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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Green Sturgeon 4(d) Rule Take Exceptions and Exemptions

This document has a comment period that ends in 49 days. (11/12/2019) Submit a formal comment

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.




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 November 12, 2019.


Direct all written comments to Adrienne Thomas, PRA Officer, NOAA, 151 Patton Avenue, Room 159, Asheville, NC 28801 (or via the internet at All comments received are part of the public record. All Personally Identifiable Information (for example, name and address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats.

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Melissa Neuman, NMFS West Coast Region Protected Resources Division, 501 West Ocean Boulevard Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802, (562) 980-4115, or

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I. Abstract

This request is for an extension, without change, of a currently approved information collection.

The Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris; hereafter, “Southern DPS”) was listed as a threatened species in April 2006. Protective regulations under section 4(d) of the ESA were promulgated for the species on June 2, 2010 (75 FR 30714) (the final ESA 4(d) Rule). To comply with the ESA and the protective regulations, entities must obtain take authorization prior to engaging in activities involving take of Southern DPS fish unless the activity is covered by an exception or exemption. “Take” is defined as to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. Certain activities described in the “exceptions” provision of 50 CFR 223.210(b) are not subject to the take prohibitions if they adhere to specific criteria and reporting requirements. Under the “exemption” provision of 50 CFR 223.210(c), the take prohibitions do not apply to scientific research, scientific monitoring, and fisheries activities conducted under an approved 4(d) program or plan; similarly, take prohibitions do not apply to tribal resource management activities conducted under a Tribal Plan for which the requisite determinations described in 50 CFR 223.102(c)(3) have been made.

To ensure that activities qualify under exceptions to or exemptions from the take prohibitions, local, state, and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, academic researchers, and private organizations are asked to voluntarily submit detailed information regarding their activity on a schedule to be determined by National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) staff. This information is used by NMFS to (1) track the number of Southern DPS fish taken as a result of each action; (2) understand and evaluate the cumulative effects of each action on the Southern DPS; and (3) determine whether additional protections are needed for the species, or whether additional exceptions may be warranted. NMFS designed the criteria to ensure that plans meeting the criteria would adequately limit impacts on threatened Start Printed Page 47498Southern DPS fish, such that additional protections in the form of a federal take prohibition would not be necessary and advisable.

II. Method of Collection

Respondents have a choice of either electronic or paper forms. Methods of submittal include email of electronic forms, and mail and facsimile transmission of paper forms.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0648-0613.

Form Number(s): None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local, or Tribal government; Federal government; business or other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 58

Estimated Time per Response: Written notification describing research, monitoring or habitat restoration activities, 40 hours; development of fisheries management and evaluation plans or state 4(d) research programs, 40 hours; reports, 5 hours; development of a tribal fishery management plan, 20 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,760.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $200.

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 burden 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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Sheleen Dumas,

Departmental Lead PRA Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department.

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[FR Doc. 2019-19530 Filed 9-9-19; 8:45 am]