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U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) activities are conducted under the authority of various pieces of authorizing legislation. Many of the primary authorizations that allow the USGS to serve the American people are listed below, along with descriptions of either how the authorization relates to USGS activities are performed under a particular authorization.

General USGS Authorizations

The Organic Act of March 3, 1879, as amended, establishes the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Provides, among other matters, that the USGS is directed to classify the public lands and examine the geological structure, mineral resources, and products within and outside the national domain. Establishes the Office of the Director of the United States Geological Survey under the Department of the Interior.

The Director is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. P.L. 102–285, Sec. 10(a).


Title 15 – Commerce and Trade

15 U.S.C. 2901–2908 The National Climate Program Act of 1978. Establishes a national climate program to assist the Nation and the world in understanding and responding to natural and human-induced climate processes and their known and potential effects. The Department of the Interior has a mandated role in this Program. 15 U.S.C. 2921 et seq. The Global Change Research Act of 1990. Establishes the United States Global Change Research Program aimed at understanding and responding to global change, including the cumulative effects of human activities and natural processes on the environment, to promote discussions toward international protocols in global change research, and for other purposes.

15 U.S.C. 5631 et seq. Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992. Enables the United States to maintain leadership in land remote sensing by providing data continuity for the Landsat program. Assigns responsibility for the "National Satellite Land Remote Sensing Data Archive" to the Department of the Interior. Authorizes and encourages the Department of the Interior and other Federal agencies to carry out research and development programs in applications of these data and makes Landsat data available to the public.


Title 16 – Conservation

16 U.S.C. 17 et seq. National Park Service Organic Act of 1916. Parts of Title 16, Conservation, as amended and supplemented, apply to the USGS. Notably, the Outdoor Recreation Act of 1936 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to sponsor, engage in, and assist in research relating to outdoor recreation, directly or by contract or cooperative agreements, and make payments for such purposes; undertake studies and assemble information concerning outdoor recreation; and cooperate with educational institutions and others to assist in establishing education programs and activities and to encourage public use and benefits from outdoor recreation.

16 U.S.C. 661 et seq. Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1934. Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to prepare plans to protect wildlife resources, to conduct surveys on public lands, and to accept funds or lands for related purposes; authorizes the investigation and reporting of proposed Federal actions that affect the development, protection, rearing, and stocking of all species of wildlife and their habitat in controlling losses, minimizing damages, and providing recommendations to minimize impacts on fish and wildlife resources. National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (P.L. 105–57) amends the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 to improve the management of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and for other purposes.

16 U.S.C. 703–712 Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, as amended. Implements four international treaties that individually affect migratory birds common to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the former Soviet Union. Establishes Federal responsibility for protection and management of migratory and nongame birds, including the establishment of season length based on scientific information relative to zones of temperature, distribution, abundance, breeding habits and times and lines of migratory flight of migratory birds. Establishes the Secretary of the Interior's responsibility for bag limits and other hunting regulations and issuance of permits to band, possess, or otherwise make use of migratory birds.

16 U.S.C. 715 Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 1900. Establishes the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission; authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct investigations and publish documents related to North American birds.

16 U.S.C. 742(a) et seq. Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956. Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct investigations, prepare and disseminate information, and make periodic reports to the public regarding the availability and abundance and the biological requirements of fish and wildlife resources; provides a comprehensive national fish and wildlife policy and authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to take steps required for the development, management, advancement, conservation, and protection of fisheries and wildlife resources through research, acquisition of refuge lands, development of existing facilities, and other means.

16 U.S.C. 742(l) Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 1978, as amended by P.L. 95–616. Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to enter into cooperative agreements with colleges and universities, State fish and game agencies, and nonprofit organizations for the purpose of developing adequate, coordinated, cooperative research and training programs for fish and wildlife resources.

16 U.S.C. 797(c) Following language supports Appropriations language "and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensees." States that, "To cooperate with the executive departments and other agencies of States or National Governments in such investigations; and for such purposes the several departments and agencies of the National Government are authorized and directed upon the request of the commission, to furnish such records, papers and information in their possession as may be requested by the commission, and temporarily to detail to the commission such officers or experts as may be necessary in such investigations."

16 U.S.C. 931–939 Great Lakes Fishery Act of 1956. Implements the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries between the United States and Canada; authorizes construction, operation, and maintenance of sea lamprey control works; sets forth procedures for coordination and consultation with States and other Federal agencies; and establishes the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission.

16 U.S.C. 1131 and 1133 Wilderness Act of 1964, as amended. Requires the USGS to assess the mineral resources of each area proposed or established as wilderness. The studies are to be on a planned and recurring basis. The original series of studies has been completed, and no recurring studies have been requested or funded.

16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq. Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended. Establishes a responsibility to conserve marine mammals with management authority vested in the Department of the Interior for the sea otter, walrus, polar bear, dugong, and manatee.

16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq. Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. Provides for the conservation of threatened and endangered species of fish, wildlife, and plants, and authorizes establishment of cooperative agreements and grants-in-aid to States that establish and maintain active and adequate programs for endangered and threatened wildlife and plants.

16 U.S.C. 1604. Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended by the National Forest Management Act of 1976. The USGS is a party in an interagency agreement with the Forest Service to assess the mineral resources of National Forests.

16 U.S.C. 2801 et seq. National Aquaculture Act of 1980. Directs the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the development of a National Aquaculture Development Plan and authorizes research, development, and other activities to encourage the development of aquaculture in the United States.

16 U.S.C. 3141 et seq. Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980. Designates certain public lands in Alaska as units of the National Park, National Wildlife Refuge, Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Wilderness Preservation and National Forest Systems, resulting in general expansion of all systems and provided comprehensive management guidance for all public lands in Alaska.

16 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. Coastal Barrier Resources Act of 1982. Designates various underdeveloped coastal barrier islands depicted by specific maps for inclusions in the Coastal Barrier Resource System. P.L. 106–514 Coastal Barrier Resources Reauthorization Act of 2000. Reauthorizes and amends the Coastal Barrier Resources Act of 1999.

16 U.S.C. 4701 et seq. Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990. Establishes a Federal program to prevent introduction and control the spread of introduced aquatic nuisance species.


Title 25 – Indians

25 U.S.C. 450 et seq. Tribal Self-Governance Act of 1994. The USGS participates in the Tribal Self-Governance Program by identifying USGS activities that may be available for tribal operation under the Self-Governance Act. The USGS discusses programs and activities with interested tribal governments.


Title 30 – Mineral Lands and Mining

30 U.S.C. 21(a) Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970. Emphasizes Department of the Interior responsibility for assessing the mineral resources of the Nation.

30 U.S.C. 201 Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976. Provides that no lease sale may be held on Federal lands unless the lands containing the coal deposits have been included in a comprehensive land-use plan. Provides that the Secretary is authorized and directed to conduct a comprehensive exploratory program designed to obtain sufficient data and information to evaluate the extent, location, and potential for developing the known recoverable coal resources within the coal lands. The USGS provides data and information from coal research and field investigations, which are useful to the BLM to meet the requirements of the coal leasing program. Further, the Secretary, (Sec. 208–1(b)) through the USGS, "... is authorized to conduct seismic, geophysical, geochemical, or stratigraphic drilling, or to contract for or purchase the results of such exploratory activities from commercial or other sources which may be needed to implement the ..." exploratory program.

30 U.S.C. 641 Following language supports Appropriations language "administer the minerals exploration program." Provides that, "The Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and directed, in order to provide for discovery of additional domestic mineral reserves, to establish and maintain a program for exploration by private industry within the United States, territories and possessions for such minerals, excluding organic fuels, as he shall from time to time designate, and to provide Federal financial assistance on a participating basis for that purpose." (P.L. 85–701.)

30 U.S.C. 1026 Section 6 of the Geothermal Steam Act Amendments of 1988. Requires the Secretary of the Interior to (1) maintain a monitoring program for significant thermal features within units of the National Park System and (2) establish a research program to collect and assess data on the geothermal resources within units of the National Park System with significant thermal features in cooperation with the USGS. Section 8 requires the USGS to conduct a study of the impact of present geothermal development in the vicinity of Yellowstone National Park on the thermal features within the park.

30 U.S.C. 1028 Energy Policy Act of 1992. Directs the Secretary of the Interior, through the USGS and in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, to establish a cooperative government private sector program with respect to hot dry rock geothermal energy resources on public lands. Supports recurring assessments of the undiscovered oil and gas resources of the United States.

30 U.S.C. 1101, 1121, 1123 Geothermal Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1974. Provides that the Department of the Interior is responsible for the evaluation and assessment of the geothermal resource base and the development of exploration technologies. The Chairman, acting through the USGS and other appropriate agencies, shall develop and carry out a plan for the inventorying of all forms of geothermal resources of Federal lands; conduct regional surveys; publish and make available maps, reports, and other documents developed from the surveys; and participate with non-Federal entities in research to develop, improve, and test technologies for the discovery and evaluation of geothermal resources.

30 U.S.C. 1201–1202, 1211 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, as amended. Establishes the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM). OSM depends in part upon the USGS for a determination of the probable hydrologic consequences of mining and reclamation operations.

30 U.S.C. 1419 et seq. Deep Seabed Hard Mineral Resources Act of 1980. Provides authorization for conducting a continuing program of ocean research that "shall include the development, acceleration, and expansion, as appropriate, of the studies of the ecological, geological, and physical aspects of the deep seabed in general areas of the ocean where exploration and commercial development are likely to occur …." The USGS, based on expertise developed in regional offshore geologic investigations, provides geological and mineral resource expertise in responding to the requirements of the Act.

30 U.S.C 1601 et seq. National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act of 1980. Reemphasizes the responsibility of the Department of the Interior to assess the mineral resources of the Nation.

30 U.S.C. 1901–1902 Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000. Authorizes appropriations for the establishment of a methane hydrate research and development program within the DOE. The DOE is directed to carry out this program in consultation with the U.S. Navy, USGS, Minerals Management Service, and NSF, through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements with universities and industrial enterprises. Provides for the study of the use of methane hydrate as a source of energy. Sunsets the methane hydrate research and development program at the end of FY 2005.


Title 33 – Navigation and Navigable Waters

33 U.S.C. 883(a) Great Lakes Shoreline Mapping Act of 1987. Section 3202(a) requires that the Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration "... in consultation with the Director of the United States Geological Survey, shall submit to the Congress a plan for preparing maps of the shoreline of the Great Lakes under section 3203." Section 3203 requires that "... subject to authorization and appropriation of funds, the Director, in consultation with the Director of the United States Geological Survey, shall prepare maps of the shoreline areas of the Great Lakes."

33 U.S.C. 1251–1274, 2901 Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, Clean Water Act of 1977, and Water Quality Act of 1987, authorize extensive water quality planning, studies, and monitoring under the direction primarily of the EPA.

33 U.S.C. 1271 Water Resources Development Act of 1992. Establishes a National Contaminated Sediment Task Force, with USGS as a member, to conduct a comprehensive national survey of aquatic sediment quality.

33 U.S.C. 2201 et seq. Water Resources Development Act of 1990. Authorizes a program for planning, construction, and evaluation of measures for fish and wildlife habitat rehabilitation and enhancement; cooperative effort and mutual assistance for use, protection, growth, and development of the Upper Mississippi River system; implementation of a long-term resource monitoring program; and implementation of a computerized inventory and analysis systems.

33 U.S.C. 2701, 2761 Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Section 2761 authorizes the establishment of an Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research, of which the Department of the Interior is a member, to develop a plan for the implementation of the oil pollution research, development, and demonstration program.


Title 42 – The Public Health and Welfare

42 U.S.C. 300(f) et seq. Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996. Authorizes research "... relating to the causes, ... treatment, ... prevention of ... impairments of man resulting directly or indirectly from contaminants in water, or to the provision of a dependably safe supply of drinking water ...." The USGS and EPA have an interagency agreement covering aquifer studies conducted by the USGS relating to sole source aquifers.

42 U.S.C. 2021(b) et seq. Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act of 1980. Requires intra-State or regional arrangements for disposal of low-level radioactive waste by July 1986. The USGS provides geohydrologic research and technology to Federal and State agencies developing plans for low-level waste management. The amending Act of 1985 included approval of seven interstate compacts.

42 U.S.C. 2210(b), 2231 Nuclear Regulatory Commission Authorization Act. Requires the Secretary of Energy to monitor and report to the President and Congress on the viability of the domestic uranium industry. Under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior, the USGS provides information on domestic uranium resources to the Energy Information Agency.

42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended. Requires prior-to-action determination that any major Federal action will not have a significantly adverse effect upon the environment. The USGS is called upon to provide technical review or inputs to resource-related actions proposed by other Federal agencies.

42 U.S.C. 5121, 5132 Disaster Relief Act of 1974, Section 202(a). States that "The President shall ensure that all appropriate Federal agencies are prepared to issue warnings of disasters to State and local officials." In addition, Section 202(b) states that "The President shall direct appropriate Federal agencies to provide technical assistance to State and local governments to insure that timely and effective disaster warning is provided."

42 U.S.C. 5845(c) Energy Reorganization Act of 1974. Directs all other Federal agencies to "... (2) ... furnish to the (Nuclear Regulatory) Commission ... such research services ... for the performance of its functions; and (3) consult and cooperate with the Commission on research development matters of mutual interest and provide such information and physical access to its facilities as will assist the Commission in acquiring the expertise necessary to perform its licensing and related regulatory functions." The USGS conducts geological mapping in areas where nuclear reactor construction is anticipated and conducts investigations of geologic processes that could imperil the safe operation of the reactors or other critical energy facilities.

42 U.S.C. 6217 Energy Act of 2000. Extends energy conservation programs under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act through FY 2003. Specifically for the USGS, Section 604, "Scientific Inventory of Oil and Gas Reserves," instructs the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretaries of Agriculture and Energy, to conduct and update regularly an inventory of all onshore Federal lands. The inventory will identify (1) USGS reserve estimates of the oil and gas resources underlying these lands, (2) restrictions or impediments to development of such resources, and (3) furnish such inventory data to the House Committee on Resources and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Authorizes appropriations as necessary for implementation.

42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 and Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984. Requires the EPA to promulgate guidelines and regulations for identification and management of solid waste, including disposal. The expertise of the USGS is a present and potential source of assistance to the EPA in defining and predicting the hydrologic effects of waste disposal.

42 U.S.C. 7418, 7401, 7470. Clean Air Act of 1977, as amended. Requires Federal facilities to comply with air quality standards to the same extent as non-governmental entities. Establishes requirements to prevent significant deterioration of air quality and to preserve air quality in national parks, national wilderness areas, national monuments and national seashores.

42 U.S.C. 7701 et seq. Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977. Sets as a national goal the reduction in the risks of life and property from future earthquakes in the United States through the establishment and maintenance of a balanced earthquake program encompassing prediction and hazard assessment research, seismic monitoring and information dissemination. Subsequent public laws established a National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, of which the USGS is a part. P.L. 96–472 authorizes the establishment of a National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council. P.L. 101–614 (National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act), P.L. 105–47, and P.L. 106–503 (Earthquake Hazards Reduction Authorization Act of 2000) reauthorize the 1977 Act, repeal some sections, and add new language in some sections including the establishment of an Advanced National Seismic Research and Monitoring System.

42 U.S.C. 8901 et seq. Acid Precipitation Act of 1980. Authorizes an "Acid Precipitation Program and Carbon Dioxide Study," including the establishment of an Acid Precipitation Task Force (of which the Department of the Interior is a member) and a comprehensive 10-year research program. Title IX of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (P.L. 101–549) calls for continuation of the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP) established under the Acid Precipitation Act of 1980. The USGS is an active participant in the research program and coordinates interagency monitoring of precipitation chemistry. The USGS National Coal Resources Data System was named by the EPA as the official database for information on coal quality. The EPA, utility companies, and coal mining industries use the database to estimate the amount of air pollution derived from coal combustion. The USGS is a participant in studies of acid precipitation as a result of prior work in this field.

42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). Establishes a Hazardous Substance Superfund (26 U.S.C. 9507) to help finance the massive cleanup programs needed at sites that are heavily contaminated with toxic wastes. The USGS is called upon by the EPA and State agencies to investigate and determine the extent of contamination and remedial measures at some of these sites.

42 U.S.C. 10101 et seq. Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982. Defines the DOE as lead agency with responsibility for siting, building, and operating high-level radioactive waste repositories. Requires participation by the USGS in a consultative and review role to the DOE. The Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987 (Title V of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987) identifies Yucca Mountain, NV, as the first site to be studied to ascertain suitability for disposal of high level nuclear waste. The 1987 Act provides that the DOE conduct a survey of potentially suitable sites for a monitored retrievable storage facility.

42 U.S.C. 10301 et seq. Water Resources Development Act of 1986. Amends the Water Resources Research Act of 1984 (P.L. 98–242) by adding a new Title III, "Ogallala Aquifer Research and Development." P.L. 109–471 amends the act to extend authorization of appropriations through FY 2010. The Water Resources Research Act of 1984, as amended, provides for water resources research, information transfer, and student training in grants and contract programs that will assist the Nation and the States in augmenting their science and technology to discover practical solutions to water shortage and quality deterioration problems. Establishes a Federal-State partnership in water resources research, education, and information transfer through a matching grant program that authorizes State Water Resources Research Institutes at land grant universities across the Nation.


Title 43 – Public Lands

43 U.S.C. 31 et seq. Organic Act of March 3, 1879, as amended, establishes the United States Geological Survey. Provides, among other matters, that the USGS is directed to classify the public lands and examine the geological structure, mineral resources, and products within and outside the national domain. Establishes the Office of the Director of the United States Geological Survey under the Department of the Interior. The Director is appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. P.L. 102–285, Sec. 10(a) establishes the official name as the United States Geological Survey. Particularly: Section 4 of the Continental Scientific Drilling and Exploration Act of 1988. Requires that "The Secretary of the Department of Energy, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior through the United States Geological Survey, and the Director of the National Science Foundation assure an effective, cooperative effort in furtherance of the Continental Scientific Drilling Program of the United States." And: 43 U.S.C. 31(a–h). National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992. Establishes in the USGS a National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program. States "The objectives of the geologic mapping program shall include (1) determining the Nation's geologic framework through systematic development of geologic maps at scales appropriate to the geologic setting and the perceived applications, such maps to be contributed to the national geologic map database; (2) development of a complementary national geophysical-map database, geochemical-map database, and a geochronologic and paleontologic database that provide value-added descriptive and interpretive information to the geologic-map database; (3) application of cost-effective mapping techniques that assemble, produce, translate and disseminate geologic-map information and that render such information of greater application and benefit to the public; and (4) development of public awareness for the role and application of geologic-map information to the resolution of national issues of land use management." Section 31(g) requires the Secretary of the Interior to provide biennial reports on the status of the program, progress in developing the national geologic map database, and any recommendations the Secretary may have for legislative or other action to achieve the purposes of the Act to the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate. The Act was reauthorized in 1997 (P.L. 105–36) and 1999 (P.L. 106–148). 31(i) Requires the National Academy of Sciences to review and report on the resource research activities of the USGS. 31(j) FY 1997 Omnibus Appropriations Act. Requires that, beginning in FY 1998 and once every five years thereafter, the National Academy of Sciences shall review and report on the biological research activity of the USGS.

43 U.S.C. 32 Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to authorize one of the geologists to act as Director of the USGS in his/her absence.

43 U.S.C. 34 States that the scientific employees of the USGS shall be selected by the Director, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior exclusively for their qualifications as professional experts.

43 U.S.C. 36 Authorizes the purchase of professional and scientific books and periodicals needed for statistical purposes by the scientific divisions of the USGS and that the purchases may be paid for out of appropriations made for the USGS. 36(a) The Director of the USGS is authorized "… to acquire for the United States, by gift or devise, scientific or technical books, manuscripts, maps, and related materials, and to deposit the same in the library of the United States Geological Survey for reference and use as authorized by law." 36(b) "The Secretary of the Interior may, on behalf of the United States and for the use by the United States Geological Survey in gaging streams and underground water resources, acquire lands by donation or when funds have been appropriated by Congress by purchase or condemnation ...." Following language supports Administrative Provisions language "acquisition of lands for gauging stations and observation wells;": Provides that, "The Secretary of the Interior may, on behalf of the United States and for the use by the Geological Survey in gaging streams and underground water resources, acquire lands by donation or when funds have been appropriated by Congress by purchase or condemnation ...." 36(c) Acceptance of contributions from public and private sources; cooperation with other agencies in prosecution of projects. States that "In fiscal year 1987 and thereafter the United States Geological Survey is authorized to accept lands, buildings, equipment, and other contributions from public and private sources and to prosecute projects in cooperation with other agencies, Federal, State, or private."

43 U.S.C. 38 Topographic surveys; marking elevations. Provides for the establishment and location of permanent benchmarks used in the making of topographic surveys.

43 U.S.C. 41 Publications and reports; preparation and sale. Provides for the publication of geological and economic maps, illustrating the resources and classification of the lands, and reports upon general and economic geology and paleontology. Provides for the scientific exchange and sale of such published material.

43 U.S.C. 42 et seq. Distribution of maps and atlases, etc. Authorizes and directs the Director, USGS, upon the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, to distribute topographic and geologic maps and atlases of the United States. The prices and regulations are to be fixed by the Director with the approval of the Secretary. Provides that copies of each map or atlas, not to exceed five hundred, shall be distributed gratuitously among foreign governments, departments of our own Government, literary and scientific associations, and to educational institutions or libraries. States that "In fiscal year 1984 and thereafter, all receipts from the sale of maps sold or stored by the United States Geological Survey shall be available for map printing and distribution to supplement funds otherwise available, to remain available until expended."

43 U.S.C. 43 Copies to Senators, Representatives and Delegates. Provides that one copy of each map and atlas shall be sent to each Senator, Representative, and Delegate in Congress, if published within his term, and that a second copy be placed at the disposal of each.

43 U.S.C. 44 Sale of transfers or copies of data. Provides that the USGS may furnish copies of maps to any person, concern, institution, State, or foreign government.

43 U.S.C. 45 Production and sale of copies of photographs and records; disposition of receipts. Authorizes the USGS to produce and sell on a reimbursable basis, copies of aerial or other photographs, mosaics, and other official records. Discusses disposition of receipts from sales.

43 U.S.C. 49 Extension of cooperative work to Puerto Rico. Authorizes the making of topographic and geological surveys and conducting investigations relating to mineral and water resources in Puerto Rico by the USGS.

43 U.S.C. 50 Provides that the share of the USGS in any topographic mapping or water resources investigations carried on in cooperation with any State or municipality shall not exceed 50 percent of the cost thereof. 50(b) Recording of obligations against accounts receivable and crediting of amounts received; work involving cooperation with State, Territory, etc. "Before, on, and after October 18, 1986, in carrying out work involving cooperation with any State, Territory, possession, or political subdivision thereof, the United States Geological Survey may, notwithstanding any other provision of law, record obligations against accounts receivable from any such entities and shall credit amounts received from such entities to this appropriation." (Note U.S.C. states that "this appropriation" refers to USGS annual appropriation as contained in the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.) Following language supports Appropriations language "Provided further, that, heretofore and hereafter, in carrying out work involving cooperation with any State, Territory, possession, or political subdivision thereof, the Geological Survey may, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, record obligations against accounts receivable from any such entities and shall credit amounts received from such entities to this appropriation." 50(c) Payment of costs incidental to utilization of services of volunteers. "Appropriations herein and on and after December 22, 1987, made shall be available for paying costs incidental to the utilization of services contributed by individuals who serve without compensation as volunteers in aid of work of the United States Geological Survey, and … Survey officials may authorize either direct procurement of or reimbursement for expenses incidental to the effective use of volunteers such as, but not limited to, training, transportation, lodging, subsistence, equipment, and supplies: Provided further, That provision for such expenses or services is in accord with volunteer or cooperative agreements made with such individuals, private organizations, educational institutions, or State or local government." 50(d) Services of students or recent graduates. "The United States Geological Survey may on and after November 19, 1999, contract directly with individuals or indirectly with institutions or nonprofit organizations, without regard to section 5 of title 41, for the temporary or intermittent services of students or recent graduates, who shall be considered employees for the purposes of chapters 57 and 81 of title 5, relating to compensation for travel and work injuries, and chapter 171 of title 28, relating to tort claims, but shall not be considered to be Federal employees for any other purposes."

43 U.S.C. 51 Funds for mapping and investigations considered intragovernmental funds. "Beginning October 1, 1990, and thereafter, funds received from any State, territory, possession, country, international organization, or political subdivision thereof, for topographic, geologic, or water resources mapping or investigations involving cooperation with such an entity shall be considered as intragovernmental funds as defined in the publication titled 'A Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process.'"

43 U.S.C. 364 et seq. Board on Geographic Names, 1947. Establishes the Board on Geographic Names to provide for uniformity in geographic nomenclature and orthography throughout the Federal Government and to promulgate in the name of the Board decisions with respect to geographic names and principles of geographic nomenclature and orthography.

43 U.S.C. 371 Reclamation Projects Authorization and Adjustment Act of 1992. Public Law 104–46 amends the 1992 law to add Section 3001, "Western Water Policy Review Act of 1992." Directs the President to undertake a comprehensive review of Federal activities in the 19 western States that directly or indirectly affect the allocation and use of resources, whether surface or subsurface. The Secretary of the Interior, "... given … responsibilities for … investigations and reviews into ground water resources through the Geologic Survey (now United States Geological Survey) ..." and the Secretary of the Army "have the resources to assist in a comprehensive review ...."

43 U.S.C. 1334 et seq. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act. Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to prescribe rules and regulations to provide for the prevention of waste and conservation of the natural resources of the OCS; to conduct geological and geophysical explorations of the OCS; directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of any region in any gas and oil lease sale to obtain information necessary for assessment and management of environmental impacts on human, marine and coastal areas which may be affected by oil and gas development on such areas.

43 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. OCS Lands Act Amendments of 1978. Provides for management of oil and natural gas in the Outer Continental Shelf and for other purposes. The Minerals Management Service is responsible for carrying out all functions in direct support of management of the OCS program. The USGS provides indirect support to the Department's management activities through the basic mission to examine the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain, which, offshore, includes the EEZ.


Title 50, Appendix – War and National Defense

50 U.S.C. 98 Strategic and Critical Materials Stock Piling Act of 1946 as amended by the Revision Act of 1979. Supports the USGS programs for assessment of domestic minerals, especially for strategic and critical minerals, to complement the Federal mineral stockpile program. Section 98(g) following language supports Appropriations language "and to conduct inquiries into the economic conditions affecting mining and materials processing industries ... and related purposes as authorized by law and to publish and disseminate data …." Provides for scientific, technologic, and economic investigations concerning the development, mining, preparation, treatment, and utilization of ore and other mineral substances.