The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has submitted to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act: Permits for Incidental Taking of Endangered or Threatened Species. OMB Control Number: 0648–0230. This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.
The U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973 imposed prohibitions against the taking of endangered species. In 1982, Congress revised the ESA to allow permits authorizing the taking of endangered species incidental to otherwise lawful activities. The corresponding regulations (50 CFR part 222.222) established procedures for persons to apply for such a permit. In addition, the regulations set forth specific reporting requirements for such permit holders. The regulations contain three sets of information collections: (1) Applications for incidental take permits, (2) applications for certificates of inclusion, and (3) reporting requirements for permits issued. Certificates of inclusion are only required if a general permit is issued to a representative of a group of potential permit applicants, rather than requiring each entity to apply for and receive a permit. The required information is used to evaluate the impacts of the proposed activity on endangered species, to make the determinations required by the ESA prior to issuing a permit, and to establish appropriate permit conditions.
When a species is listed as threatened, section 4(d) of the ESA requires the Secretary to issue whatever regulations are deemed necessary or advisable to provide for conservation of the species. In many cases those regulations reflect blanket application of the section 9 take prohibition. However, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recognizes certain exceptions to that prohibition, including habitat restoration actions taken in accord with approved state watershed action plans. While watershed plans are prepared for other purposes in coordination with or fulfillment of various state programs, a watershed group wishing to take advantage of the exception for restoration activities (rather than obtaining a section 10 permit) would have to submit the plan for NMFS review.
OMB will accept comments on this requested ICR extension until June 5, 2015.
Click here to read Federal Register notice of this action and for more details about commenting.