Report of the Sec. of the Interior under Sec. 7 of Public Law 100-443 on the Presence or Absence of Significant Thermal Features Within Crater Lake National Park, 1992
A. Legislative Requirement for this Report
This report is required under Section 7 of the Geothermal Steam Act Amendments of 1988 (Public Law 100-443). However, the legislative history of this requirement dates back to 1986. The Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (P.L. 99-591) was passed by Congress and signed into law on October 30, 1986. Paragraph 2(a) of Section 115 of the General Provisions for the Act directed the Secretary of the Interior to publish for public comment a proposed list, consider public comments, and prepare a final list of significant thermal features in twenty-two specified units of the National Park System. Crater Lake National Park was one of the units under consideration.
NPS proposed to list significant thermal features located in seventeen of the twenty-two units and published a Proposed Notice in the Federal Register on February 13, 1987 (52 FR 4700). The final report listed significant thermal features in only thirteen units of the National Park System and was transmitted to Congress on June 30, 1987. A final notice of this list was published in the Federal Register for public review on August 3, 1987 (52 FR 28790). The Secretary of the Interior deferred a decision on whether to list the hydrothermal features in Crater Lake National Park as significant thermal features until after the completion of ongoing research. This decision was based on a finding that insufficient information on the features existed at that time.
On December 8, 1987, the Secretary of the Interior transmitted to the Congress a copy of the preliminary field report from the studies at Crater Lake. The Department estimated that the research necessary to demonstrate the location, magnitude, and ecological role of hydrothermal features in Crater Lake would take four years to conduct. Once the studies were completed, the Secretary promised to report on the significance of the thermal features and indicate whether the Report to the Congress dated June 30, 1987, needed to be revised. Further, the Secretary advised the Congress that until the needed data were collected and analyzed, the Department would not issue any leases on lands surrounding Crater Lake National Park under the discretionary authority vested in the Secretary under Section 3 of the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970.
On August 23, 1988, Secretary Hodel forwarded a copy of the 1987 field report covering the studies conducted during the summer of 1987 on the hydrothermal processes in Crater Lake. In the transmittal letter, the Secretary promised additional reports on these studies as they became available.
On September 22, 1988, the Geothermal Steam Act Amendments of 1988 ( P.L. 100-443) were signed into law (hereinafter referred to as the Act). Sections 2 and 6 of the Act directed the Secretary of the Interior to maintain a list of significant thermal features within units of the National Park System, and listed 16 units of the National Park System as containing significant thermal features. The Act legislatively adopted the Department’s list of thirteen and expanded it to include Crater Lake National Park and two other units of the National Park System as comprising the list of significant thermal features. Further, Section 7 of the Act mandated a report to Congress “on the presence or absence of significant thermal features within Crater Lake National Park” by March 1989.