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

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter BPart 922 → Subpart E


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
PART 922—NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY PROGRAM REGULATIONS


Subpart E—Regulations of General Applicability


Contents
§922.40   Purpose.
§922.41   Boundaries.
§922.42   Allowed activities.
§922.43   Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities.
§922.44   Emergency regulations.
§922.45   Penalties.
§922.46   Response costs and damages.
§922.47   Pre-existing authorizations or rights and certifications of pre-existing authorizations or rights.
§922.48   National Marine Sanctuary permits—application procedures and issuance criteria.
§922.49   Notification and review of applications for leases, licenses, permits, approvals, or other authorizations to conduct a prohibited activity.
§922.50   Appeals of administrative action.

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§922.40   Purpose.

The purpose of the regulations in this subpart and in the site-specific subparts in this part is to implement the designations of the National Marine Sanctuaries by regulating activities affecting them, consistent with their respective terms of designation in order to protect, preserve and manage and thereby ensure the health, integrity and continued availability of the conservation, ecological, recreational, research, educational, historical and aesthetic resources and qualities of these areas. Additional purposes of the regulations implementing the designation of the Florida Keys and Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuaries are found at §§922.160 and 922.180, respectively.

[84 FR 32601, July 8, 2019]

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§922.41   Boundaries.

The boundary for each of the National Marine Sanctuaries is set forth in the site-specific regulations covered by this part.

[84 FR 32601, July 8, 2019]

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§922.42   Allowed activities.

All activities (e.g., fishing, boating, diving, research, education) may be conducted unless prohibited or otherwise regulated in the site-specific regulations covered by this part, subject to any emergency regulations promulgated under this part, subject to all prohibitions, regulations, restrictions, and conditions validly imposed by any Federal, State, or local authority of competent jurisdiction, including but not limited to, Federal, Tribal, and State fishery management authorities, and subject to the provisions of section 312 of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.). The Assistant Administrator may only directly regulate fishing activities pursuant to the procedure set forth in section 304(a)(5) of the NMSA.

[84 FR 32601, July 8, 2019]

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§922.43   Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities.

The site-specific regulations applicable to the activities specified therein are set forth in the subparts covered by this part.

[84 FR 32601, July 8, 2019]

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§922.44   Emergency regulations.

(a) Where necessary to prevent or minimize the destruction of, loss of, or injury to a Sanctuary resource or quality, or minimize the imminent risk of such destruction, loss, or injury, any and all such activities are subject to immediate temporary regulation, including prohibition.

(b) The provisions of this section do not apply to the following national marine sanctuaries with site-specific regulations that establish procedures for issuing emergency regulations:

(1) Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, §922.112(e).

(2) Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, §922.165.

(3) Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, §922.185.

(4) Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, §922.196.

(5) Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary, §922.204.

(6) [Reserved]

[84 FR 32601, July 8, 2019]

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§922.45   Penalties.

(a) Each violation of the NMSA or FKNMSPA, any regulation in this part, or any permit issued pursuant thereto, is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $ 100,000. Each day of a continuing violation constitutes a separate violation.

(b) Regulations setting forth the procedures governing administrative proceedings for assessment of civil penalties, permit sanctions, and denials for enforcement reasons, issuance and use of written warnings, and release or forfeiture of seized property appear at 15 CFR part 904.

[60 FR 66877, Dec. 27, 1995, as amended at 62 FR 4607, Jan. 30, 1997]

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§922.46   Response costs and damages.

Under section 312 of the Act, any person who destroys, causes the loss of, or injures any Sanctuary resource is liable to the United States for response costs and damages resulting from such destruction, loss or injury, and any vessel used to destroy, cause the loss of, or injure any Sanctuary resource is liable in rem to the United States for response costs and damages resulting from such destruction, loss or injury.

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§922.47   Pre-existing authorizations or rights and certifications of pre-existing authorizations or rights.

(a) Leases, permits, licenses, or rights of subsistence use or access in existence on the date of designation of any National Marine Sanctuary shall not be terminated by the Director. The Director may, however, regulate the exercise of such leases, permits, licenses, or rights consistent with the purposes for which the Sanctuary was designated.

(b) The prohibitions listed in subparts F through P and R through T of this part do not apply to any activity authorized by a valid lease, permit, license, approval or other authorization in existence on the effective date of Sanctuary designation, or in the case of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary the effective date of the regulations in subpart P, and issued by any Federal, State or local authority of competent jurisdiction, or by any valid right of subsistence use or access in existence on the effective date of Sanctuary designation, or in the case of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary the effective date of the regulations in subpart P, provided that the holder of such authorization or right complies with certification procedures and criteria promulgated at the time of Sanctuary designation, or in the case of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary the effective date of the regulations in subpart P, and with any terms and conditions on the exercise of such authorization or right imposed by the Director as a condition of certification as the Director deems necessary to achieve the purposes for which the Sanctuary was designated.

[60 FR 66877, Dec. 27, 1995, as amended at 62 FR 4607, Jan. 30, 1997; 65 FR 39055, June 22, 2000; 84 FR 32601, July 8, 2019]

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§922.48   National Marine Sanctuary permits—application procedures and issuance criteria.

(a) A person may conduct an activity prohibited by subparts F through O and S and T of this part, if conducted in accordance with the scope, purpose, terms and conditions of a permit issued under this section and subparts F through O and S and T, as appropriate. For the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, a person may conduct an activity prohibited by subpart P of this part if conducted in accordance with the scope, purpose, terms and conditions of a permit issued under §922.166. For the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, a person may conduct an activity prohibited by subpart R of this part in accordance with the scope, purpose, terms and conditions of a permit issued under §922.195.

(b) Applications for permits to conduct activities otherwise prohibited by subparts F through O and S and T of this part, should be addressed to the Director and sent to the address specified in subparts F through O of this part, or subparts R through T of this part, as appropriate. An application must include:

(1) A detailed description of the proposed activity including a timetable for completion;

(2) The equipment, personnel and methodology to be employed;

(3) The qualifications and experience of all personnel;

(4) The potential effects of the activity, if any, on Sanctuary resources and qualities; and

(5) Copies of all other required licenses, permits, approvals or other authorizations.

(c) Upon receipt of an application, the Director may request such additional information from the applicant as he or she deems necessary to act on the application and may seek the views of any persons or entity, within or outside the Federal government, and may hold a public hearing, as deemed appropriate.

(d) The Director, at his or her discretion, may issue a permit, subject to such terms and conditions as he or she deems appropriate, to conduct a prohibited activity, in accordance with the criteria found in subparts F through O of this part, or subparts R through T of this part, as appropriate. The Director shall further impose, at a minimum, the conditions set forth in the relevant subpart.

(e) A permit granted pursuant to this section is nontransferable.

(f) The Director may amend, suspend, or revoke a permit issued pursuant to this section for good cause. The Director may deny a permit application pursuant to this section, in whole or in part, if it is determined that the permittee or applicant has acted in violation of the terms and conditions of a permit or of the regulations set forth in this section or subparts F through O of this part, or subparts R through T of this part or for other good cause. Any such action shall be communicated in writing to the permittee or applicant by certified mail and shall set forth the reason(s) for the action taken. Procedures governing permit sanctions and denials for enforcement reasons are set forth in subpart D of 15 CFR part 904.

[84 FR 32601, July 8, 2019]

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§922.49   Notification and review of applications for leases, licenses, permits, approvals, or other authorizations to conduct a prohibited activity.

(a) A person may conduct an activity prohibited by subparts L through P of this part, or subparts R through T of this part, if such activity is specifically authorized by any valid Federal, State, or local lease, permit, license, approval, or other authorization issued after the effective date of Sanctuary designation, or in the case of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary after the effective date of the regulations in subpart P, provided that:

(1) The applicant notifies the Director, in writing, of the application for such authorization (and of any application for an amendment, renewal, or extension of such authorization) within fifteen (15) days of the date of filing of the application or the effective date of Sanctuary designation, or in the case of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary the effective date of the regulations in subpart P, whichever is later;

(2) The applicant complies with the other provisions of this section;

(3) The Director notifies the applicant and authorizing agency that he or she does not object to issuance of the authorization (or amendment, renewal, or extension); and

(4) The applicant complies with any terms and conditions the Director deems reasonably necessary to protect Sanctuary resources and qualities.

(b) Any potential applicant for an authorization described in paragraph (a) of this section may request the Director to issue a finding as to whether the activity for which an application is intended to be made is prohibited by subparts L through P of this part, or subparts R through T of this part, as appropriate.

(c) Notification of filings of applications should be sent to the Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries at the address specified in subparts L through P of this part, or subparts R through T of this part, as appropriate. A copy of the application must accompany the notification.

(d) The Director may request additional information from the applicant as he or she deems reasonably necessary to determine whether to object to issuance of an authorization described in paragraph (a) of this section, or what terms and conditions are reasonably necessary to protect Sanctuary resources and qualities. The information requested must be received by the Director within 45 days of the postmark date of the request. The Director may seek the views of any persons on the application.

(e) The Director shall notify, in writing, the agency to which application has been made of his or her pending review of the application and possible objection to issuance. Upon completion of review of the application and information received with respect thereto, the Director shall notify both the agency and applicant, in writing, whether he or she has an objection to issuance and what terms and conditions he or she deems reasonably necessary to protect Sanctuary resources and qualities, and reasons therefor.

(f) The Director may amend the terms and conditions deemed reasonably necessary to protect Sanctuary resources and qualities whenever additional information becomes available justifying such an amendment.

(g) Any time limit prescribed in or established under this section may be extended by the Director for good cause.

(h) The applicant may appeal any objection by, or terms or conditions imposed by, the Director to the Assistant Administrator or designee in accordance with the provisions of §922.50.

[62 FR 4608, Jan. 30, 1997, as amended at 65 FR 39056, June 22, 2000; 84 FR 32602, July 8, 2019]

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§922.50   Appeals of administrative action.

(a)(1) Except for permit actions taken for enforcement reasons (see subpart D of 15 CFR part 904 for applicable procedures), an applicant for, or a holder of, a National Marine Sanctuary permit; an applicant for, or a holder of, a Special Use permit issued pursuant to section 310 of the Act; a person requesting certification of an existing lease, permit, license or right of subsistence use or access under §922.47; or, for those Sanctuaries described in subparts L through P and R through T of this part, an applicant for a lease, permit, license or other authorization issued by any Federal, State, or local authority of competent jurisdiction (hereinafter appellant) may appeal to the Assistant Administrator:

(i) The granting, denial, conditioning, amendment, suspension or revocation by the Director of a National Marine Sanctuary or Special Use permit;

(ii) The conditioning, amendment, suspension or revocation of a certification under §922.47; or

(iii) For those Sanctuaries described in subparts L through P and R through T of this part, the objection to issuance of or the imposition of terms and conditions on a lease, permit, license or other authorization issued by any Federal, State, or local authority of competent jurisdiction.

(2) For those National Marine Sanctuaries described in subparts F through K and S and T of this part, any interested person may also appeal the same actions described in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section. For appeals arising from actions taken with respect to these National Marine Sanctuaries, the term “appellant” includes any such interested persons.

(b) An appeal under paragraph (a) of this section must be in writing, state the action(s) by the Director appealed and the reason(s) for the appeal, and be received within 30 days of receipt of notice of the action by the Director. Appeals should be addressed to the Assistant Administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management, NOAA 1305 East-West Highway, 13th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

(c)(1) The Assistant Administrator may request the appellant to submit such information as the Assistant Administrator deems necessary in order for him or her to decide the appeal. The information requested must be received by the Assistant Administrator within 45 days of the postmark date of the request. The Assistant Administrator may seek the views of any other persons. For the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, if the appellant has requested a hearing, the Assistant Administrator shall grant an informal hearing. For all other National Marine Sanctuaries, the Assistant Administrator may determine whether to hold an informal hearing on the appeal. If the Assistant Administrator determines that an informal hearing should be held, the Assistant Administrator may designate an officer before whom the hearing shall be held.

(2) The hearing officer shall give notice in the Federal Register of the time, place and subject matter of the hearing. The appellant and the Director may appear personally or by counsel at the hearing and submit such material and present such arguments as deemed appropriate by the hearing officer. Within 60 days after the record for the hearing closes, the hearing officer shall recommend a decision in writing to the Assistant Administrator.

(d) The Assistant Administrator shall decide the appeal using the same regulatory criteria as for the initial decision and shall base the appeal decision on the record before the Director and any information submitted regarding the appeal, and, if a hearing has been held, on the record before the hearing officer and the hearing officer's recommended decision. The Assistant Administrator shall notify the appellant of the final decision and the reason(s) therefore in writing. The Assistant Administrator's decision shall constitute final agency action for the purpose of the Administrative Procedure Act.

(e) Any time limit prescribed in or established under this section other than the 30-day limit for filing an appeal may be extended by the Assistant Administrator or hearing office for good cause.

[84 FR 32602, July 8, 2019]

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