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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BB20 Publication ID: Spring 2013 
Title: Eliminate the Expiration Date Contained in the Final Rule to Reduce the Threat of Ship Collisions with North Atlantic Right Whales 
Abstract: In 2008 NMFS promulgated a regulation designed to reduce the likelihood of deaths and serious injuries to endangered North Atlantic right whales that result from collisions with ships. The rule implemented speed restrictions of no more than 10 knots applying to all vessels 65 ft long or greater in certain locations and times of the year along the east coast of the United States. To resolve controversy over the rule, NMFS agreed to incorporate a sunset clause under which the rule would expire on December 9, 2013. NMFS has been monitoring compliance and effectiveness of the rule and has detected a considerable increase in the rate of compliance with the rule in the third year. There are only approximately 400 remaining North Atlantic right whales and the rate of encounter is relatively low, so detecting a trend in the rate of ship-strike mortalities will require several additional years of data, and soliciting comment on an alternative to extend the sunset provision. NMFS is proposing a rule that would remove the sunset provision and allow the rule to remain in place. Based on an evaluation of recent information, NMFS estimated economic impacts to be considerably less than was originally thought. 
Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 224   
Legal Authority: 16 USC 1361 et seq    16 USC 1531 et seq   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  06/06/2013  78 FR 34024   
Final Action  11/00/2013 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: Federal 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Helen Golde
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Room 11536, Marine Sanctuaries Division, 1305 East-West Highway,
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone:301 427-8400

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