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PA INTERIM FINAL RULE FOR NONGOVERNMENTAL ACTIVITIES IN ANTARCTICA
Release Date: 05/05/97
FOR RELEASE: MONDAY, MAY 5, 1997
INTERIM FINAL RULE FOR NONGOVERNMENTAL ACTIVITIES IN ANTARCTICA
EPA has published an Interim Final Rule to carry out the requirements of the Antarctic Science, Tourism, and Conservation Act of 1996. The Interim Final Rule requires tour operators and other nongovernmental persons to provide an assessment of the environmental impacts of their proposed activities in Antarctica. The Interim Final Rule also provides for coordination of the review of information regarding environmental impact assessments received from other Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties under the Protocol. EPA promulgated an Interim Final Rule so that the United States would have the ability to implement its obligations under the Protocol as soon as the Protocol enters into force. The Protocol must still be ratified by Japan and Russia. The Interim Final Rule applies to nongovernmental activities in Antarctica, which include commercial tour operators organized in or proceeding from the United States to Antarctica, but does not, however, apply to individual U.S. citizens or groups of citizens planning to tour Antarctica via a commercial tour. Non-commercial expeditions covered by the Interim Final Rule include trips by yachts, skiing or mountaineering expeditions, privately funded research expeditions, and other nongovernment-sponsored activities. The Interim Final Rule applies only to nongovernmental activities to be conducted in Antarctica through the 1998-99 summer, and will be replaced by a Final Rule, which is expected to be issued in January 1998. The Preamble and Interim Final Rule were published in the April 30, Federal Register. The Interim Final Rule and the Environmental Assessment developed by EPA to support the rule-making are also available on EPA's World Wide Website at: http://es.inel.gov/oeca/ofa/.
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