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Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 4(b)(2) Report Critical Habitat for the North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis)
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    This report documents the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS, hereafter “we”) compliance with section 4(b)(2) of the ESA, which requires that when we designate or revise critical habitat we consider the economic impact, impact on national security, and any other relevant impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. Section 4(b)(2) also allows, but does not require, us to exclude any particular areas from critical habitat if the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion, unless the failure to specify an area as part of critical habitat will result in the extinction of the species. This report documents NMFS’s determination whether to consider excluding any particular area from the designated North Atlantic right whale critical habitat based on our consideration of identified impacts. Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have also prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, which is provided in Appendix B.
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