United States of America

Date: 8 November 2022

March 2024

27/3/24

  • On EIAs, the US noted that we need to be careful about moving EIA provisions from the draft regulations to standards and guidelines as this should not diminish environmental protection priorities.
  • The US supports the inclusion of tangible and intangible elements of underwater cultural heritage.

November 2023

1/11/23

  • The US delegation indicated that it’s important to address underwater cultural heritage, including intangible underwater heritage.  

July 2023

14/7/23

  • The US stated that “We must have sufficient research to understand the potential for negative effects on the marine environment from seabed mining.”
  • They highlighted that: “No delegation has asserted that the draft regulatory framework in its current form ensures effective protection of the marine environment.”
  • They added that “In view of article 145 absence any rules, regulations and procedures, provisionally adopted by the council, or a regulatory framework that ensures effective protection of the marine environment from harmful effects of such mining.”

March 2023

24/3/23

  • The US believes the council should remain focused on development of the regulatory framework .
  • We are sensitive to the concerns raised around potential threats of DSM and we need the research to understand them and the necessary steps to minimize and mitigate those threats.

23/3/23

  • Support inclusion of underwater cultural heritage and Indigenous and traditional knowledge in line with art. 30 of BBNJ
  • On cumulative environmental effects: adjust definition to include “When combined with other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future impacts stressors and activities in the same area, regardless of the regulating authority.

21/3/23

  • USA believes that it maybe worth further considering some requirement or mechanism such as for example, mandatory insurance or bonding, to ensure that a bankrupt contractor or contractor facing financial instabilities has access to sufficient financing to implement a final closure plan in the event of unexpected cessation of activity resulting from economic downturns.

October/November 2022

8/11/22

  • With regards to who the Authority shall consult with to develop measures to implement the regulations, limiting the focus to the Contract Area may be too limited. Prefer to retain some reference to the Exploitation Area about States potentially affected by activities in the Contract Area.

4/11/22

  • The USA stated that they were keenly concerned about the possibility that we do not have sufficient science to mitigate the efforts of mining.
  • They also highlighted that the US continental shelf is adjacent to the CCZ and indigenous communities have potential to be directly affected by negative effects.
  • The USA stated that it is difficult to see regulations being finalized by July 2023.

July/August 2022

25/7/22

  • The UK delegation called for test mining to be regulated and have an EIA
  • The delegation also commented that if you go test mining and it doesn’t show harmful effects, then you have effectively checked a box, but the effects of any test mining need to be fed into the larger process (EIAs and EIS) to ensure no harm is done.

21/7/22

  • The delegation pointed out that on “remediation of harm” in regulations, “full remediation may not be successful, so reducing harm must be emphasized.”  
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