50 CFR § 218.158 - Renewals and modifications of letters of authorization (LOA) and adaptive management.
(a) A letter of authorization issued under § 216.106 of this chapter and § 218.157 for the activity identified in § 218.150(c) shall be renewed or modified upon request of the applicant, provided that:
(1) The proposed specified activity and mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures, as well as the anticipated impacts, are the same as those described and analyzed for these regulations (excluding changes made pursuant to the adaptive management provision of this chapter); and
(2) NMFS determines that the mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures required by the previous LOA under these regulations were implemented.
(b) For LOA modification or renewal requests by the applicant that include changes to the activity or the mitigation, monitoring, or reporting (excluding changes made pursuant to the adaptive management provision of this chapter) that do not change the findings made for the regulations or result in no more than a minor change in the total estimated number of takes (or distribution by species or years), NMFS may publish a notice of proposed LOA in the Federal Register, including the associated analysis illustrating the change, and solicit public comment before issuing the LOA.
(1) Adaptive management. NMFS may modify and augment the existing mitigation, monitoring, or reporting measures (after consulting with the Navy regarding the practicability of the modifications) if doing so creates a reasonable likelihood of more effectively accomplishing the goals of the mitigation and monitoring.
(i) Possible sources of data that could contribute to the decision to modify the mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures in an LOA:
(A) Results from Navy's monitoring from the previous year(s);
(B) Results from other marine mammal and/or sound research or studies; or
(C) Any information that reveals marine mammals may have been taken in a manner, extent, or number not authorized by these regulations or subsequent LOA.
(ii) If, through adaptive management, the modifications to the mitigation, monitoring, or reporting measures are substantial, NMFS would publish a notice of proposed LOA in the Federal Register and solicit public comment.
(2) Emergencies. If NMFS determines that an emergency exists that poses a significant risk to the well-being of the species or stocks of marine mammals specified in § 218.152(c), an LOA may be modified without prior notification and an opportunity for public comment. Notification would be published in the Federal Register within 30 days of the action.
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