House Science Committee Chairman Robert Walker (R-Pa.) has introduced a bill into Congress to give the United States the legislative authority to implement the 1991 Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty. That protocol established rules and principles to shield the Antarctic environment from human spoilage—placing limits on the discharge of pollutants, protecting plant and animal life, and requiring environmental impact assessments before new activities and programs are launched. The protocol also forbids prospecting or developing of mineral resources except for scientific research.