Upon receipt of a complete application, the Director may issue a permit authorizing any activity otherwise prohibited by § 17.21, in accordance with the issuance criteria of this section in order to prevent undue economic hardship. The Director shall publish notice in the Federal Register of each application for a permit that is made under this section. Each notice shall invite the submission from interested parties, within 30 days after the date of the notice, of written data, views, or arguments with respect to the application. The 30-day period may be waived by the Director in an emergency situation where the life or health of an endangered animal is threatened and no reasonable alternative is available to the applicant. Notice of any such waiver shall be published in the Federal Register within 10 days following issuance of the permit.
(a) Application requirements. Applications for permits under this section must be submitted to the Director by the person allegedly suffering undue economic hardship because his desired activity is prohibited by § 17.21. Each application must be submitted on an official application form (Form 3-200) provided by the Service, and must include, as an attachment, all of the information required in § 17.22 plus the following additional information:
(1) The possible legal, economic or subsistence alternatives to the activity sought to be authorized by the permit;
(2) A full statement, accompanied by copies of all relevant contracts and correspondence, showing the appli- cant's involvement with the wildlife sought to be covered by the permit (as well as his involvement with similar wildlife), including, where applicable, that portion of applicant's income derived from the taking of such wildlife, or the subsistence use of such wildlife, during the calendar year immediately preceding either the notice in the Federal Register of review of the status of the species or of the proposal to list such wildlife as endangered, whichever is earliest;
(3) Where applicable, proof of a contract or other binding legal obligation which:
(i) Deals specifically with the wildlife sought to be covered by the permit;
(ii) Became binding prior to the date when the notice of a review of the status of the species or the notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to list such wildlife as endangered was published in the Federal Register, whichever is earlier; and
(iii) Will cause monetary loss of a given dollar amount if the permit sought under this section is not granted.
(b) Issuance criteria. Upon receiving an application completed in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, the Director will decide whether or not a permit should be issued under any of the three categories of economic hardship, as defined in section 10(b)(2) of the Act. In making his decisions, the Director shall consider, in addition to the general criteria in § 13.21(b) of this subchapter, the following factors:
(1) Whether the purpose for which the permit is being requested is adequate to justify removing from the wild or otherwise changing the status of the wildlife sought to be covered by the permit;
(2) The probable direct and indirect effect which issuing the permit would have on the wild populations of the wildlife sought to be covered by the permit;
(3) The economic, legal, subsistence, or other alternatives or relief available to the applicant;
(4) The amount of evidence that the applicant was in fact party to a contract or other binding legal obligation which;
(i) Deals specifically with the wildlife sought to be covered by the permit; and
(ii) Became binding prior to the date when the notice of a review of the status of the species or the notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to list such wildlife as endangered was published in the Federal Register, whichever is earlier.
(5) The severity of economic hardship which the contract or other binding legal obligation referred to in paragraph (b)(4) of this section would cause if the permit were denied;
(6) Where applicable, the portion of the applicant's income which would be lost if the permit were denied, and the relationship of that portion to the balance of his income;
(7) Where applicable, the nature and extent of subsistence taking generally by the applicant; and
(8) The likelihood that applicant can reasonably carry out his desired activity within one year from the date a notice is published in the Federal Register to review status of such wildlife, or to list such wildlife as endangered, whichever is earlier.
(c) Permit conditions. In addition to the general conditions set forth in part 13 of this subchapter, every permit issued under this section shall be subject to the following special conditions:
(1) In addition to any reporting requirements contained in the permit itself, the permittee shall also submit to the Director a written report of his activities pursuant to the permit. Such report must be postmarked or actually delivered no later than 10 days after completion of the activity.
(2) The death or escape of all living wildlife covered by the permit shall be immediately reported to the Service's office designated in the permit.
(d) Duration of permits issued under this section shall be designated on the face of the permit. No permit issued under this section, however, shall be valid for more than one year from the date a notice is published in the Federal Register to review status of such wildlife, or to list such wildlife as endangered, whichever is earlier.