(a) To incidentally take marine mammals pursuant to these regulations, prospective LOA-holders must apply for and obtain an LOA.
(b) An LOA, unless suspended or revoked, may be effective for a period not to exceed the expiration date of these regulations.
(c) In the event of projected changes to the activity or to mitigation and monitoring measures required by an LOA, the LOA-holder must apply for and obtain a modification of the LOA as described in § 217.187.
(d) The LOA shall set forth:
(1) Permissible methods of incidental taking;
(2) Means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact (i.e., mitigation) on the species or stock and its habitat; and
(3) Requirements for monitoring and reporting.
(e) Issuance of the LOA shall be based on a determination that the level of taking will be consistent with the findings made for the total taking allowable under these regulations and a determination that the amount of take authorized under the LOA is of no more than small numbers.
(f) For LOA issuance, where either
(1) the conclusions put forth in an application (e.g., take estimates) are based on analytical methods that differ substantively from those used in the development of the rule, or
(2) the proposed activity or anticipated impacts vary substantively in scope or nature from those analyzed for the rule, NMFS may publish a notice of proposed LOA in the Federal Register, including the associated analysis of the differences, and solicit public comment before making a decision regarding issuance of the LOA.
(g) Notice of issuance or denial of an LOA shall be published in the Federal Register within thirty days of a determination.