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House Committee on Transportation and InfrastructureCoast Guard and Maritime TransportationWater Resources and EnvironmentHouse Committee on Natural ResourcesEnergy and Mineral ResourcesIntroducedApril 26th, 2013
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SAFEGUARDS Act of 2013
To amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to modernize and enhance the Federal Government's response to oil spills, to improve oversight and regulation of offshore drilling, and for other purposes.
Secure All Facilities to Effectively Guard the United States Against and Respond to Dangerous Spills Act of 2013 or the SAFEGUARDS Act of 2013 - Amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to: (1) prohibit the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) from issuing a permit or other authorization for exploration for or production of oil or gas under a lease under such Act unless an oil spill response plan for the operations of the facility on which the activity is conducted has been approved by the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating as meeting requirements for such a plan under the National Response System of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act); (2) require the Secretary to approve an oil and gas exploration plan within 90 (currently 30) days of submission, with a 60-day extension authorized if the Secretary certifies that it's necessary to allow adequate consideration of the plan; and (3) prohibit an exploration plan from being eligible for a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). Amends the Clean Water Act to require: (1) the President to issue regulations to require owners or operators of offshore facilities to have their plans for responding to a worst case discharge of oil or a hazardous substance approved by the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating; and (2) such worst case plans of owners and operators of tank vessels, nontank vessels, offshore facilities, or onshore facilities to include plans for responding to uncontrolled or uncontained discharges from wells. Requires the National Contingency Plan for removal of oil and hazardous substances to: (1) include water quality monitoring by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of waters affected by discharges of oil or other hazardous substances that begins not later than 48 hours after such a discharge is reported; (2) include designation of the Commandant of the Coast Guard as the National Incident Commander for activities in response to a discharge that results in a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States if such a discharge affects waters with respect to which the Coast Guard is responsible for response efforts under the Plan; and (3) be updated by the President every five years, including separate response plans for discharges of oil or other hazardous materials into or upon land and water.