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Clarification on Permitting and Clearance Procedures for Projects Using Seismic Reflection Equipment in Waters Under Jurisdiction of Foreign Governments

Obtaining permission for the use of seismic reflection equipment in marine research is a complicated process, involving the issuance of a permit by the U.S. Government for essentially all such research, and a formal clearance from a foreign government if the research is to be conducted in waters under the jurisdiction of a foreign government. The NSF, the Department of State and other U.S. government agencies, the vessel operator, and the scientific investigators will all be involved at different stages in the formal permitting and clearance processes.

Sections 715a and 763a of the NSF Grant Policy Manual (NSF 02-151; directly address obtaining “permits” for foreign research. This document is intended to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the NSF, the ship operator and principal investigators in the permitting and clearance process for proposals to use seismic reflection equipment that are under consideration by the NSF Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) and Division of Earth Sciences (EAR).... [More *.pdf]