Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Application and Reports for Scientific Research and Enhancement Permits Under the Endangered Species Act

Summary:

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.

Table of Contents

Dates:

Written comments must be submitted on or before April 23, 2012.

Addresses:

Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at JJessup@doc.gov).

For further information contact:

Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Gary Rule, (503) 230-5424 or Gary.Rule@noaa.gov.

Supplementary information:

I. Abstract

This request is for an extension of a currently approved information collection.

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) imposed prohibitions against the taking of endangered species. Section 10 of the ESA allows permits authorizing the taking of endangered species for research/enhancement purposes. The corresponding regulations established procedures for persons to apply for such permits. In addition, the regulations set forth specific reporting requirements for such permit holders. The regulations contain two sets of information collections:

(1) Applications for research/enhancement permits, and (2) reporting requirements for permits issued.

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. To issue permits under ESA Section 10(a)(1)(A), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) must determine that (1) such exceptions were applied for in good faith, (2) if granted and exercised, will not operate to the disadvantage of such endangered species, and (3) will be consistent with the purposes and policy set forth in Section 2 of the ESA.

The currently approved application and reporting requirements apply to Pacific marine and anadromous fish species; requirements regarding other species are being addressed in a separate information collection.

II. Method of Collection

Submissions may be in paper or electronic format.

III. Data

OMB Control Number:0648-0402.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a currently approved collection).

Affected Public: Federal government; State, local, or tribal government; business or other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents:160.

Estimated Time per Response: Permit applications, 12 hours; permit modification requests 6 hours; and annual or final reports, 2 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours:835.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public:$500 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

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.

Dated: February 15, 2012. Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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