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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BC56 Publication ID: Fall 2021 
Title: Designation of Critical Habitat for the Arctic Ringed Seal 

The National Marine Fisheries Service published a final rule to list the Arctic ringed seal as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in December 2012. The ESA requires designation of critical habitat at the time a species is listed as threatened or endangered, or within one year of listing if critical habitat is not then determinable. This rulemaking would designate critical habitat for the Arctic ringed seal. The critical habitat designation would be in the northern Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas within the current range of the species.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 226   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
NPRM  Judicial  Court settlement agreement. Proposed rule submission to the Federal Register March 15, 2021; final determination March 15, 2022.  03/15/2021 
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  12/03/2014  79 FR 71714   
Proposed Rule  12/09/2014  79 FR 73010   
Notice of Public Hearings  01/13/2015  80 FR 1618   
Comment Period Extended  02/02/2015  80 FR 5498   
Proposed Rule 2  01/08/2021  86 FR 1452   
Proposed Rule 2 Comment Period End  03/09/2021 
Public Hearing  02/01/2021  86 FR 7686   
Public Hearing Comment Period End  03/09/2021 
Comment Period Extended 2  03/09/2021  86 FR 13517   
Comment Period Extended 2 End  04/08/2021 
Final Action  03/00/2022 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Kim Damon-Randall
Director, Office of Protected Resources
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1315 East-West Highway,
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone:301 427-8400