50 CFR 18.114 - How do I obtain a Letter of Authorization?
(a) You must be a U.S. citizen as defined in § 18.27(c).
(b) If you are conducting an oil and gas exploration activity in the specified geographic region described in § 18.112 that may cause the taking of Pacific walruses (walruses) or polar bears and you want nonlethal incidental take authorization under this rule, you must apply for a Letter of Authorization for each exploration activity. You must submit the application for authorization to our Alaska Regional Director (see 50 CFR 2.2 for address) at least 90 days prior to the start of the proposed activity.
(c) Your application for a Letter of Authorization must include the following information:
(1) A description of the activity, the dates and duration of the activity, the specific location, and the estimated area affected by that activity, i.e., a plan of operation.
(2) A site-specific plan to monitor and mitigate the effects of the activity on polar bears and Pacific walruses that may be present during the ongoing activities (i.e., marine mammal monitoring and mitigation plan). Your monitoring program must document the effects to these marine mammals and estimate the actual level and type of take. The monitoring requirements provided by the Service will vary depending on the activity, the location, and the time of year.
(3) A site-specific polar bear and/or walrus awareness and interaction plan. An interaction plan for each operation will outline the steps the applicant will take to limit animal-human interactions, increase site safety, and minimize impacts to marine mammals.
(4) A record of community consultation or a Plan of Cooperation (POC) to mitigate potential conflicts between the proposed activity and subsistence hunting, when necessary. Applicants must consult with potentially affected subsistence communities along the Chukchi Sea coast (Point Hope, Point Lay, Wainwright, and Barrow) and appropriate subsistence user organizations (the Eskimo Walrus Commission and the Alaska Nanuuq Commission) to discuss the location, timing, and methods of proposed operations and support activities and to identify any potential conflicts with subsistence walrus and polar bear hunting activities in the communities. Applications for Letters of Authorization must include documentation of all consultations with potentially affected user groups and a record of community consultation. Documentation must include a summary of any concerns identified by community members and hunter organizations, and the applicant's responses to identified concerns. Mitigation measures are described in § 18.118.