Incidental Taking of Marine Mammals; Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to the Explosive Removal of Offshore Structures in the Gulf of Mexico, 39485-39486 [2012-16148]

Download as PDF srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 128 / Tuesday, July 3, 2012 / Notices include, but are not limited to, number of anticipated injuries or mortalities (none of which would be authorized here), number, nature, intensity, and duration of Level B harassment, and the context in which takes occur. Marine mammals would not be exposed to activities or sound levels which would result in injury (PTS), serious injury, or mortality. Pile driving would occur in shallow coastal waters of Port Townsend Bay. The action area (waters around the ferry terminal) is not considered significant feeding or reproductive habitat for pinnipeds. The closest haul-out is 3 km away, which is outside the project area’s largest harassment zone for airborne noise. Any marine mammals—most likely pinnipeds—approaching the action area would likely be traveling or opportunistically foraging. The amount of take WSF requested for each species, and NMFS proposes to authorize, is considered small (less than five percent) relative to the estimated populations or stocks of 14,612 Pacific harbor seals, 238,000 California sea lions, 101,000 northern elephant seals, 48,500 Steller sea lions, 10,632 harbor porpoises, 57,000 Dall’s porpoises, 25,233 Pacific white-sided dolphins, 20,000 gray whales, 1,100 humpback whales, and 1,000 minke whales. The request of up to 30 takes of killer whales by Level B harassment represents a larger percentage of the local killer whale population; this number was estimated because Southern Resident killer whales travel in large groups. Although killer whales are unlikely to occur in the vicinity of the ferry terminal during pile driving, if they were to appear, it may be as a full group or pod, which necessitates the need for a larger number of takes requested. Marine mammals may be temporarily impacted by pile driving noise. However, marine mammals are expected to avoid the area to some degree, thereby potentially reducing exposure and impacts. Pile driving activities are expected to occur for approximately 4 weeks. Although marine mammal prey species may be affected by pile driving activities, any impacts would be short in duration and limited to the immediate vicinity of the ferry terminal. NMFS expect that any fish that exhibit behavioral responses (i.e., avoidance) while in-water construction activities occur would resume normal behavior following the cessation of the activity. Furthermore, Puget Sound is a highly populated and industrialized area, so animals are likely tolerant or habituated to anthropogenic disturbance, including low level vibratory pile driving operations, and VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:27 Jul 02, 2012 Jkt 226001 noise from other anthropogenic sources (such as vessels) may mask construction related sounds. There are no known areas within Port Townsend Bay where any of these species concentrate specifically for breeding or feeding. Based on all the information considered, there is no anticipated effect on annual rates of recruitment or survival of affected marine mammals. Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the mitigation and monitoring measures, NMFS preliminarily determines that the proposed pile removal and installation would result in the incidental take of small numbers of marine mammals, by Level B harassment only, and that the total taking would have a negligible impact on the affected species or stocks. Impact on Availability of Affected Species for Taking for Subsistence Uses There are no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals implicated by this action. Endangered Species Act (ESA) The Southern Resident killer whale is listed as endangered under the ESA and the eastern stock of Steller sea lion is listed as threatened. Both species may occur within the action area. NMFS is in the process of consulting internally on the issuance of an IHA under section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA for the takes of Southern Resident killer whales and Steller sea lions incidental to the proposed activity. ESA consultation will be concluded prior to a determination on the issuance of a final IHA. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), as implemented by the regulations published by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500–1508), and NOAA Administrative Order 216–6, NMFS is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) to consider the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects to marine mammals and other applicable environmental resources resulting from issuance of a one-year IHA and the potential issuance of additional authorizations for incidental harassment for the ongoing project. Upon completion, this EA will be available on the NMFS Web site listed in the beginning of this document. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 39485 Dated: June 27, 2012. Helen M. Golde, Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–16302 Filed 7–2–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XC063 Incidental Taking of Marine Mammals; Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to the Explosive Removal of Offshore Structures in the Gulf of Mexico National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of a Letter of Authorization (LOA). AGENCY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued a one-year LOA to take marine mammals incidental to the explosive removal of offshore oil and gas structures (EROS) in the Gulf of Mexico. DATES: This authorization is effective from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. ADDRESSES: The application and LOAs are available for review by writing to Tammy Adams, Acting Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910– 3235 or by telephoning the contact listed here (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), or online at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental.htm. Documents cited in this notice may be viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the aforementioned address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Howard Goldstein or Jolie Harrison, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 301–427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs the Secretary of Commerce (who has delegated the authority to NMFS) to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by United States citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region, if certain findings are made and SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\03JYN1.SGM 03JYN1 39486 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 128 / Tuesday, July 3, 2012 / Notices srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES regulations are issued. Under the MMPA, the term ‘‘take’’ means to harass, hunt, capture, or kill or to attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal. Authorization for incidental taking, in the form of annual LOAs, may be granted by NMFS for periods up to five years if NMFS finds, after notice and opportunity for public comment, that the total taking over the five-year period will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) of marine mammals, and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant). In addition, NMFS must prescribe regulations that include permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on the species and its habitat (i.e., mitigation), and on the availability of the species for subsistence uses, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating rounds, and areas of similar significance. The regulations also must include requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking. Regulations governing the taking of marine mammals incidental to EROS were published on June 19, 2008 (73 FR 34875), and remain in effect through July 19, 2013. For detailed information on this action, please refer to that Federal Register notice. The species that applicants may take in small numbers during EROS activities are bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis), pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata), Clymene dolphins (Stenella clymene), striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris), rough-toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis), Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus), melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra), shortfinned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). NMFS received requests for a LOA from ExxonMobil Production Company (ExxonMobil) for activities covered by EROS regulations. Reporting ExxonMobil has not used explosives for any rig structure removal operations under the 2011 to 2012 LOA. Pursuant to these regulations, NMFS has issued an LOA to ExxonMobil. Issuance of the LOA is based on a finding made in the preamble to the final rule that the total taking over the five-year period (with monitoring, mitigation, and reporting measures) will have a negligible impact on the affected VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:27 Jul 02, 2012 Jkt 226001 species or stock(s) of marine mammals and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on subsistence uses. NMFS will review reports to ensure that the applicant is in compliance with meeting the requirements contained in the implementing regulations and LOA, including monitoring, mitigation, and reporting requirements. Dated: June 25, 2012. Helen M. Golde, Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–16148 Filed 7–2–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request. ACTION: Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled. SUMMARY: The Committee is submitting to the Office of Management and Budget for their review the following collection as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). Committee Form 403—Annual Certification—Qualified Nonprofit Agency Serving People Who Are Blind. Committee From 404—Annual Certification—Qualified Nonprofit Agency Serving People Who Are Severely Disabled. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments about the collection on or before July 28, 2009. The agency’s 60-day notice informing the public of the intent to renew this form with no changes was published in the Federal Register on March 7, 2012 on page 13563–13564. ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: Ms. Jasmeet K. Seehra, OMB Desk Officer, by any of the following two methods within 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register: (1) By fax to: (202) 395–6974, Attention: Ms. Jasmeet K. Seehra, OMB Desk Office; and (2) Electronically by email to: Jasmeet_K._Seehra@omb.eop.gov. Requests for copies of documents pertaining to the collection should be addressed to Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 Disabled, Attention: Louis Bartalot, Director of Compliance, Jefferson Plaza 2, Suite 10800, 1421 Jefferson Davis Highway Arlington, VA 22202–3259 or emailed to lbartalot@abilityone.gov. The Committee has two annual certification forms, one for nonprofit agencies serving people who are blind (Committee Form 403, OMB Control Number 3037–0001) and one for nonprofit agencies primarily serving people who have other severe disabilities (Committee Form 404, OMB Control Number 3037–0002). The information included on the forms is required to ensure that nonprofit agencies that participate in the Committee’s program meet the requirements of the Javits-WagnerO’Day Act (JWOD), 41 U.S.C. 8105– 8506. No comments were received in response to the agency’s 60-day notice informing the public of the intent to renew this form with minor changes, which was published in the Federal Register on March 7, 2012 on page 13563–13564. Title: Annual Certification—Qualified Nonprofit Agency Serving People Who Are Blind, Committee Form 403. OMB Number: 3037–0001. Agency Number: 3037. Frequency: Annually. Affected Public: Nonprofit agencies serving people who are blind that participate in the AbilityOne Program. Number of Respondents: 70. Estimated Time per Respondent: 6 hours. Total Burden Hours: 420. Total Annual Costs: $12,600. Title: Annual Certification—Qualified Nonprofit Agency Serving People Who Are Severely Disabled, Committee Form 404. OMB Number: 3037–0002. Agency Number: 3037. Frequency: Annually. Affected Public: Nonprofit agencies serving people with severe disabilities that participate in the AbilityOne Program. Number of Respondents: 538. Estimated Time per Respondent: 6 hours. Total Burden Hours: 3,228. Total Annual costs: $96,840. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations. [FR Doc. 2012–16192 Filed 7–2–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353–01–P E:\FR\FM\03JYN1.SGM 03JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 128 (Tuesday, July 3, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 39485-39486]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-16148]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC063


Incidental Taking of Marine Mammals; Taking of Marine Mammals 
Incidental to the Explosive Removal of Offshore Structures in the Gulf 
of Mexico

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

ACTION: Notice; issuance of a Letter of Authorization (LOA).

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and 
implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has 
issued a one-year LOA to take marine mammals incidental to the 
explosive removal of offshore oil and gas structures (EROS) in the Gulf 
of Mexico.

DATES: This authorization is effective from July 1, 2012 through June 
30, 2013.

ADDRESSES: The application and LOAs are available for review by writing 
to Tammy Adams, Acting Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office 
of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-
West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3235 or by telephoning the 
contact listed here (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), or online 
at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm. Documents cited 
in this notice may be viewed, by appointment, during regular business 
hours, at the aforementioned address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Howard Goldstein or Jolie Harrison, 
Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 301-427-8401.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 
1361 et seq.) directs the Secretary of Commerce (who has delegated the 
authority to NMFS) to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not 
intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by United States 
citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial 
fishing) within a specified geographical region, if certain findings 
are made and

[[Page 39486]]

regulations are issued. Under the MMPA, the term ``take'' means to 
harass, hunt, capture, or kill or to attempt to harass, hunt, capture, 
or kill any marine mammal.
    Authorization for incidental taking, in the form of annual LOAs, 
may be granted by NMFS for periods up to five years if NMFS finds, 
after notice and opportunity for public comment, that the total taking 
over the five-year period will have a negligible impact on the species 
or stock(s) of marine mammals, and will not have an unmitigable adverse 
impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence 
uses (where relevant). In addition, NMFS must prescribe regulations 
that include permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting 
the least practicable adverse impact on the species and its habitat 
(i.e., mitigation), and on the availability of the species for 
subsistence uses, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating 
rounds, and areas of similar significance. The regulations also must 
include requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such 
taking.
    Regulations governing the taking of marine mammals incidental to 
EROS were published on June 19, 2008 (73 FR 34875), and remain in 
effect through July 19, 2013. For detailed information on this action, 
please refer to that Federal Register notice. The species that 
applicants may take in small numbers during EROS activities are 
bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Atlantic spotted dolphins 
(Stenella frontalis), pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella 
attenuata), Clymene dolphins (Stenella clymene), striped dolphins 
(Stenella coeruleoalba), spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris), 
rough-toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis), Risso's dolphins (Grampus 
griseus), melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra), short-finned 
pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), and sperm whales (Physeter 
macrocephalus). NMFS received requests for a LOA from ExxonMobil 
Production Company (ExxonMobil) for activities covered by EROS 
regulations.

Reporting

    ExxonMobil has not used explosives for any rig structure removal 
operations under the 2011 to 2012 LOA.
    Pursuant to these regulations, NMFS has issued an LOA to 
ExxonMobil. Issuance of the LOA is based on a finding made in the 
preamble to the final rule that the total taking over the five-year 
period (with monitoring, mitigation, and reporting measures) will have 
a negligible impact on the affected species or stock(s) of marine 
mammals and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on subsistence 
uses. NMFS will review reports to ensure that the applicant is in 
compliance with meeting the requirements contained in the implementing 
regulations and LOA, including monitoring, mitigation, and reporting 
requirements.

    Dated: June 25, 2012.
Helen M. Golde,
Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-16148 Filed 7-2-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P