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Title 15 Part 908

Title 15 → Subtitle B → Chapter IX → Subchapter A → Part 908

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 15 Part 908

e-CFR data is current as of October 11, 2018

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter A → Part 908


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade


§908.1   Definitions.

As used in this part, terms shall have the meaning ascribed in this section.

(a) Administrator. The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

(b) Person. Any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, any State or local government or any agency thereof, or any other organization, whether commercial or nonprofit, except where acting solely as an employee, agent, or independent contractor of the Federal government.

(c) Weather modification activity. Any activity performed with the intention of producing artificial changes in the composition, behavior, or dynamics of the atmosphere.

(d) United States. The several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or insular possession of the United States.

(e) Persons whose activities relate to weather modification. Persons engaged in weather modification activities or engaged in the distribution or sale of weather modification apparatus or materials known by them to be destined for use in weather modification activities.

(f) Project. A related series of weather modification activities having a common objective.

(g) Target area. The ground area within which the effects of the weather modification activity are expected to be found.

(h) Control area. A preselected, untreated ground area used for comparison with a target area.

(i) Weather modification apparatus. Any apparatus used with the intention of producing artificial changes in the composition, behavior, or dynamics of the atmosphere. For example: Seeding generators, propane devices, flares, rockets, artillery projectiles, jet engines, etc.

(j) Sponsor. The primary person for whom the weather modification activity is performed.

(k) Operator. The person who is primarily responsible for carrying out the weather modification activity.

[41 FR 23394, June 10, 1976, as amended at 46 FR 32233, June 22, 1981]

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§908.2   Persons subject to reporting.

Any person engaged or intending to engage in any weather modification activity in the United States shall be subject to the reporting provisions of this part.

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§908.3   Activities subject to reporting.

(a) The following, when conducted as weather modification activities, shall be subject to reporting:

(1) Seeding or dispersing of any substance into clouds or fog, to alter drop size distribution, produce ice crystals or coagulation of droplets, alter the development of hail or lightning, or influence in any way the natural development cycle of clouds or their environment;

(2) Using fires or heat sources to influence convective circulation or to evaporate fog;

(3) Modifying the solar radiation exchange of the earth or clouds, through the release of gases, dusts, liquids, or aerosols into the atmosphere;

(4) Modifying the characteristics of land or water surfaces by dusting or treating with powders, liquid sprays, dyes, or other materials;

(5) Releasing electrically charged or radioactive particles, or ions, into the atmosphere;

(6) Applying shock waves, sonic energy sources, or other explosive or acoustic sources to the atmosphere;

(7) Using aircraft propeller downwash, jet wash, or other sources of artificial wind generation; or

(8) Using lasers or other sources of electromagnetic radiation.

(b) In addition to the activities listed above, other similar activities falling within the definition of weather modification as set forth in §908.1 are also subject to reporting.

(c) The requirement for reporting shall not apply to activities of a purely local nature that can reasonably be expected not to modify the weather outside of the area of operation. This exception is presently restricted to the use of lightning deflection or static discharge devices in aircraft, boats, or buildings, and to the use of small heat sources, fans, fogging devices, aircraft downwash, or sprays to prevent the occurrence of frost in tracts or fields planted with crops susceptible to frost or freeze damage. Also expected from the requirement for reporting are religious activities or other ceremonies, rites and rituals intended to modify the weather.

(d) All activities noted in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section are subject to initial reporting. However, after the Administrator has received initial notification of a planned activity, he may waive some of the subsequent reporting requirements. This decision to waive certain reporting requirements will be based on the general acceptability, from a technical or scientific viewpoint, of the apparatus and techniques to be used.

(e) Other reporting exceptions may be made in the future by rule of the Administrator.

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§908.4   Initial report.

(a) Any person intending to engage in any weather modification project or activity in the United States shall provide a report of his intention, to be received by the Administrator at least 10 days before the commencement of such project or activity. This report shall contain at least the following:

(1) The designation, if any, used by the operator for the project or activity;

(2) The following dates for weather modification activities:

(i) The date the first actual weather modification activity is to be undertaken;

(ii) The date on which the final modification activity is expected to occur;

(3) The following information on persons involved with the project or activity:

(i) The name, affiliation, and address of the sponsor;

(ii) The name, affiliation, and address of the operator;

(4) The purpose of the project or activity;

(5) A map showing the approximate size and location of the target and control areas, and the location of each item of ground-based weather modification apparatus, precipitation measuring device, and, for airborne operations, the airport;

(6) A description of the weather modification apparatus, modification agents, and the techniques to be employed;

(7) The name and address of the responsible individual from whom log books or other records of the project or activity may be obtained;

(8) Answers to the following questions on project safeguards:

(i) Has an Environmental Impact Statement, Federal or State, been filed: Yes__ No __. If Yes, please furnish a copy as applicable.

(ii) Have provisions been made to acquire the latest forecasts, advisories, warnings, etc. of the National Weather Service, Forest Service, or others when issued prior to and during operations? Yes __ No __. If Yes, please specify on a separate sheet.

(iii) Have any safety procedures (operational contraints, provisions for suspension of operations, monitoring methods, etc.) and any environmental guidelines (related to the possible effects of the operations) been included in the operational plans? Yes __ No __. If Yes, please furnish copies or a description of the specific procedures and guidelines; and

(9) Optional remarks, to include any additional items which the person deems significant or of interest and such other information as the Administrator may request the person to submit.

(b) If circumstances prevent the signing of a contract or agreement to perform, or receipt of an authorization to proceed with, a weather modification activity at a date early enough to comply with paragraph (a) of this section, the initial report shall be provided so as to be received by the Administrator within 10 days of the date of signing of the contract or agreement, or receipt of authorization to proceed. In such cases, the report shall be accompanied by an explanation as to why it was not submitted at least 10 days prior to the commencement of the activity.

(c) In the event that circumstances beyond the control of the person liable to report under these regulations prevent the submission of the initial report in a timely manner as described above, the report shall be forwarded as early as possible, accompanied by an explanation as to why a timely report has not been provided. If such explanation is deemed adequate, the Administrator will consider the report as timely filed.

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§908.5   Interim reports.

(a) Any person engaged in a weather modification project or activity in the United States on January 1 in any year shall submit to the Administrator, not later than 45 days thereafter, an interim report setting forth as of such date the information required below with respect to any such continuing project or activity not previously furnished to the Administrator in a prior interim report; provided that the January 1 date shall not apply if other arrangements have previously been made with the written approval of the Administrator.

(b) The interim report shall include the file number assigned by the Administrator and shall provide a summary of the project or activity containing at least the following information for each month:

(1) Number of days on which actual modification activities took place;

(2) Number of days on which weather modification activities were conducted, segregated by each of the major purposes of the activities;

(3) Total number of hours of operation of each type of weather modification apparatus (i.e., net hours of agent release);

(4) Total amount of agent used. If more than one agent was used, each should be totaled separately (e.g., carbon dioxide, sodium chloride, urea, silver iodide).

(c) The totals for the items in paragraph (b) of this section shall be provided for the period covered by the interim report.

[41 FR 23394, June 10, 1976, as amended at 46 FR 32233, June 22, 1981]

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§908.6   Final report.

Upon completion of a weather modification project or activity the person who performed the same shall submit a report to the Administrator not later than 45 days after completion of the project or activity. The report shall include the file number assigned by the Administrator and the following items:

(a) Information required for the interim reports (to the extent not previously reported).

(b) The total number of days on which actual modification activities took place during the project or activity.

(c) The total number of days during the project or activity on which weather modification activities were conducted, segregated by each of the major purposes of the activities.

(d) The total number of hours of operation of each type of weather modification apparatus during the project or activity (i.e., net hours of agent release).

(e) The total amount of modification agent(s) dispensed during the project or activity. If more than one agent was used, each should be totaled separately (e.g., carbon dioxide, sodium chloride, urea, silver iodide).

(f) The date on which the final weather modification activity occurred.

[41 FR 23394, June 10, 1976, as amended at 46 FR 32233, June 22, 1981]

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§908.7   Supplemental reports.

Notwithstanding other regulations, a supplemental report in letter form referring to the appropriate NOAA file number, if assigned, must be made to the Administrator immediately if any report of weather modification activities submitted under §908.4, §908.5, or §908.6 is found to contain any material inaccuracies, misstatements, and omissions. A supplemental report must also be made if there are changes in plans for the project or activity.

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§908.8   Maintenance of records.

(a) Any person engaging in a weather modification activity in the United States shall maintain a record of such activity. This record shall contain at least the following, when applicable:

(1) A chronological record of activities carried on, preferably in the form of a daily log, which shall include the NOAA file number assigned to the project, the designation of each unit of weather modification apparatus, and at least the following information for each unit:

(i) Date of the weather modification activity.

(ii) Position of each aircraft or location of each item of weather modification apparatus during each modification mission. Maps may be used.

(iii) Time when weather modification activity began and ended.

(iv) Total duration of operation of each unit of weather modification apparatus (i.e., net hours of agent release).

(v) Type of each modification agent used.

(vi) Rate of dispersal of each agent during the period of actual operation of weather modification apparatus.

(vii) Total amount of agent used. If more than one agent was used, report total for each type separately.

(viii) Number of days on which weather modification activities were conducted, segregated by each of the major purposes of the activities.

(2) The monthly totals of hours of modification activity, the amount of modification agent used, and the number of days on which weather modification activities were conducted, segregated by each of the major purposes of the activities, shall be shown on the daily log sheet for the last day of each month.

(b) When the activity involves ground-based weather modification apparatus, records of the following shall also be maintained, when applicable, but need not be made part of the daily log:

(1) The location of each item of weather modification apparatus in use and its identification such as type and manufacturer's model number. If the apparatus is not commercially available, a brief description of the apparatus and the method of operation should be recorded.

(2) The name and address of the person responsible for operating each weather modification apparatus.

(3) The altitude and type of weather phenomenon subjected to weather modification activity during each operational period (e.g., cumulus clouds between 10,000 and 30,000 feet m.s.l.; ground fog).

(c) When the activity involves airborne weather modification apparatus, records of the following shall also be maintained, when applicable, but need not be made a part of the daily log: For each airborne weather modification apparatus run: Altitude, air speed; release points of modification agents, method of modification and characteristics of flares, rockets, or other delivery systems employed; temperature at release altitude; and, for aircraft: The type of aircraft, its identification number, the airport or airports used, and the names and addresses of crew members and the person responsible for operating the weather modification apparatus; and the altitude and type of weather phenomenon subjected to weather modification activity during each operational period (e.g., cumulus clouds between 10,000 and 30,000 feet m.s.l.; ground fog).

(d) The following records shall also be maintained, whenever applicable, but need not be made a part of the daily log. Only data specifically collected for the reported activity need be retained; data available from other sources need not be included.

(1) Any descriptions that were recorded of meteorological condiitons in target and control areas during the periods of operation; for example: Percent of cloud cover, temperature, humidity, the presence of lightning, hail, funnel clouds, heavy rain or snow, and unusual radar patterns.

(2) All measurements made of precipitation in target and control areas.

(3) Any unusual results.

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§908.9   Retention of records.

Records required under §908.8 shall be retained and available for inspection by the Administrator or his designated representatives for 3 years after completion of the activity to which they relate. Such records shall be required to be produced for inspection only at the place where normally kept. The Administrator shall have the right to make copies of such records, if he or she deems necessary.

[52 FR 4896, Feb. 18, 1987]

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§908.10   Penalties.

Knowing and willful violation of any rule adopted under the authority of section 2 of Public Law 92-205 shall subject the person violating such rule to a fine of not more than $10,000, upon conviction thereof.

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§908.11   Maintenance of records of related activities.

(a) Persons whose activities relate to weather modification activities, other than persons engaged in weather modification activities, shall maintain records concerning the identities of purchasers or users of weather modification apparatus or materials, the quantities or numbers of items purchased, and the times of such purchases. Such information shall be retained for at least 3 years.

(b) In addition, persons whose activities relate to weather modification shall be required, under the authority of section 4 of Public Law 92-205, to provide the Administrator, on his request, with information he deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this act.

[41 FR 23394, June 10, 1976, as amended at 52 FR 4896, Feb. 18, 1987]

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§908.12   Public disclosure of information.

(a) Any records or other information obtained by the Administrator under these rules or otherwise under the authority of Public Law 92-205 shall be made publicly available to the fullest practicable extent. Such records or information may be inspected on written request to the Administrator. However, the Administrator will not disclose any information referred to in section 1905 of title 18, United States Code, and that is otherwise unavailable to the public, except that such information shall be disclosed:

(1) To other Federal government departments, agencies, and officials for official use upon request;

(2) In any judicial proceeding under a court order formulated to preserve the confidentiality of such information without impairing the proceeding; and

(3) To the public, if necessary to protect their health and safety.

(b) Certified copies of such reports and information, to the extent publicly disclosable, may be obtained from the Administrator at cost in accordance with the Department of Commerce implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.

(c) Persons reporting on weather modification projects or related activities shall specifically identify all information that they consider not to be subject to public disclosure under the terms of Public Law 92-205 and provide reasons in support thereof. A determination as to whether or not reported information is subject to public dissemination shall be made by the Administrator.

(d) When consideration of a weather modification activity report and related information indicates that a proposed project may significantly depart from the practices or procedures generally employed in similar circumstances to avoid danger to persons, property, or the environment, or indicates that success of Federal research projects may be adversely affected if the proposed project is carried out as described, the Administrator will notify the operator(s) and State officials of such possibility and make recommendations where appropriate. The purpose of such notification shall be to inform those notified of existing practices and procedures or Federal research projects known to NOAA. Notification or recommendation, or failure to notify or recommend, shall not be construed as approval or disapproval of a proposed project or as an indication that, if carried out as proposed or recommended it may, in any way, protect or endanger persons, property, or the environment or affect the success of any Federal research project. Any advisory notification issued by the Administrator shall be available to the public and be included in the pertinent activity report file.

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§908.13   Address of letters.

Letters and other communications intended for the Administrator, in connection with weather modification reporting or activities, shall be addressed to: The Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Modification Office, Rockville, Md. 20852.

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§908.14   Business to be transacted in writing.

All business transacted with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with regard to reports of weather modification activities should be transacted in writing. Actions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be based exclusively on the written record.

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§908.15   Times for taking action; expiration on Saturday, Sunday, or holiday.

Whenever periods of time are specified in these rules in days, calendar days are intended. When the day, or the last day, fixed under these rules for taking any action falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or on a Federal holiday, the action may be taken on the next succeeding day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday.

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§908.16   Signature.

All reports filed with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration must be dated and signed by or on behalf of the person conducting or intending to conduct the weather modification activities referred to therein by such person, individually or, in the case of a person other than an individual, by a partner, officer, or other person having corresponding functions and authority. For this purpose “officer” means a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, or comptroller. Notwithstanding the foregoing, such reports may also be signed by the duly authorized agent or attorney of the person whose activities are being reported. Proof of such authorization shall be furnished to the Administrator when filing a report, unless previously furnished.

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§908.17   Suspension or waiver of rules.

In an extraordinary situation, any requirement of these rules may be suspended or waived by the Administrator on request of the interested party, to the extent such waiver is consistent with the provisions of Public Law 92-205 and subject to such other requirements as may be imposed.

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§908.18   Matters not specifically provided for in rules.

All matters not specifically provided for or situations not specifically addressed in these rules will be decided in accordance with the merits of each case by or under the authority of the Administrator, and such decision will be communicated in writing to all parties involved in the case.

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§908.19   Publication of notice of proposed amendments.

Whenever required by law, and in other cases whenever practicable, notice of proposed amendments to these rules will be published in the Federal Register. If not published with the notice, copies of the text of proposed amendments will be furnished to any person requesting the same. All comments, suggestions, and briefs received within the time specified in the notice will be considered before adoption of the proposed amendments, which may be modified in the light thereof. Informal hearings may be held at the discretion of the Administrator.

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§908.20   Effective date.

These rules are effective on June 10, 1976.

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§908.21   Report form.

Public Law 92-205 and these rules should be studied carefully prior to reporting. Reports required by these rules shall be submitted on forms obtainable on request from the Administrator, or on an equivalent format.1 In special situations, such alterations to the forms as the circumstances thereto may render necessary may be made, provided they do not depart from the requirements of these rules or of Public Law 92-205.

1Filed as part of the original document.

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