18 August 2001
Reopening of comment period on the final report "Fair Market Value Analysis for a Fiber Optic Cable Permit in National Marine Sanctuaries"
A notice reopening the comment period on the report "Fair Market Value Analysis for a Fiber Optic Cable Permit in National Marine Sanctuaries" was published in the Federal Register on August 17, 2001. The comment period is open for 45 days, closing on October 1, 2001.
Summary of the Analysis and Original Comment Period
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) has been addressing various issues related to the installation and maintenance of submarine cables in national marine sanctuaries. Section 310 of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, 16 U.S.C 1441, authorizes the issuance of special use permits to establish conditions of access to and use of any sanctuary resource or to promote public use and understanding of a sanctuary resource. Section 310 also authorizes the assessment of fees for issuance of special use permits, including a fee that represents the fair market value of the use of sanctuary resources. To date, two special use permits have been authorized for fiber optic cables in national marine sanctuaries: one in Olympic Coast NMS off the coast of Washington state (November 1999) and another in Stellwagen Bank NMS off the coast of Massachusetts (August 2000). With the assistance of several outside experts, NOAA resource economists have written the report "Fair Market Value Analysis for a Fiber Optic Cable Permit in National Marine Sanctuaries" analyzing how fair market should be calculated and assessed.
The report was first published in the Federal Register in January 2001 for a fifteen-day comment period. Most comments requested additional time to provide public input on the report. Therefore, NOAA is now reopening the comment period for 45 days.
Since the initial comment period, NOAA has updated the report by making a number of editorial and clarifying changes, and including some updated information. Further, NOAA has removed the recommended fee amount in the original analysis and is seeking comments on the methodology described in the report or suggestion of an appropriate alternative methodology. Once the current comment period closes, NOAA will evaluate the comments and make any necessary revisions to the methodology used in determining fair market value. NOAA will publish a final notice that summarizes all comments and presents a final fee methodology to be applied to any future cable projects within national marine sanctuaries that may be authorized pursuant to a special use permit.
Access to the report and the Federal Register notice announcing the availability of this report can be obtained by clicking the links below. If you wish to submit comments, NMSP must receive them by October 1, 2001 (comments postmarked after October 1, 2001 will not be accepted). Comments should be sent to Helen Golde, Chief, Conservation Policy and Planning Branch, National Marine Sanctuary Program, N/ORM6, 11TH Floor, 1305 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, Attention: Fair Market Value Analysis or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line "Fair Market Value Analysis." Questions may be directed to Matt Brookhart by calling 301-713-3125 x140 or sending an email to email@example.com
The final report "Fair Market Value Analysis for a Fiber Optic Cable Permit in National Marine Sanctuaries"
Federal Register Notice