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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Permits for Incidental Taking of Endangered or Threatened Species

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).




The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.


Written comments must be submitted on or before April 8, 2005.


Direct all written comments to Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6625, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Susan Pultz, F/PR3 Room 13661, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring MD 20910-3282 (phone 301-713-1401, ext. 116).

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I. Abstract

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) 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: (l) 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, 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.

II. Method of Collection

Currently, most information is collected on paper, but in some instances, there is electronic access and capability.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0648-0230.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for-profit organizations; not-for-profit institutions; and state, local, or tribal government.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 11.

Estimated Time Per Response: 80 hours for a permit application (including Habitat Conservation Plans); 30 minutes for an application for a Certificate of Inclusion; 8 hours for a permit report; and 10 hours for a watershed plan.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 880.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $15,840.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the Start Printed Page 6415burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

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Dated: January 27, 2005.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 05-2283 Filed 2-4-05; 8:45 am]