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Licensing Requirements

School of fish swimming.

1. Financial Responsibility

Applicants must be financially able to construct, own and operate the deepwater port, and must provide a financial guarantee or bond sufficient to meet all costs for complete removal of all components of the deepwater port upon revocation or termination of the license and/or facility. Further, applicants must be able to meet the requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq.) as they relate to the Deepwater Port Act.

2. Compliance with Relevant Laws, Regulations, and License Conditions

Applicants must comply with relevant laws, regulations and license conditions and must state their intention to do so in writing.

3. National Interest

The construction and operation of the deepwater port must be in the national interest and consistent with national security, energy sufficiency, environmental quality and other national policy goals and objectives.

4. International Navigation

The deepwater port should not interfere with international navigation or other reasonable uses of the high seas, as defined by treaty, convention, or customary international law.

5. Impact on the Marine Environment

The deepwater port will be constructed and operated using the best available technology to prevent or minimize adverse environmental impact, in accordance with environmental review criteria.

6. National Environmental Laws

The deepwater port will comply with national environmental laws. The application must properly address all relevant provisions of the Clean Air Act, as amended, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, as well as other applicable Federal and State environmental laws.

7. Consultation with the Secretaries of the Army, State and Defense

The Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense must be consulted and must express their views on the adequacy of the application and its effect on programs within their respective jurisdictions.

8. Approval of the Governor of the Adjacent Coastal State

Pursuant to 33 U.S.C. § 1508 of the Deepwater Port Act, the Governor of the Adjacent Coastal State or States must approve the issuance of a deepwater port license. If such approval is not provided to the Maritime Administrator within 45 days of the final public hearing, approval shall be conclusively presumed.

9. Consistency with Coastal Zone Management Program

An applicant for a deepwater port license must demonstrate consistency with the Coastal Zone Management Plan of the Adjacent Coastal States, per the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972.


For information on how to apply for a Deepwater Port License and what to include in your application, contact the Office of Deepwater Port Licensing & Port Conveyance, or see Deepwater Ports: General (33 CFR § 148.105) in the “Laws Related to the Deepwater Port Licensing Process” section.