FOR SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS FOR MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE
The National Marine Sanctuaries Act (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.) directs the Secretary of Commerce to designate and manage areas of the marine environment with nationally significant aesthetic, ecological, historical, or recreational values as national marine sanctuaries. The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) has issued regulations to implement this act (15 CFR Part 922). These regulations exist to safeguard resources within sanctuary boundaries and include prohibitions on the conduct of some activities. Program regulations outline the procedure and criteria under which the NMSP will issue permits to allow certain activities beneficial to sanctuaries that would otherwise be prohibited. These guidelines describe the requirements and process by which an applicant may apply for a permit under this authority.
NMSP permits are typically issued by sanctuary superintendents. The type of activities that qualify for a permit vary from sanctuary to sanctuary, but in general include research on sanctuary natural and cultural resources, educational activities, and activities that further sanctuary management objectives.
In addition to permits, in certain sanctuaries a superintendent can authorize an activity that is permitted by a valid lease, permit, license, approval or other authorization issued by any federal, state, or local authority of competent jurisdiction. Such authorizations may be only be issued by Florida Keys, Flower Garden Banks, Monterey Bay, Stellwagen Bank, Olympic Coast, and Thunder Bay national marine sanctuaries. Since the general process and requirements governing the handling of authorizations and permits are very similar, in these guidelines the term “permit” applies to both permits and authorizations. When there is a difference in the requirements or process between permits and authorizations, this distinction is noted.
Anyone conducting prohibited activities without a valid national marine sanctuary permit may be subject to the penalties as provided under Section 307 of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.
II. GENERAL GUIDANCE
Permit applications should include the required information listed below, in sufficient detail that an educated non-specialist can understand exactly what is proposed. The amount and depth of information to be given on an application depends primarily on the complexity of the proposed activity.
Applications for sanctuary authorizations shall include the following information:
Applicant and Project Information
Sanctuary – Note the sanctuary(s) in which the activity is proposed to occur.
Applicant Information–Provide name, title, address, telephone number, fax number, email address, of the applicant. Application for Sanctuary authorization to conduct a fireworks display should be submitted by the person (individual) who will assume full supervisory responsibility for the event. An individual will be named in the authorization document in order to identify a sole point of contact for the event. Authorization must be requested by a member of the organization sponsoring the event - not by the contractor performing the fireworks display.
The application may be in letter form and should provide a full description of the agenda, procedures, and pyrotechnic devices associated with executing the display. The letter should include, but is not limited to:
The general location where the fireworks display will occur
The date and time that the display will occur
The duration of the display
A description of the purpose for (event related to) the display
Anticipated effects of the display on the Sanctuary or Sanctuary resources
The name, address, and phone number of the sponsor and authorization holder
The name, address, and state license number of the company or party that will actually handle and ignite pyrotechnic devices
A common-name description of each type of pyrotechnic device to be ignited or launched
A description of the contents, dimensions, and weight of each type of pyrotechnic device to be ignited or launched
A description of the chemical elements (and respective volumes) present in each type of pyrotechnic device to be ignited or launched
The number of aerial shells that will be launched
A description of the range and detonation altitude of each shell type
The exact location at which pyrotechnic devices will be ignited or launched
A description of the impact area (a map of the impact area is acceptable)
Copies of the following documents are required as part of the application:
Local Fire Marshall Permit
Applicable City and County Use Permits
Certificate of Comprehensive General Liability Insurance covering the display sponsor against damages caused by the fireworks display
U.S. Coast Guard Marine Events Permit if the fireworks display will occur over the water or will in any way affect navigation
If fireworks are to be ignited or launched from an offshore platform, the details of such operation must be included in the authorization request. The Sanctuary Superintendent may request additional information as needed to consider any authorization request.
Methods – Describe how the proposed methods and analytical techniques will achieve the activity objectives. This description should include the following, as applicable:
Project Title – Clearly describe the proposed project area in terms of sanctuary name(s), geographic location(s), and place names. Unless it is necessary for the activity to take place throughout the sanctuary, provide the geographic coordinates of the proposed location in decimal degrees or degrees, minutes, seconds. Explain whether coordinates notate sampling point(s), boundary points, or a central point and associated radius. Indicate whether the work will take place in any sanctuary marine zones (see section G).
Procedures – Describe the proposed activity design that addresses the stated objectives. Explain the methods and protocols to be employed in the field. Include descriptions and diagrams of any instrumentation or equipment to be used and deployment duration. Describe all phases of activity, including equipment removal. Include activity frequency (e.g., daily, monthly) as appropriate.
Schedule– Provide a schedule that includes start of project, approximate dates or seasons of fieldwork, analysis, reporting, and completion dates. Include the requested start and stop dates for the authorization.
Budget – Briefly outline the expenses associated with this project and identify your expected funding source(s). Provide contract number, performance period, and name of sponsoring agency, as applicable.
Products – With limited exemptions, all information resulting from activities conducted under a national marine sanctuary permit must be made available to the public.
Publications and Reports – Describe the expected publications or reports that will be generated as part of this study.
Literature Cited – Include full bibliographic citations for any reports and publications used in the text of the application.
Qualifications– Provide a background summary for the primary applicant/principal investigator and any co-applicant. Identify their training and qualifications relevant to the proposed project and their ability to conduct field activities in the environment of the proposed activity area. Describe previous permitted activities in national marine sanctuaries, including any sanctuary permits or authorizations previously issued.
Environmental Impacts– Discuss the environmental consequences of conducting the proposed activity and indicate whether the activity could be conducted outside the sanctuary and still accomplish the project's objectives. Specify the direct and indirect environmental impacts of the activity and explain how the benefits of the research will outweigh the disadvantages or environmental consequences in both the short and long term.
Supporting Documenation and Special Concerns– Provide information on the following topics where applicable. Attach copies of any supporting documentation that will facilitate processing your application, such as other required federal and state permits, copies of peer reviews, letters of support and funding commitments, and certifications.
Copies of other permits – Include, if applicable, copies of other federal, state and/or local permits issued with regards to this permit request.
Requests for NMSP assistance – NMSP has limited on-site sanctuary personnel, facilities and equipment that may be used to support permitted activities under special circumstances. Requests for support should accompany the permit application and include details on the support requested, justification, dates and length required, and alternate plans if NMSP support is not available.
Activities in marine zones – Some sanctuaries have established marine zones to more fully protect habitats, restore the ecological integrity of these areas, or deconflict certain activities. Examples of these zones include Sanctuary Preservation Areas in Florida Keys NMS and marine reserves in Channel Islands NMS. For any activity or portion of activity proposed to take place in marine zones, describe why it is necessary to conduct this activity in a particular zone and how it will further the understanding and/or management of the zone or sanctuary.
OF AUTHORIZATION REQUESTS
The completed authorization application should be sent to the MBNMS Permit Coordinator indicated below. Authorization applications must be submitted at least forty-five (45) calendar days in advance of the requested effective date to allow sufficient time for evaluation and processing. Sensitive or complicated requests, requests for collection of sensitive species, or requests for sanctuary support should be submitted at least ninety (90) calendar days in advance. In order to expedite processing, applicants are encouraged to contact the sanctuary in advance of submitting a formal application to discuss any questions or issues they feel may complicate or delay the application process. Note: applications not received within the time frames specified above may not be processed before the requested effective date.
OF AUTHORIZATION REQUESTS
Authorization applications are generally processed by the sanctuary in the order received and will first be reviewed for completeness and adherence to these guidelines. Applicants will be contacted for clarification or if applications are incomplete within twenty (20) calendar days of receipt of the application. If a sanctuary requests such additional information or clarification, and no response has been received from the applicant within ninety (90) calendar days, the application will be deemed withdrawn, no further action will be taken on the application by the sanctuary, and any application for this activity will have to be resubmitted by the applicant as a new request.
Complete applications are reviewed by sanctuary personnel, and, when deemed necessary, peer-reviewed by outside experts. Based on the reviews of the application, NMSP will approve or deny the authorization. If approved, the sanctuary superintendent will issue the authorization. If denied, applicants are notified of the reason(s) for denial and informed of the appeal process.
VI. AUTHORIZATION AMENDMENTS
Once a permit or authorization has been issued, changes can be made in the form of an amendment. Requests for amendments (e.g., requests to change the activity location or to extend the expiration date) must conform to these guidelines. Persons desiring to continue authorized activities in the sanctuary must reapply for an extension of the current authorization at least thirty (30) calendar days before it expires. Reference to the original application may be given in lieu of a new application, provided the scope of work does not change significantly and required reports pertinent to the original permit have been submitted to and approved by on-site sanctuary personnel. Note: requests for amendments not received within the time frame specified above may not be processed before the requested effective date. In addition, expired authorizations cannot be amended.
VII. AUTHORIZATION REPORTS
Most authorizations will require the permittee to submit certain reports documenting activities conducted under the authorization. Depending on the permit type and proposed activity, such reports may include (but are not limited to) interim and final activity reports, cruise and flight logs, catch logs, and sample/collection logs. For most permits, these reports will generally be 1-2 pages in length, although complex activities may call for more extensive documentation. Information required to be included in these reports will vary according to the specific activity being authorized, but will generally include a brief summary of activities undertaken, activity dates and locations, any results or findings, appropriate charts or photos, details regarding samples and collections made, publications resulting from permitted activities, and any deviations from the proposed or permitted activities.
VIII. SPECIAL SITUATIONS
Although the information required here applies to most permit situations, certain types of activities require more or less application information and may involve a different review and/or approval process.
IX. REPORTING BURDEN
Submittal of the information requested in these guidelines is required to obtain a permit pursuant to NMSP regulations (15 CFR part 922). This data is to evaluate the potential benefits of the activity, determine whether the proposed methods will achieve the proposed results, evaluate any possible detrimental environmental impacts, and determine if issuance of a permit is appropriate. It is through this evaluation that the NMSP is able to use permitting as one of the management tools to protect sanctuary resources and qualities.
Applicants are requested to indicate any information that is considered proprietary business information. Such information is typically exempt from disclosure to anyone requesting information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). NOAA will make all possible attempts to protect such proprietary information, consistent with all applicable FOIA exemptions in 5 U.S.C. 552(b). Typically exempt information includes trade secrets, commercial and financial information (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)). Personal information affecting an individual’s privacy will also be kept confidential consistent with 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(6).
Public reporting burden for this collection of information, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information is estimated to average one (1) hour per response (e.g., initial application, cruise log, final report) except for the following permit types:
Twenty-four (24) hours per response for special use permits;
Thirteen (13) hours per response for activities involving sanctuary historical resources;
Thirty (30) minutes per response for baitfish permit;
Fifteen (15) minutes per response for amendments to permits;
Thirty (30) minutes per response for certification requests;
Fifteen (15) minutes per response for voluntary registration; and
Ninety (90) minutes per response for appeals of permit decisions.
Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to National Permit Coordinator, NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program, 1305 East-West Highway (N/ORM6), 11th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.
X. FURTHER INFORMATION
For further information on the National Marine Sanctuary Program, write or call the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary or National Marine Sanctuary Program contacts listed below: