Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; U.S. Navy Training and Testing Activities in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Study Area, 60679-60680 [2012-24538]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 193 / Thursday, October 4, 2012 / Notices 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 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].’’ emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Summary of Request On April 13, 2012, NMFS received an application from the Navy requesting two letters of authorization (LOAs) for the take of 39 species of marine mammals incidental to Navy training and testing activities to be conducted in the HSTT Study Area over 5 years. The Navy is requesting a 5-year LOA for training activities and a 5-year LOA for testing activities, each proposed to be conducted from 2014 through 2019. The Study Area includes three existing range complexes: the Southern California (SOCAL) Range Complex, Hawaii Range Complex (HRC), and Silver Strand Training Complex (SSTC) (see page 2 of the Navy’s application for a map). In addition, the Study Area includes Navy pierside locations and areas on the high seas where maintenance, training, or testing may occur. These activities are classified as military readiness activities. The Navy states that these activities may expose some of the marine mammals present within the Study Area to sound from active sonar, underwater detonations, and pile driving and removal. In addition, incidental takes of marine mammals may occur from ship strikes. The Navy is requesting authorization to take 39 marine mammal species by Level B harassment and 30 marine mammal species by serious injury or mortality. Description of the Specified Activity In the application submitted to NMFS, the Navy requests authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting the following training and testing activities: amphibious warfare; anti-surface warfare; anti-submarine warfare; mine warfare; naval special warfare; Naval Air Systems Command VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:21 Oct 03, 2012 Jkt 229001 (NAVAIR) testing; Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) testing; Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) testing; and Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) testing. Detailed descriptions of these activities, including duration, location, and equipment involved, are provided in the Navy’s application. The Navy has also prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) analyzing the effects on the human environment of implementing their preferred alternative (among others). Information Solicited Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning the Navy’s request (see ADDRESSES). All input related to the Navy’s HSTT request and NMFS’ role in governing the incidental taking of marine mammals will be considered by NMFS when developing, if appropriate, the most effective regulations governing the issuance of letters of authorization. Dated: September 27, 2012. Helen M. Golde, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–24539 Filed 10–3–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XC090 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; U.S. Navy Training and Testing Activities in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Study Area 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 marine mammals incidental to the training and testing activities conducted in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) study area from January 2014 through January 2019. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS announces our receipt of the Navy’s request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and invites SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60679 information, suggestions, and comments on the Navy’s application and request. DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than November 5, 2012. ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to Michael Payne, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910– 3225. The mailbox address for providing email comments is ITP.Hopper@noaa.gov. NMFS is not responsible for email comments sent to addresses other than the one provided here. Comments sent via email, 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 http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental.htm 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. An electronic copy of the Navy’s application may be obtained by writing to the address specified above, telephoning the contact listed below (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), or visiting the internet at: http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental.htm. The Navy’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for AFTT was made available to the public on May 11, 2012 (77 FR 27742). NMFS is a cooperating agency in the development of the Navy’s DEIS for AFTT. The dates and times of the public meetings may be viewed at: http:// www.aftteis.com. Documents cited in this notice may also be viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the aforementioned address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian D. Hopper, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce 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 specific geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1 60680 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 193 / Thursday, October 4, 2012 / Notices emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES limited to harassment, a 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 takings 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 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 April 13, 2012, NMFS received an application from the Navy requesting two letters of authorization (LOAs) for the take of 40 species of marine mammals incidental to Navy training and testing activities to be conducted in the AFTT Study Area over 5 years. The Navy requests a 5-year LOA for training activities and a 5-year LOA for testing activities, each proposed to be conducted from 2014 through 2019. The Study Area includes the following range complexes: the Northeast Range Complexes (consisting of the Boston, Narragansett Bay, and Atlantic City Ranges Complexes); the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport Testing Range; the Virginia Capes Range Complex (VACAPES); the Navy Cherry Point Range Complex (CHPT); the Jacksonville Range Complex (JAX), the South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility Testing Range; the Undersea Warfare Training Range; the Key West Range Complex; the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division Testing Range; and the Gulf of Mexico Range Complex (GOMEX) (see Figure 1– 1 in the Navy’s LOA application for a map of the AFTT Study Area). In VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:21 Oct 03, 2012 Jkt 229001 addition, the Study Area includes Navy pierside locations and areas on the high seas where maintenance, training, or testing may occur. These activities are classified as military readiness activities. The Navy states that these activities may expose some of the marine mammals present within the Study Area to sound from active sonar, underwater detonations, and pile driving and removal. In addition, incidental takes of marine mammals may occur from ship strikes. Description of the Specified Activity In the application submitted to NMFS, the Navy requests authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting training and testing operations that involve the use of active acoustics and underwater detonations. These non-impulsive (sonar) and impulsive (explosives) sources would be used during the following training and testing activities: amphibious warfare; anti-surface warfare; anti-submarine warfare; mine warfare; naval special warfare; Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) testing; Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) testing; Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) testing; and Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) testing. Detailed descriptions of these activities are included in the LOA application. Information Solicited Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning the Navy’s request (see ADDRESSES). All input related to the Navy’s AFTT request and NMFS’ role in governing the incidental taking of marine mammals will be considered by NMFS when developing, if appropriate, the most effective regulations governing the issuance of letters of authorization. Dated: September 27, 2012. Helen M. Golde, Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2012–24538 Filed 10–3–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration [Docket No. 120928505–2505–01] RIN 0660–XC002 Development of the Nationwide Interoperable Public Safety Broadband Network National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of inquiry. AGENCY: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issues this Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on behalf of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to seek public comment on the conceptual network architecture presentation made at the FirstNet Board of Directors’ meeting held on September 25, 2012, as well as to invite input on other network design and business plan considerations. NTIA also seeks comment on the general concept of how to develop applications for public safety users as discussed at the FirstNet Board meeting. FirstNet intends to use the input received from this process to shape its efforts to establish the interoperable public safety broadband network based on a single, nationwide network architecture called for under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Act).1 DATES: Comments must be received no later than November 1, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted by email to firstnetnoi@ntia.doc.gov. Written comments also may be submitted by mail to: National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., HCHB Room 7324, Attn: FirstNet NOI, Washington, DC 20230. Please note that all material sent via the U.S. Postal Service (including ‘‘Overnight’’ or ‘‘Express Mail’’) is subject to delivery delays of up to two weeks due to mail security procedures. Responders should include the name of the person or organization filing the comment, as well as a page number, on each page of their submissions. Paper submissions should also include a CD or DVD with an electronic version of the document, which should be labeled with the name SUMMARY: 1 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Public Law 112–96, 126 Stat. 156 (2012) (Act). Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1

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[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 193 (Thursday, October 4, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60679-60680]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-24538]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC090


Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; U.S. 
Navy Training and Testing Activities in the Atlantic Fleet Training and 
Testing Study Area

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 marine mammals incidental to the training and 
testing activities conducted in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing 
(AFTT) study area from January 2014 through January 2019. Pursuant to 
the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS announces our receipt of 
the Navy's request for the development and implementation of 
regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and 
invites information, suggestions, and comments on the Navy's 
application and request.

DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than November 
5, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to Michael 
Payne, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, 
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3225. The mailbox address for providing email 
comments is ITP.Hopper@noaa.gov. NMFS is not responsible for email 
comments sent to addresses other than the one provided here. Comments 
sent via email, 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 http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm 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.
    An electronic copy of the Navy's application may be obtained by 
writing to the address specified above, telephoning the contact listed 
below (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), or visiting the internet 
at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm. The Navy's 
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for AFTT was made available 
to the public on May 11, 2012 (77 FR 27742). NMFS is a cooperating 
agency in the development of the Navy's DEIS for AFTT. The dates and 
times of the public meetings may be viewed at: http://www.aftteis.com. 
Documents cited in this notice may also be viewed, by appointment, 
during regular business hours, at the aforementioned address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian D. Hopper, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) 
direct the Secretary of Commerce 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 specific geographical region 
if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if 
the taking is

[[Page 60680]]

limited to harassment, a 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 takings 
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 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 April 13, 2012, NMFS received an application from the Navy 
requesting two letters of authorization (LOAs) for the take of 40 
species of marine mammals incidental to Navy training and testing 
activities to be conducted in the AFTT Study Area over 5 years. The 
Navy requests a 5-year LOA for training activities and a 5-year LOA for 
testing activities, each proposed to be conducted from 2014 through 
2019. The Study Area includes the following range complexes: the 
Northeast Range Complexes (consisting of the Boston, Narragansett Bay, 
and Atlantic City Ranges Complexes); the Naval Undersea Warfare Center 
Division, Newport Testing Range; the Virginia Capes Range Complex 
(VACAPES); the Navy Cherry Point Range Complex (CHPT); the Jacksonville 
Range Complex (JAX), the South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility 
Testing Range; the Undersea Warfare Training Range; the Key West Range 
Complex; the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division Testing 
Range; and the Gulf of Mexico Range Complex (GOMEX) (see Figure 1-1 in 
the Navy's LOA application for a map of the AFTT Study Area). In 
addition, the Study Area includes Navy pierside locations and areas on 
the high seas where maintenance, training, or testing may occur. These 
activities are classified as military readiness activities. The Navy 
states that these activities may expose some of the marine mammals 
present within the Study Area to sound from active sonar, underwater 
detonations, and pile driving and removal. In addition, incidental 
takes of marine mammals may occur from ship strikes.

Description of the Specified Activity

    In the application submitted to NMFS, the Navy requests 
authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting training 
and testing operations that involve the use of active acoustics and 
underwater detonations. These non-impulsive (sonar) and impulsive 
(explosives) sources would be used during the following training and 
testing activities: amphibious warfare; anti-surface warfare; anti-
submarine warfare; mine warfare; naval special warfare; Naval Air 
Systems Command (NAVAIR) testing; Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) 
testing; Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) testing; and 
Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) 
testing. Detailed descriptions of these activities are included in the 
LOA application.

Information Solicited

    Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and 
comments concerning the Navy's request (see ADDRESSES). All input 
related to the Navy's AFTT request and NMFS' role in governing the 
incidental taking of marine mammals will be considered by NMFS when 
developing, if appropriate, the most effective regulations governing 
the issuance of letters of authorization.

    Dated: September 27, 2012.
Helen M. Golde,
Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-24538 Filed 10-3-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P