Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 31, 69322-69323 [E9-31068]

Download as PDF 69322 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 250 / Thursday, December 31, 2009 / Proposed Rules erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 in § 721.170(b)(4)(ii) as discussed in Unit II.A., EPA determined that there was a concern for potential environmental effects of the substance and promulgated a non-5(e) SNUR for this chemical substance. Under § 721.185, EPA may at any time revoke a SNUR for a chemical substance which has been added to subpart E of 40 CFR part 721 if EPA makes one of the determinations set forth in § 721.185(a)(1) through (a)(6). Revocation may occur on EPA’s initiative or in response to a written request. Under § 721.185(b)(3), if EPA concludes that a SNUR should be revoked, the Agency will propose the changes in the Federal Register, briefly describe the grounds for the action, and provide interested parties an opportunity to comment. EPA has determined that the criteria set forth in § 721.185(a)(4) have been satisfied for the chemical substance; therefore, EPA is proposing to revoke the SNUR provisions for this chemical substance. When this revocation becomes final, EPA will no longer require notice of intent to manufacture, import, or process this substance for any significant new uses. In addition, export notification requirements under section 12(b) of TSCA triggered by this SNUR will no longer be required. III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews This proposed rule would revoke or eliminate an existing regulatory requirement and does not contain any new or amended requirements. As such, the Agency has determined that this proposed SNUR revocation would not have any adverse impacts, economic or otherwise. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of regulatory actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled Regulatory Planning and Review (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). This proposed rule does not contain any information collections subject to approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Since this proposed rule eliminates a reporting requirement, the Agency certifies pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), that this SNUR revocation would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. For the same reasons, this action does not require any action under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Public Law 104–4). This proposed rule has neither Federalism implications, because it would not have substantial direct effects on States, on VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:04 Dec 30, 2009 Jkt 220001 the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132, entitled Federalism (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), nor tribal implications, because it would not have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian Tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, as specified in Executive Order 13175, entitled Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045, entitled Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because this is not an economically significant regulatory action as defined under Executive Order 12866, and it does not address environmental health or safety risks disproportionately affecting children. It is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001), because this action is not expected to affect energy supply, distribution, or use. Because this action does not involve any technical standards, section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104– 113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note), does not apply to this action. This action does not involve special considerations of environmental justice related issues as required by Executive Order 12898, entitled Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 721 Environmental protection, Chemicals, Hazardous substances, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Dated: December 22, 2009. Barbara A. Cunningham, Acting Director, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. Therefore, it is proposed that 40 CFR part 721 be amended as follows: PART 721—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 721 continues to read as follows: Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2604, 2607, and 2625(c). PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 § 721.5995 [Removed] 2. By removing § 721.5995. [FR Doc. E9–30990 Filed 12–30–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 RIN 0648–AX67 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 31 AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of Availability of Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico; request for comments. SUMMARY: The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 31 proposes actions to address sea turtle bycatch in the bottom longline component of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) reef fish fishery. The measures contained in the subject amendment are intended to balance the continued viability of the bottom longline component of the reef fish fishery while maintaining adequately protective measures for sea turtles. DATES: Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m., eastern time, on March 1, 2010. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the amendment or the proposed rule, identified by ‘‘0648–AX67’’ by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. • Fax: 727–824–5308; Attention: Cynthia Meyer. • Mail: Cynthia Meyer, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions: No comments will be posted for public viewing until after the comment period has closed. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov E:\FR\FM\31DEP1.SGM 31DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 250 / Thursday, December 31, 2009 / Proposed Rules erowe on DSK5CLS3C1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. To submit comments through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov, enter ‘‘NOAANMFS–2008–0310’’ in the keyword search, then check the box labeled ‘‘Select to find documents accepting comments or submissions’’, then select ‘‘Send a Comment or Submission.’’ NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. No comments will be posted for public viewing until after the comment period has closed. Copies of Amendment 31, which includes a draft environmental impact statement, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis, and a regulatory impact review may be obtained from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 North Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607; telephone 813– 348–1630; fax 813–348–1711; e-mail gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org; or may be downloaded from the Council’s website at http://www.gulfcouncil.org/. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Meyer, telephone: 727–824– 5305. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires each Regional Fishery Management Council to submit any fishery management plan or amendment to NMFS for review and approval, disapproval, or partial approval. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving a plan or amendment, publish an announcement in the Federal Register notifying the public that the plan or VerDate Nov<24>2008 14:04 Dec 30, 2009 Jkt 220001 amendment is available for review and comment. Background In September 2008, NMFS released a report analyzing sea turtle takes by the bottom longline component of the reef fish fishery as documented by an observer program. Subsequently updated in April 2009, the report indicated that the number of hardshell sea turtle takes by the bottom longline component of the Gulf reef fish fishery had exceeded the incidental take estimates specified in a 2005 Biological Opinion. Therefore, action was needed to provide protection for threatened loggerhead sea turtles in compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). To address this issue in the short-term while the Council developed a longterm management strategy, NMFS published an emergency rule effective May 18, 2009. The emergency rule prohibited longline fishing for reef fish in the eastern Gulf shoreward of a line approximating the 50–fathom depth contour, and prohibited all longline fishing in the eastern Gulf after the deep-water grouper and tilefish commercial quotas were filled. On October 16, 2009, NMFS published a rule, under the authority of the ESA, to replace the emergency rule. The rule prohibits bottom longline fishing in the eastern Gulf shoreward of a line approximating the 35–fathom contour with a restriction of 1,000 hooks per vessel with no more than 750 hooks rigged for fishing or fished at any given time. The intended effect of the rulemaking is to maintain protective measures for loggerhead sea turtles as well as to maintain a viable bottom longline fleet pending the implementation of Amendment 31 or alternative long-term mitigation measures. Specifically, Amendment 31 would modify the FMP to: 1) prohibit the use of bottom longline gear in the reef fish fishery east of Cape San Blas, Florida, PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 69323 shoreward of a line approximating the 35–fathom (64–m) depth contour from June through August; 2) reduce the number of bottom longline vessels operating in the fishery through a longline endorsement provided only to vessel permits with demonstrated average annual landings of 40,000 lb (18,144 kg) of reef fish taken by fish traps or longlines during 1999–2007; and 3) restrict the number of hooks that may be possessed onboard each longline vessel to 1,000 hooks total, only 750 of which may be fished or rigged for fishing at any given time. The Council has submitted Amendment 31 for review, approval, and implementation by the Secretary of Commerce. A proposed rule that would implement measures outlined in Amendment 31 has been received from the Council. In accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS is evaluating the proposed rule to determine whether it is consistent with the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the ESA, and other applicable law. If that determination is affirmative, NMFS will publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register for public review and comment. Comments received by March 1, 2010, whether specifically directed to the amendment or the proposed rule, will be considered by NMFS in its decision to approve, disapprove, or partially approve the amendment. Comments received after that date will not be considered by NMFS in this decision. All comments received by NMFS on the amendment or the proposed rule during their respective comment periods will be addressed in the final rule. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 24, 2009. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E9–31068 Filed 12–30–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\31DEP1.SGM 31DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 250 (Thursday, December 31, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 69322-69323]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-31068]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

RIN 0648-AX67


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 31

AGENCY:  National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION:  Notice of Availability of Amendment 31 to the Fishery 
Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico; request 
for comments.

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SUMMARY:  The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) has 
submitted Amendment 31 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish 
Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) for review, approval, and 
implementation by NMFS. Amendment 31 proposes actions to address sea 
turtle bycatch in the bottom longline component of the Gulf of Mexico 
(Gulf) reef fish fishery. The measures contained in the subject 
amendment are intended to balance the continued viability of the bottom 
longline component of the reef fish fishery while maintaining 
adequately protective measures for sea turtles.

DATES:  Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m., eastern time, 
on March 1, 2010.

ADDRESSES:  You may submit comments on the amendment or the proposed 
rule, identified by ``0648-AX67'' by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Fax: 727-824-5308; Attention: Cynthia Meyer.
     Mail: Cynthia Meyer, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 
13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
    Instructions: No comments will be posted for public viewing until 
after the comment period has closed. All comments received are a part 
of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov

[[Page 69323]]

without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, 
name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be 
publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or 
otherwise sensitive or protected information.
    To submit comments through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov, enter ``NOAA-NMFS-2008-0310'' in the keyword 
search, then check the box labeled ``Select to find documents accepting 
comments or submissions'', then select ``Send a Comment or 
Submission.'' NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the 
required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to 
electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, 
WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. No comments will be posted 
for public viewing until after the comment period has closed.
    Copies of Amendment 31, which includes a draft environmental impact 
statement, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis, and a regulatory 
impact review may be obtained from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery 
Management Council, 2203 North Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 
33607; telephone 813-348-1630; fax 813-348-1711; e-mail 
gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org; or may be downloaded from the Council's 
website at http://www.gulfcouncil.org/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Cynthia Meyer, telephone: 727-824-
5305.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires each Regional 
Fishery Management Council to submit any fishery management plan or 
amendment to NMFS for review and approval, disapproval, or partial 
approval. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon 
receiving a plan or amendment, publish an announcement in the Federal 
Register notifying the public that the plan or amendment is available 
for review and comment.

Background

    In September 2008, NMFS released a report analyzing sea turtle 
takes by the bottom longline component of the reef fish fishery as 
documented by an observer program. Subsequently updated in April 2009, 
the report indicated that the number of hardshell sea turtle takes by 
the bottom longline component of the Gulf reef fish fishery had 
exceeded the incidental take estimates specified in a 2005 Biological 
Opinion. Therefore, action was needed to provide protection for 
threatened loggerhead sea turtles in compliance with the Endangered 
Species Act (ESA). To address this issue in the short-term while the 
Council developed a long-term management strategy, NMFS published an 
emergency rule effective May 18, 2009. The emergency rule prohibited 
longline fishing for reef fish in the eastern Gulf shoreward of a line 
approximating the 50-fathom depth contour, and prohibited all longline 
fishing in the eastern Gulf after the deep-water grouper and tilefish 
commercial quotas were filled.
    On October 16, 2009, NMFS published a rule, under the authority of 
the ESA, to replace the emergency rule. The rule prohibits bottom 
longline fishing in the eastern Gulf shoreward of a line approximating 
the 35-fathom contour with a restriction of 1,000 hooks per vessel with 
no more than 750 hooks rigged for fishing or fished at any given time. 
The intended effect of the rulemaking is to maintain protective 
measures for loggerhead sea turtles as well as to maintain a viable 
bottom longline fleet pending the implementation of Amendment 31 or 
alternative long-term mitigation measures.
    Specifically, Amendment 31 would modify the FMP to: 1) prohibit the 
use of bottom longline gear in the reef fish fishery east of Cape San 
Blas, Florida, shoreward of a line approximating the 35-fathom (64-m) 
depth contour from June through August; 2) reduce the number of bottom 
longline vessels operating in the fishery through a longline 
endorsement provided only to vessel permits with demonstrated average 
annual landings of 40,000 lb (18,144 kg) of reef fish taken by fish 
traps or longlines during 1999-2007; and 3) restrict the number of 
hooks that may be possessed onboard each longline vessel to 1,000 hooks 
total, only 750 of which may be fished or rigged for fishing at any 
given time.
    The Council has submitted Amendment 31 for review, approval, and 
implementation by the Secretary of Commerce. A proposed rule that would 
implement measures outlined in Amendment 31 has been received from the 
Council. In accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS is 
evaluating the proposed rule to determine whether it is consistent with 
the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the ESA, and other applicable law. 
If that determination is affirmative, NMFS will publish the proposed 
rule in the Federal Register for public review and comment.
    Comments received by March 1, 2010, whether specifically directed 
to the amendment or the proposed rule, will be considered by NMFS in 
its decision to approve, disapprove, or partially approve the 
amendment. Comments received after that date will not be considered by 
NMFS in this decision. All comments received by NMFS on the amendment 
or the proposed rule during their respective comment periods will be 
addressed in the final rule.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 24, 2009.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. E9-31068 Filed 12-30-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S