Permits for construction and management of artificial reefs
Secretarial action on permits
In issuing a permit for artificial reefs under section 403 of this title, section 1344 of this title, or section 1333(e) of title 43, the Secretary of the Army (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “Secretary”) shall—
(1) consult with and consider the views of appropriate Federal agencies, States, local governments, and other interested parties;
(2) ensure that the provisions for siting, constructing, monitoring, and managing the artificial reef are consistent with the criteria and standards established under this chapter;
(3) ensure that the title to the artificial reef construction material is unambiguous, and that responsibility for maintenance and the financial ability to assume liability for future damages are clearly established; and
(4) consider the plan developed under section 2103 of this title and notify the Secretary of Commerce of any need to deviate from that plan.
Terms and conditions of permits
(1) Each permit issued by the Secretary subject to this section shall specify the design and location for construction of the artificial reef and the types and quantities of materials that may be used in constructing such artificial reef. In addition, each such permit shall specify such terms and conditions for the construction, operation, maintenance, monitoring, and managing the use of the artificial reef as are necessary for compliance with all applicable provisions of law and as are necessary to ensure the protection of the environment and human safety and property.
(2) Before issuing a permit under section 1342 of this title for any activity relating to the siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, monitoring, or managing of an artificial reef, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall consult with the Secretary to ensure that such permit is consistent with any permit issued by the Secretary subject to this section.
Liability of permittee
(1) A person to whom a permit is issued in accordance with subsection (a) and any insurer of that person shall not be liable for damages caused by activities required to be undertaken under any terms and conditions of the permit, if the permittee is in compliance with such terms and conditions.
(2) A person to whom a permit is issued in accordance with subsection (a) and any insurer of that person shall be liable, to the extent determined under applicable law, for damages to which paragraph (1) does not apply.
(3) The Secretary may not issue a permit subject to this section to a person unless that person demonstrates to the Secretary the financial ability to assume liability for all damages that may arise with respect to an artificial reef and for which such permittee may be liable.
(4) Any person who has transferred title to artificial reef construction materials to a person to whom a permit is issued in accordance with subsection (a) shall not be liable for damages arising from the use of such materials in an artificial reef, if such materials meet applicable requirements of the plan published under section 2103 of this title and are not otherwise defective at the time title is transferred.
Liability of the United States
Nothing in this chapter creates any liability on the part of the United States.
Any person who, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, is found to have violated any provision of a permit issued in accordance with subsection (a) shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty, not to exceed $10,000 for each violation. The amount of the civil penalty shall be assessed by the Secretary by written notice. In determining the amount of such penalty, the Secretary shall take into account the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation. The Secretary may compromise, modify, or remit with or without conditions, any civil penalty which is subject to imposition or which has been imposed under this section. If any person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty after it has become final, the Secretary may refer the matter to the Attorney General for collection.
(Pub. L. 98–623, title II, § 205, Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3396.)