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e-CFR data is current as of January 19, 2021

Title 50Chapter IISubchapter KPart 296 → §296.6

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries

§296.6   NMFS processing of claims.

(a) Action by NMFS. Upon receipt of a claim, the Chief, FSD, will:

(1) Send an abstract of the claim to the Secretary of the Interior;

(2) Send the reported location of any obstruction which was not recovered and retained to the National Ocean Survey, which will inform the Defense Mapping Agency Hydrographic/Topographic Center.

(b) Actions by the Interior Department. Upon receipt of an abstract of a claim, the Interior Department will immediately:

(1) Plot the casualty site, and advise NMFS whether the site is in an area affected by OCS activities;

(2) make reasonable efforts to notify all persons known to have engaged in activities associated with OCS energy activity in the vicinity where the damage or loss occurred.

(c) Responses to notice of claim. (1) Each person notified by the Interior Department will, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, advise the Chief, FSD, and the Interior Department whether he admits or denies responsibility for the damages claimed.

(2) Each person notified by the Interior Department who fails to give timely and proper advice of admission or denial of responsibility shall be presumed to deny responsibility for the damages claimed.

(3) If any person admits responsibility, the Chief, FSD, will initiate action to recover from that party any sums paid or to be paid for the claimed damages.

(4) Any person referred to in this section, including lessees or permittees or their contractors or subcontractors, may submit evidence about any claim to the Chief, FSD.

(d) Failure to meet filing requirements. The Chief, FSD, may reject any claim that does not meet the filing requirements. The Chief, FSD, will give a claimant whose claim is rejected written notice of the reasons for rejection within 30 days after the date on which the claim was filed. If the claimant does not refile an acceptable claim within 30 days after the date of this written notice, the claimant is not eligible for Fund compensation unless there are extenuating circumstances.

(e) Proceedings—(1) Location. Any required proceeding will be conducted within such United States judicial district as may be mutually agreeable to the claimant and the Assistant Administrator, NMFS, or his designee, or if no agreement can be reached, within the United States judicial district in which the claimant's home port is located.

(2) Powers. For purposes of any proceeding, the Assistant Administrator, NMFS, or his designee, shall have the power to administer oaths and subpoena witnesses and the production of books, records, and other evidence relative to the issues involved.

(3) Amendments to claims. A claimant may amend the claim at any time before the Chief, FSD, issues an initial determination.

(4) Criminal penalty for fraudulent claims. Any person who files a fraudulent claim is subject to prosecution under 18 U.S.C. sections 287 and 1001, each of which, upon conviction, imposes a penalty of not more than a $10,000 fine and 5 years' imprisonment, or both.

[47 FR 49600, Nov. 1, 1982, as amended at 61 FR 6322, Feb. 20, 1996]

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