Notice of Availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Fisheries Research Conducted and Funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, 52250-52251 [2015-21356]

Download as PDF Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 52250 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 167 / Friday, August 28, 2015 / Notices Friday, September 25, 2015. Please see the registration instructions in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. ADDRESSES: Written responses to this request for information should be submitted to Dr. Michael Moldover, Sensor Science Division of the Physical Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8440, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, or by electronic mail to Michael.Moldover@ nist.gov. The public workshop will be held at NIST’s campus in Boulder, Colorado, which is located at 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305, in Building 81, Room 81–1A116. Registration will be available online at http://www.nist.gov/allevents.cfm. Please note the campus admittance instructions under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, please contact Dr. Michael Moldover by mail to 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8440, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, or by electronic mail to Michael.Moldover@ nist.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NIST’s Cryogenic Flow Measurement Facility (Facility), located on NIST’s campus in Boulder, Colorado, provides the public with the service of calibrating and testing flow meters using a closed loop liquid-nitrogen flow system. The Facility uses a dynamic weighing system to measure liquid mass and to calculate total mass and volume flow rates through a meter under test conditions. All measurements are traceable to the International System of Units using standards maintained at NIST. Upon completion of a meter calibration, NIST provides the customer with a final report, tabulated data, and plots summarizing the results. The Facility has been in operation at NIST for nearly fifty years under the NIST Quality System (in conformance with ISO/TEC 17025). The calibration of cryogenic flow meters is listed among the NIST Calibration and Measurement Capabilities (CMC) within the key comparison database (KCDB) of the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). While it provides an important and unique service, NIST plans to discontinue the operation of the Cryogenic Flow Measurement Facility in Boulder at the end of September 2015. The Facility’s current location will be used for NIST’s new Communication Technology Laboratory. The purpose of this request for information is to determine the level of interest and the needs of the industry VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:19 Aug 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 for this type of calibration service. NIST is seeking information that responds to the questions listed below. (1) What is your opinion of the quality and utility of the calibration services performed by the Facility? 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No business proprietary information should be included in any correspondence to NIST in response to this request for information. NIST will not treat any information provided in response to this request for information as proprietary information. Any information received by NIST in response to this request may be used to communicate with the responders regarding future projects. Public Workshop: NIST will hold a public workshop to lead an open discussion with participants regarding the questions listed above. The meeting will be held at NIST’s campus in Boulder, Colorado on Monday, September 28, 2015. Participants may attend the public workshop in person or may participate virtually via web conferencing. All participants who wish to attend in person are required to register by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, September 25, 2015, at http:// www.nist.gov/allevents.cfm. There is no registration fee. NIST will provide registered participants with information about how to access NIST’s campus in Boulder, Colorado to attend in person and how to access the web conference to participate virtually. For participants attending in person, please note that federal agencies, including NIST, can only accept a state-issued driver’s license or identification card for access to federal facilities if such license or identification card is issued by a state PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 that is compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109–13), or by a state that has an extension for REAL ID compliance. NIST currently accepts other forms of federal-issued identification in lieu of a state-issued driver’s license. For detailed information, please contact Arvella Musselman at (301) 975–2165 or visit: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/ visitor/. Richard Cavanagh, Acting Associate Director for Laboratory Programs. [FR Doc. 2015–21287 Filed 8–27–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–13–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE123 Notice of Availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Fisheries Research Conducted and Funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS announces the availability of the ‘‘Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment (DPEA) for Fisheries Research Conducted and Funded by the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC).’’ Publication of this notice begins the official public comment period for this DPEA. The purpose of the DPEA is to evaluate, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of conducting and funding fisheries and ecosystem research along the U.S. West Coast, including the Northern California Large Marine Ecosystem (NCLME), Puget Sound, and the Lower Columbia River Research Area (LCRRA). DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than September 28, 2015. ADDRESSES: Comments on the DPEA should be addressed to Kurt Fresh, Manager, Estuarine and Ocean Ecology Program, NMFS, Northwest Fisheries Science Center. The mailbox address for providing physical comments is 2725 Montlake Boulevard, East Seattle, WA SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 167 / Friday, August 28, 2015 / Notices 98112. The email address is Kurt.Fresh@ noaa.gov. NMFS is not responsible for email comments sent to addresses other than the one provided here. Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) 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: Kurt Fresh, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NMFS, (206) 860–3200. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability An electronic copy of the DPEA may be obtained by writing to the address specified above (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) or by visiting the internet at: http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/ news/features/incidental_take_NOA. Documents cited in this notice may also be viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the aforementioned address. Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Background The NWFSC is the research arm of NMFS in the Northwest Region of the Continental United States. The NWFSC conducts research and provides scientific advice to manage fisheries and conserve protected species in the Pacific Ocean (primarily the Continental Shelf Region of the Pacific Coast), Puget Sound, and Lower Columbia River Estuary (below Bonneville Dam). Research is aimed at monitoring fish stock recruitment, survival and biological rates, abundance and geographic distribution of species and stocks, and providing other scientific information needed to improve our understanding of complex marine ecological processes. Primary research activities include: Studies of early marine life and mortality processes of juvenile Pacific salmonids, bottom trawl surveys to support assessments of multiple groundfish species, stock assessments of Pacific hake, studies to support salmon recovery efforts in Puget Sound and the Columbia River Estuary, telemetry studies of numerous species, and extensive cooperative research projects designed to address current or VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:19 Aug 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 emerging information needs of the commercial fishing industry such as bycatch reduction efforts. Many research activities also include active acoustic systems, plankton nets, and other oceanographic equipment that provide important data on the status and trends of marine ecosystems important for various fisheries and natural resource management processes. NMFS has prepared the DPEA under NEPA to evaluate several alternatives for conducting and funding fisheries and ecosystem research activities as the primary Federal action. Additionally in the DPEA, NMFS evaluates a secondary Federal action—also called a ‘‘connected action’’ under 40 CFR 1508.25 of the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)— which is the proposed promulgation of regulations and authorization of the take of marine mammals incidental to the fisheries research under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Additionally, because the proposed research activities occur in areas inhabited by species of marine mammals, birds, sea turtles, and fish listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as threatened or endangered, this DPEA evaluates activities that could result in unintentional takes of ESAlisted marine species. The following four alternatives are evaluated in the DPEA: 1. No-Action/Status Quo Alternative—Conduct Federal Fisheries and Ecosystem Research with Scope and Protocols Similar to Past Effort; 2. Preferred Alternative—Conduct Federal Fisheries and Ecosystem Research (New Suite of Research) with Mitigation for MMPA and ESA Compliance; 3. Modified Research Alternative— Conduct Federal Fisheries and Ecosystem Research (New Suite of Research) with Additional Mitigation; and 4. No Research Alternative—No Fieldwork for Federal Fisheries and Ecosystem Research Conducted or Funded by NWFSC. The first three alternatives include a program of fisheries and ecosystem research projects conducted or funded by the NWFSC as the primary Federal action. Because this primary action is connected to a secondary Federal action to consider authorizing incidental take of marine mammals under the MMPA, NMFS must identify as part of this evaluation ‘‘(t)he means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on the species or stock and its habitat.’’ (Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA [16 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 52251 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.]). NMFS must therefore identify and evaluate a reasonable range of mitigation measures to minimize impacts to marine mammals that occur in NWFSC research areas. These mitigation measures are considered as part of the identified alternatives in order to evaluate their effectiveness to minimize potential adverse environmental impacts. The three action alternatives also include mitigation measures intended to minimize potentially adverse interactions with other protected species that occur within the action area. Protected species include all marine mammals, which are covered under the MMPA, all species listed under the ESA, and bird species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. NMFS is also evaluating a second type of no-action alternative that considers no federal funding for fieldwork on fisheries and ecosystem research activities. This is called the No Research Alternative to distinguish it from the No-Action/Status Quo Alternative. The No-Action/Status Quo Alternative will be used as the baseline to compare all of the other alternatives. Potential direct and indirect effects on the environment are evaluated under each alternative in the DPEA. The environmental effects on the following resources are considered: physical environment, special resource areas, fish, marine mammals, birds, sea turtles, invertebrates, and the social and economic environment. Cumulative effects of external actions and the contribution of fisheries research activities to the overall cumulative impact on the aforementioned resources is also evaluated in the DPEA for the geographic regions in which NWFSC surveys are conducted. Information Solicited NMFS requests comments on the DPEA for Fisheries Research Conducted and Funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Please include, with your comments, any supporting data or literature citations that may be informative in substantiating your comment. Dated: August 19, 2015. Mark Strom, Deputy Director, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–21356 Filed 8–27–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 167 (Friday, August 28, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52250-52251]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-21356]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XE123


Notice of Availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental 
Assessment for Fisheries Research Conducted and Funded by the National 
Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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

ACTION: Notice of availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental 
Assessment; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS announces the availability of the ``Draft Programmatic 
Environmental Assessment (DPEA) for Fisheries Research Conducted and 
Funded by the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC).'' Publication 
of this notice begins the official public comment period for this DPEA. 
The purpose of the DPEA is to evaluate, in compliance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the potential direct, indirect, and 
cumulative impacts of conducting and funding fisheries and ecosystem 
research along the U.S. West Coast, including the Northern California 
Large Marine Ecosystem (NCLME), Puget Sound, and the Lower Columbia 
River Research Area (LCRRA).

DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than 
September 28, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the DPEA should be addressed to Kurt Fresh, 
Manager, Estuarine and Ocean Ecology Program, NMFS, Northwest Fisheries 
Science Center. The mailbox address for providing physical comments is 
2725 Montlake Boulevard, East Seattle, WA

[[Page 52251]]

98112. The email address is Kurt.Fresh@noaa.gov. NMFS is not 
responsible for email comments sent to addresses other than the one 
provided here.
    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any 
other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the 
end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including 
all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments 
to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or 
Adobe PDF file formats only. All personal identifying information 
(e.g., name, address) 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: Kurt Fresh, Northwest Fisheries 
Science Center, NMFS, (206) 860-3200.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Availability

    An electronic copy of the DPEA may be obtained by writing to the 
address specified above (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) or by 
visiting the internet at: http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/news/features/incidental_take_NOA. Documents cited in this notice may also be viewed, 
by appointment, during regular business hours, at the aforementioned 
address.

Background

    The NWFSC is the research arm of NMFS in the Northwest Region of 
the Continental United States. The NWFSC conducts research and provides 
scientific advice to manage fisheries and conserve protected species in 
the Pacific Ocean (primarily the Continental Shelf Region of the 
Pacific Coast), Puget Sound, and Lower Columbia River Estuary (below 
Bonneville Dam). Research is aimed at monitoring fish stock 
recruitment, survival and biological rates, abundance and geographic 
distribution of species and stocks, and providing other scientific 
information needed to improve our understanding of complex marine 
ecological processes. Primary research activities include: Studies of 
early marine life and mortality processes of juvenile Pacific 
salmonids, bottom trawl surveys to support assessments of multiple 
groundfish species, stock assessments of Pacific hake, studies to 
support salmon recovery efforts in Puget Sound and the Columbia River 
Estuary, telemetry studies of numerous species, and extensive 
cooperative research projects designed to address current or emerging 
information needs of the commercial fishing industry such as bycatch 
reduction efforts. Many research activities also include active 
acoustic systems, plankton nets, and other oceanographic equipment that 
provide important data on the status and trends of marine ecosystems 
important for various fisheries and natural resource management 
processes.
    NMFS has prepared the DPEA under NEPA to evaluate several 
alternatives for conducting and funding fisheries and ecosystem 
research activities as the primary Federal action. Additionally in the 
DPEA, NMFS evaluates a secondary Federal action--also called a 
``connected action'' under 40 CFR 1508.25 of the Council on 
Environmental Quality's regulations for implementing the procedural 
provisions of NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)--which is the proposed 
promulgation of regulations and authorization of the take of marine 
mammals incidental to the fisheries research under the Marine Mammal 
Protection Act (MMPA). Additionally, because the proposed research 
activities occur in areas inhabited by species of marine mammals, 
birds, sea turtles, and fish listed under the Endangered Species Act 
(ESA) as threatened or endangered, this DPEA evaluates activities that 
could result in unintentional takes of ESA-listed marine species.
    The following four alternatives are evaluated in the DPEA:
    1. No-Action/Status Quo Alternative--Conduct Federal Fisheries and 
Ecosystem Research with Scope and Protocols Similar to Past Effort;
    2. Preferred Alternative--Conduct Federal Fisheries and Ecosystem 
Research (New Suite of Research) with Mitigation for MMPA and ESA 
Compliance;
    3. Modified Research Alternative--Conduct Federal Fisheries and 
Ecosystem Research (New Suite of Research) with Additional Mitigation; 
and
    4. No Research Alternative--No Fieldwork for Federal Fisheries and 
Ecosystem Research Conducted or Funded by NWFSC.
    The first three alternatives include a program of fisheries and 
ecosystem research projects conducted or funded by the NWFSC as the 
primary Federal action. Because this primary action is connected to a 
secondary Federal action to consider authorizing incidental take of 
marine mammals under the MMPA, NMFS must identify as part of this 
evaluation ``(t)he means of effecting the least practicable adverse 
impact on the species or stock and its habitat.'' (Section 101(a)(5)(A) 
of the MMPA [16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.]). NMFS must therefore identify and 
evaluate a reasonable range of mitigation measures to minimize impacts 
to marine mammals that occur in NWFSC research areas. These mitigation 
measures are considered as part of the identified alternatives in order 
to evaluate their effectiveness to minimize potential adverse 
environmental impacts. The three action alternatives also include 
mitigation measures intended to minimize potentially adverse 
interactions with other protected species that occur within the action 
area. Protected species include all marine mammals, which are covered 
under the MMPA, all species listed under the ESA, and bird species 
protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
    NMFS is also evaluating a second type of no-action alternative that 
considers no federal funding for fieldwork on fisheries and ecosystem 
research activities. This is called the No Research Alternative to 
distinguish it from the No-Action/Status Quo Alternative. The No-
Action/Status Quo Alternative will be used as the baseline to compare 
all of the other alternatives.
    Potential direct and indirect effects on the environment are 
evaluated under each alternative in the DPEA. The environmental effects 
on the following resources are considered: physical environment, 
special resource areas, fish, marine mammals, birds, sea turtles, 
invertebrates, and the social and economic environment. Cumulative 
effects of external actions and the contribution of fisheries research 
activities to the overall cumulative impact on the aforementioned 
resources is also evaluated in the DPEA for the geographic regions in 
which NWFSC surveys are conducted.

Information Solicited

    NMFS requests comments on the DPEA for Fisheries Research Conducted 
and Funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest 
Fisheries Science Center. Please include, with your comments, any 
supporting data or literature citations that may be informative in 
substantiating your comment.

    Dated: August 19, 2015.
Mark Strom,
Deputy Director, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-21356 Filed 8-27-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P