16 U.S.C. § 1383b - Status review; conservation plans

Cite as:16 U.S.C. § 1383b
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) Determinations by rule; notice and hearing; findings; final rule on status of species or stock involved

(1) In any action by the Secretary to determine if a species or stock should be designated as depleted, or should no longer be designated as depleted, regardless of whether such action is taken on the initiative of the Secretary or in response to a petition for a status review, the Secretary shall only make such a determination by issuance of a rule, after notice and opportunity for public comment and after a call for information in accordance with paragraph (2).

(2) The Secretary shall make any determination described in paragraph (1) solely on the basis of the best scientific information available. Prior to the issuance of a proposed rule concerning any such determination, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a call to assist the Secretary in obtaining scientific information from individuals and organizations concerned with the conservation of marine mammals, from persons in any industry which might be affected by the determination, and from academic institutions. In addition, the Secretary shall utilize, to the extent the Secretary determines to be feasible, informal working groups of interested parties and other methods to gather the necessary information.

(3)

(A) If the Secretary receives a petition for a status review as described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall publish a notice in the Federal Register that such a petition has been received and is available for public review.

(B) Within sixty days after receipt of the petition, the Secretary shall publish a finding in the Federal Register as to whether the petition presents substantial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted.

(C) If the Secretary makes a positive finding under subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall include in the Federal Register notice, a finding that-

(i) a review of the status of the species or stock will be commenced promptly; or

(ii) a prompt review of the petition is precluded by other pending status determination petitions and that expeditious progress is being made to process pending status determination petitions under this subchapter.

In no case after making a finding under this subparagraph shall the Secretary delay commencing a review of the status of a species or stock for more than one hundred and twenty days after receipt of the petition.

(D) No later than two hundred and ten days after the receipt of the petition, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a proposed rule as to the status of the species or stock, along with the reasons underlying the proposed status determination. Persons shall have at least sixty days to submit comments on such a proposed rule.

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