Federal Statutes and Regulations - Non-EPA

The following are federal statues, which are not administered by U.S. EPA, but may be applicable to natural gas extraction and production. These are presented here for the convenience of the reader. For more information, please contact the appropriate agency.

Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. Section 1701 et seq.) - FLPMA, also called the BLM Organic Act, consolidated and articulated BLM management responsibilities and delegated many management responsibilities pertaining to federal land from the Secretary of the Interior to the Director of the BLM, including oversight of oil and gas leases. (For leases on Indian lands, the delegation to the BLM appears at 25 CFR parts 211, 212, 213, 225, and 227.) FLPMA provides an express congressional policy aimed at retaining federal control and possession over valuable lands and mineral resources. As a result, the FLMPA established additional land and resource management authorities; it also amended, or repealed provisions on federal land withdrawals, land acquisitions and exchanges, right-of-way, and the general organization and administration of BLM and the public lands. FLPMA established multiple use, sustained yield, and environmental protection as the guiding principles for public land management. Specifically, BLM must take any action necessary to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation of the lands.

Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 (30 U.S.C. Section 1701 et seq.) - The Royalty Management Act affirmed the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to administer and enforce all rules and regulations governing oil and gas leases on Federal or Indian Land, and established a policy aimed at developing a comprehensive system to manage royalties derived from leased oil and gas operations. Typically, oil and gas lessees pay the federal government royalties of 12.5 percent of the value of oil and gas removed or sold from each lease.

Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of 1987 (FOOGLRA) (30 U.S.C. Section 181 et seq.) - Another amendment to the Mineral Leasing Act, The Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of 1987 granted the USDA Forest Service the authority to make decisions and implement regulations concerning the leasing of public domain minerals on National Forest System lands containing oil and gas. The Act changed the analysis process from responsive to proactive. The BLM administers the lease but the Forest Service has more direct involvement in the leasing process for lands it administers. The Act also established a requirement that all public lands that are available for oil and gas leasing be offered first by competitive leasing.

General Mining Act of 1872, the seminal law regarding mineral management on federal lands in the United States. However, this act was implemented primarily to deal with hard-rock mining, and it was not until the enactment of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 that a comprehensive system was developed for managing oil and gas development on federal lands. Since 1920, the Mineral Leasing Act has been modified by several amendments and elaborated upon by the implementation of new statutes. These are discussed below:

  • Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands of 1947 (30 U.S.C. Section 351 et seq.) - Extends the provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act and the authority of the Secretary of the Interior over oil and gas operations to federal "acquired lands."

  • Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. Section 181 et seq.) - The Mineral Leasing Act established the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to oversee oil and gas operations on federal land. "The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to prescribe necessary and proper rules and regulations and to do any and all things necessary to carry out and accomplish the purposes of this Act." 30 U.S.C. Section 189

  • Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. Section 21 et seq.) - An amendment to the Mineral Leasing Act, this statute encompasses both hard rock mining and oil and gas and established modern federal policy regarding mineral resources in the United States. The Act articulates a national interest to foster and encourage private enterprise while mitigating adverse environmental impacts.

Rivers and Harbors Appropriations Act of 1899. Section 10 of this act prohibits the creation of any obstruction not affirmatively authorized by Congress, to the navigable capacity of any of the waters of the United States; and makes it unlawful to build or commence the building of any wharf, pier, dolphin, boom, weir, breakwater, bulkhead, jetty, or other structures in any port, roadstead, haven, harbor, canal, navigable river, or other water of the United States. Section 10 of this act is enforced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (see fact sheet).



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