IV: ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES OF ALTERNATIVES
IV. Section: Unavoidable Adverse
Environmental or Socioeconomic Effects
IV. Section: Unavoidable Adverse Environmental or Socioeconomic Effects
Specific environmental and socioeconomic effects of each proposed regulation are included throughout the environmental consequences section of the preferred alternative. The net environmental and socioeconomic effects of designating the Sanctuary and implementing the Sanctuary Management Plan and regulations are estimated to be positive. While such effects are difficult to quantify, the goals of the Sanctuary in part will be to maintain or improve water quality, fisheries, aesthetics and tourism without causing
The proposed final Sanctuary regulations would allow all activities to be conducted in the Sanctuary except for a relatively narrow range of prohibited activities (subject to all prohibitions, restrictions and conditions validly imposed by any other authority of competent jurisdiction, and subject to the liability established by Section 312 of the Act). The procedures proposed in these regulations for applying for National Marine Sanctuary permits to conduct otherwise prohibited activities, for requesting certifications for existing licenses, permits, approvals, other authorizations or rights authorizing the, and requesting approval of, conduct of a prohibited activity, and for notifying NOAA of applications for authorizations to conduct a prohibited activity, would impose a cost in time and effort on the part of applicants for such permits or certifications/approvals. However, NOAA will keep such costs to a minimum by working closely with State and Federal regulatory and permitting agencies to avoid any duplication of effort and setting guidelines for expeditious review of applications.
The regulations prohibiting discharges and deposits and alteration of or construction on the seabed may require permit holders or applicants for such activities to seek other areas of disposal or apply higher levels of treatment. All measures, terms and conditions applied to existing activities will be done in consultation with the affected party and the appropriate management agency. The MOA is intended, in part, to avoid adverse socioeconomic impacts on dischargers in the area while at the same time, increasing environmental protection by coordinating NOAA actions with existing Federal and state agencies.
Estimates of revenue foregone by the proposed prohibition of oil, gas and mineral activities within the Sanctuary boundary has been presented in detail under the socioeconomic consequences for this proposed final regulation. Balancing the foregone revenue would be the adverse environmental and socioeconomic effects avoided by the proposed prohibition. For example, the proposed prohibition may alleviate or remove matters ranging from costs to local communities for developing on-shore facilities to political and legal action resulting from public controversy and apprehension concerning proposed oil and gas activities.
It is not possible to quantify the positive socioeconomic effects of prohibiting OCS oil and gas activities. The recent NAS study (1989) on the Adequacy of Environmental Information For Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Decisions: Florida and California found that "few data have been collected by MMS or anyone else to address the social and economic impacts of OCS activities".