Weather Modification: The Law

Title 15, Chapter 9A: Weather Modification Activities or Attempts; Reporting Requirement

Section 330. Definitions

As used in this chapter -

(1) The term ''Secretary'' means the Secretary of Commerce.

(2) The term ''person'' means any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, any State or local government or any agency thereof, or any other organization, whether commercial or nonprofit, who is performing weather modification activities, except where acting solely as an employee, agent, or independent contractor of the Federal Government.

(3) The term ''weather modification'' means any activity performed with the intention of producing artificial changes in the composition, behavior, or dynamics of the atmosphere.

(4) The term ''United States'' includes the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or insular possession of the United States.

Section 330a. Report requirement; form; information; time of submission

No person may engage, or attempt to engage, in any weather modification activity in the United States unless he submits to the Secretary such reports with respect thereto, in such form and containing such information, as the Secretary may by rule prescribe. The Secretary may require that such reports be submitted to him before, during, and after any such activity or attempt.

Section 330b. Duties of Secretary

(a) Records, maintenance; summaries, publication
The Secretary shall maintain a record of weather modification activities, including attempts, which take place in the United States and shall publish summaries thereof from time to time as he determines.

(b) Public availability of reports, documents, and other information
All reports, documents, and other information received by the Secretary under the provisions of this chapter shall be made available to the public to the fullest practicable extent.

(c) Disclosure of confidential information; prohibition; exceptions
In carrying out the provisions of this section, the Secretary shall not disclose any information referred to in section 1905 of title 18 and is otherwise unavailable to the public, except that such information shall be disclosed -

(1) to other Federal Government departments, agencies, and officials for official use upon request;

(2) in any judicial proceeding under court order formulated to preserve the confidentiality of such information without impairing the proceeding; and

(3) to the public if necessary to protect their health and safety.

Section 330c. Authority of Secretary

(a) Information; reports and records; inspection; availability of data from any Federal agency as limitation of authority
The Secretary may obtain from any person whose activities relate to weather modification by rule, subpena, or otherwise such information in the form of testimony, books, records, or other writings, may require the keeping and furnishing of such reports and records, and may make such inspection of the books, records, and other writings and premises and property of any person as may be deemed necessary or appropriate by him to carry out the provisions of this chapter, but this authority shall not be exercised to obtain any information with respect to which adequate and authoritative data are available from any Federal agency.

(b) Noncompliance; application of Attorney General; jurisdiction; orders; contempts
In case of contumacy by, or refusal to obey a subpena served upon any person pursuant to this section, the district court of the United States for any district in which such person is found or resides or transacts business, upon application by the Attorney General, shall have jurisdiction to issue an order requiring such person to appear and give testimony or to appear and produce documents, or both; and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as a contempt thereof.

Section 330d. Violation; penalty

Any person who knowingly and willfully violates section 330a of this title, or any rule issued thereunder, shall upon conviction thereof be fined not more than $10,000.

Section 330e. Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated $150,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1972, $200,000 each for the fiscal years 1973 through 1980, $100,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1981, $100,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1986, $100,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1987, $100,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1988, to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
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