs incurred in processing the application, and the holder of a right-of-way or permit shall reimburse the United States for the costs incurred in monitoring the construction, operation, maintenance, and termination of any pipeline and related facilities on such right-of-way or permit area and shall pay annually in advance the fair market rental value of the right-of-way or permit, as determined by the Secretary or agency head.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT