Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Navy Operations of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active Sonar, 53884-53885 [2011-22163]

Download as PDF 53884 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 168 / Tuesday, August 30, 2011 / Notices Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0 in capital and recordkeeping/ reporting costs. IV. Request for Comments Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record. Dated: August 24, 2011. Gwellnar Banks, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. 2011–22070 Filed 8–29–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–HR–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XA638 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Navy Operations of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active Sonar National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; receipt of application for letter of authorization; request for comments and information. AGENCY: NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization to take, by harassment, marine mammals incidental to conducting operations of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) Low Frequency Active (LFA) sonar for the period beginning August 2012 and ending August 2017. Pursuant to the implementing regulations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing our receipt of the Navy’s mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:31 Aug 29, 2011 Jkt 223001 request for regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on the Navy’s application and request. DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than September 29, 2011. ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 EastWest Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910–3225. The mailbox address for providing e-mail comments is ITP.Cody@noaa.gov. NMFS is not responsible for e-mail comments sent to addresses other than the one provided here. Comments sent via e-mail, including all attachments, must not exceed a 10-megabyte file size. Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to https:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental.htm#applications 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeannine Cody, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability An electronic copy of the Navy’s application may be obtained by writing to the address specified above (See ADDRESSES), telephoning the contact listed above (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), or visiting the internet at: https://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ pr/permits/incidental.htm#applications. The Navy released a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the employment of SURTASS LFA sonar on August 19, 2011. A copy of the DSEIS, which would also support NMFS’ proposed rulemaking under the MMPA, is available at https://www.surtass-lfaeis.com. Background Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional taking of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 commercial fishing) if certain findings are made and regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review. Authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such taking are set forth. NMFS has defined ‘‘negligible impact’’ in 50 CFR 216.103 as ‘‘ * * * an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.’’ With respect to military readiness activities, the MMPA defines ‘‘harassment’’ as: (i) any act that injures or has the significant potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A Harassment]; or (ii) any act that disturbs or is likely to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of natural behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, surfacing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering, to a point where such behavioral patterns are abandoned or significantly altered [Level B Harassment]. Summary of Request On August 17, 2011, NMFS received an application from the Navy requesting authorization to take individuals of 94 species of marine mammals (70 cetaceans and 24 pinnipeds), by harassment, incidental to upcoming training, testing, and routine military operations (all categorized as military readiness activities) using SURTASS LFA sonar over the course of five years. The Navy states that these training, testing, and routine military activities may expose some of the marine mammals present in the operational areas to sound from low-frequency active sonar sources. Because marine mammals may be harassed due to noise disturbance incidental to the use of SURTASS LFA sonar during training, testing, and routine military operations, the Navy requests authorization to take individuals of 94 species of marine mammals by Level B Harassment. Further, the Navy states that the probability of taking marine mammals by Level A Harassment is less than 0.001 percent. However, because the probability is not zero, the Navy has E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 168 / Tuesday, August 30, 2011 / Notices included Level A harassment in its authorization request. This will be NMFS’ third rule making for SURTASS LFA sonar operations under the MMPA. NMFS published the first rule effective from August 2002 through August 2007 on July 16, 2002 (67 FR 46712), and published the second rule effective from August 2007 through August 2012 on August 21, 2007 (72 FR 46846). For this third rule making, the Navy is proposing to conduct the same types of sonar activities in the proposed rule making as they have conducted over the past nine years in the previous two rule makings. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Specified Activities The Navy proposes to deploy the system on a maximum of four U.S. Naval ships: the USNS ABLE, the USNS EFFECTIVE, the USNS IMPECCABLE and the USNS VICTORIOUS) in certain areas of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. Nominal at-sea missions for each vessel using SURTASS LFA sonar would last up to 294 days, with 240 days of active sonar transmissions and 54 days of transit. The maximum number of actual transmission hours per vessel would not exceed 432 hours annually. The application describes the activity types, the equipment and platforms involved, and the duration and potential locations of the specified activities. Included within a larger suite of proposed mitigation measures for marine mammals that potentially could be affected during SURTASS LFA sonar operations, the Navy proposes to restrict the use of SURTASS LFA sonar such that it will not operate in Arctic and Antarctic waters, and sound pressure levels (SPL) will not exceed 180 decibels (dB) re 1 μPa (rms) within 12 nautical miles of any coastline or within designated offshore biologically important areas for marine mammals. Information Solicited Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning the Navy’s request (see ADDRESSES). NMFS will consider all information, suggestions, and comments related to the Navy’s request and NMFS’ potential development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals by the Navy’s SURTASS LFA sonar activities. Dated: August 24, 2011. James H. Lecky, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–22163 Filed 8–29–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:31 Aug 29, 2011 Jkt 223001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent and Trademark Resource Centers Metrics ACTION: Proposed collection; comment request. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this new information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104– 13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before October 31, 2011. SUMMARY: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • E-mail: InformationCollection@uspto.gov. Include ‘‘Patent and Trademark Resource Centers Metrics comment’’ in the subject line of the message. • Mail: Susan K. Fawcett, Records Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450. • Federal Rulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information should be directed to the attention of Martha Sneed, Director, Public Search Services Division, Office of the Chief Information Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1451, Alexandria, VA 22313–1451, by telephone at 703–756–1236, or by e-mail to Martha.Sneed@uspto.gov. Additional information about this collection is also available at https://www.reginfo.gov under ‘‘Information Collection Review.’’ SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract The USPTO has undertaken a revitalization of the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program to reflect the new 21st Century electronic approach to customer services. As a part of this revitalization, the name will change to Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program and the nationwide network of libraries will be known as Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs). In addition, to enable the USPTO to more effectively train the PTRCs and the public to better use the tools and data available to them PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 53885 and to ascertain what types of new and different services the PTRCs should offer, the USPTO is requiring the centers to provide metrics on the PTRC outreach services and use of the patent and trademark services. Recognition as a PTRC is authorized under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 2(a)(2), which provides that the USPTO shall be responsible for disseminating to the public information with respect to patents and trademarks. In order to be designated as a PTRC, libraries must fulfill the following requirements: assist the public in the efficient use of patent and trademark information resources; provide free access to patent and trademark resources provided by the USPTO; provide metrics on the use of patent and trademark services provided by the member library as stipulated by the USPTO; provide metrics on outreach efforts conducted by the member library as stipulated by the USPTO; and send representatives to attend the USPTOhosted PTRC training seminars. Since the PTRC requirements stipulate that the participating libraries must submit information (metrics) in order to be designated as a PTRC, the USPTO is submitting this new information collection for review under the PRA. The information collected will enable the USPTO to more effectively train the PTRC staff who, in turn, provide assistance and training to public customers in the areas of patent and trademarks. As the PTRCs continue to move away from the physical distribution of hard copy information, the USPTO is interested in what types of new and different services the PTRC of the future should offer its customers. Collection of this information will enable the USPTO to more effectively service its current customers while planning for the future. The USPTO has developed a worksheet to collect the metrics concerning the use of the patent and trademark services and the public outreach efforts from the libraries. On the USPTO’s behalf, the metrics will be collected on a quarterly basis through a third-party vendor. The information will only be collected electronically. The PTRCs will be given a password to input their information. II. Method of Collection The metrics will be submitted electronically to the USPTO. III. Data OMB Number: 0651–00xx. Form Number(s): N/A. Type of Review: New information collection. E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 168 (Tuesday, August 30, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53884-53885]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-22163]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XA638


Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals 
Incidental to U.S. Navy Operations of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor 
System Low Frequency Active Sonar

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

ACTION: Notice; receipt of application for letter of authorization; 
request for comments and information.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for 
authorization to take, by harassment, marine mammals incidental to 
conducting operations of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System 
(SURTASS) Low Frequency Active (LFA) sonar for the period beginning 
August 2012 and ending August 2017. Pursuant to the implementing 
regulations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is 
announcing our receipt of the Navy's request for regulations governing 
the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, 
suggestions, and comments on the Navy's application and request.

DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than 
September 29, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to P. 
Michael Payne, Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, 
Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 
East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3225. The mailbox address 
for providing e-mail comments is ITP.Cody@noaa.gov. NMFS is not 
responsible for e-mail comments sent to addresses other than the one 
provided here. Comments sent via e-mail, including all attachments, 
must not exceed a 10-megabyte file size.
    Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record 
and will generally be posted to https://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm#applications 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeannine Cody, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Availability

    An electronic copy of the Navy's application may be obtained by 
writing to the address specified above (See ADDRESSES), telephoning the 
contact listed above (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), or visiting 
the internet at: https://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm#applications. The Navy released a draft Supplemental 
Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the employment of SURTASS 
LFA sonar on August 19, 2011. A copy of the DSEIS, which would also 
support NMFS' proposed rulemaking under the MMPA, is available at 
https://www.surtass-lfa-eis.com.

Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act 
of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary 
of Commerce (Secretary) to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not 
intentional taking of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a 
specified activity (other than commercial fishing) if certain findings 
are made and regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to 
harassment, notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the 
public for review.
    Authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds 
that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or 
stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the 
availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where 
relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements 
pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such taking 
are set forth.
    NMFS has defined ``negligible impact'' in 50 CFR 216.103 as `` * * 
* an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be 
reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely 
affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of 
recruitment or survival.''
    With respect to military readiness activities, the MMPA defines 
``harassment'' as:

    (i) any act that injures or has the significant potential to 
injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A 
Harassment]; or (ii) any act that disturbs or is likely to disturb a 
marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing 
disruption of natural behavioral patterns, including, but not 
limited to, migration, surfacing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or 
sheltering, to a point where such behavioral patterns are abandoned 
or significantly altered [Level B Harassment].

Summary of Request

    On August 17, 2011, NMFS received an application from the Navy 
requesting authorization to take individuals of 94 species of marine 
mammals (70 cetaceans and 24 pinnipeds), by harassment, incidental to 
upcoming training, testing, and routine military operations (all 
categorized as military readiness activities) using SURTASS LFA sonar 
over the course of five years.
    The Navy states that these training, testing, and routine military 
activities may expose some of the marine mammals present in the 
operational areas to sound from low-frequency active sonar sources. 
Because marine mammals may be harassed due to noise disturbance 
incidental to the use of SURTASS LFA sonar during training, testing, 
and routine military operations, the Navy requests authorization to 
take individuals of 94 species of marine mammals by Level B Harassment. 
Further, the Navy states that the probability of taking marine mammals 
by Level A Harassment is less than 0.001 percent. However, because the 
probability is not zero, the Navy has

[[Page 53885]]

included Level A harassment in its authorization request.
    This will be NMFS' third rule making for SURTASS LFA sonar 
operations under the MMPA. NMFS published the first rule effective from 
August 2002 through August 2007 on July 16, 2002 (67 FR 46712), and 
published the second rule effective from August 2007 through August 
2012 on August 21, 2007 (72 FR 46846). For this third rule making, the 
Navy is proposing to conduct the same types of sonar activities in the 
proposed rule making as they have conducted over the past nine years in 
the previous two rule makings.

Specified Activities

    The Navy proposes to deploy the system on a maximum of four U.S. 
Naval ships: the USNS ABLE, the USNS EFFECTIVE, the USNS IMPECCABLE and 
the USNS VICTORIOUS) in certain areas of the Pacific, Atlantic, and 
Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. Nominal at-sea missions for 
each vessel using SURTASS LFA sonar would last up to 294 days, with 240 
days of active sonar transmissions and 54 days of transit. The maximum 
number of actual transmission hours per vessel would not exceed 432 
hours annually. The application describes the activity types, the 
equipment and platforms involved, and the duration and potential 
locations of the specified activities.
    Included within a larger suite of proposed mitigation measures for 
marine mammals that potentially could be affected during SURTASS LFA 
sonar operations, the Navy proposes to restrict the use of SURTASS LFA 
sonar such that it will not operate in Arctic and Antarctic waters, and 
sound pressure levels (SPL) will not exceed 180 decibels (dB) re 1 
[mu]Pa (rms) within 12 nautical miles of any coastline or within 
designated offshore biologically important areas for marine mammals.

Information Solicited

    Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and 
comments concerning the Navy's request (see ADDRESSES). NMFS will 
consider all information, suggestions, and comments related to the 
Navy's request and NMFS' potential development and implementation of 
regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals by the 
Navy's SURTASS LFA sonar activities.

    Dated: August 24, 2011.
James H. Lecky,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-22163 Filed 8-29-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P