Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Applications and Reporting Requirements for the Incidental Take of Marine Mammals by Specified Activities (Other Than Commercial Fishing Operations) Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, 67984-67985 [2016-23743]

Download as PDF 67984 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 191 / Monday, October 3, 2016 / Notices 100 Boardman Street, Boston, MA 02128; phone: (617) 567–6789. Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Applications and Reporting Requirements for the Incidental Take of Marine Mammals by Specified Activities (Other Than Commercial Fishing Operations) Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act Agenda AGENCY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465–0492. The committee will review information provided by the Council’s Scallop Plan Development Team (PDT) and recommend the overfishing levels (OFLs) and acceptable biological catches (ABCs) for Atlantic sea scallops for fishing years 2016 and 2017. They will discuss other issues related to improving control rules and ABC recommendations for groundfish and other stocks, including ecosystem information, how to deal with information from multiple stock assessment models and other information. Other business will be discussed as needed. Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. Special Accommodations This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465–0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Dated: September 28, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–23800 Filed 9–30–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:56 Sep 30, 2016 Jkt 241001 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice. The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before December 2, 2016. ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at JJessup@doc.gov). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Dale Youngkin, (301) 427– 8401 or ITP.Youngkin@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Abstract This request is for an extension of a currently approved information collection. The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) prohibits the ‘‘take’’ of marine mammals unless otherwise authorized or exempted by law. Among the provisions that allow for lawful take of marine mammals, sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing), within a specified geographical region if, after notice and opportunity for public comment, we find that the taking will have a negligible impact on the affected species or stock(s) and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 for subsistence uses (where relevant). The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) also must set forth the permissible methods of taking; other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on the species or stock and its habitat (mitigation); and requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking. Issuance of an incidental take authorization (Authorization) under section 101(a)(5)(A) or 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA requires three sets of information collection: (1) A complete application for an Authorization, as set forth in our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104, which provides the information necessary for us to make the necessary statutory determinations, including estimates of take and an assessment of impacts on the affected species and stocks; (2) information relating to required monitoring; and (3) information related to required reporting. These collections of information enable us to: (1) Evaluate the proposed activity’s impact on marine mammals; (2) arrive at the appropriate determinations required by the MMPA and other applicable laws prior to issuing the authorization; and (3) monitor impacts of activities for which we have issued Authorizations to determine if our predictions regarding impacts on marine mammals remain valid. On August 4, 2016, NMFS published a Federal Register Notice (81 FR 51694) notifying the public of its new Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (Guidance). This guidance established new thresholds for predicting auditory injury, which equates to Level A harassment (a type of take) under the MMPA. In that Federal Register Notice we stated that we would consider the effect of the Guidance, specifically whether a revision in the burden hour estimates is appropriate, and invite public comment on its assessment. Although NMFS has updated the acoustic thresholds and these changes may necessitate new methodologies for calculating impacts, NMFS does not anticipate that the new guidance will substantially add to the overall burden to applicants for incidental take authorizations. This is due to the fact that, recognizing that action proponents have varying abilities to model and estimate exposure, and that the new guidance may be more complex than some action proponents are able to incorporate, NMFS provided an alternative methodology with an associated spreadsheet for use as an aid. Action proponents already using more E:\FR\FM\03OCN1.SGM 03OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 191 / Monday, October 3, 2016 / Notices 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. II. Method of Collection Respondents have a choice of submitting either electronic or paper forms. Methods of submittal include email, mail, overnight delivery service, and/or facsimile transmissions. Dated: September 27, 2016. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer. III. Data OMB Control Number: 0648–0151. Form Number: None. Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a currently approved information collection). Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions; state, local, or tribal governments; businesses or other forprofit organizations. Estimated Number of Respondents: 95. Estimated Time per Response: 255 hours for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) application; 11 hours for an IHA interim report (if applicable); 115 hours for an IHA draft annual report; 14 hours for an IHA final annual report (if applicable); 1,100 hours for the initial preparation of an application for new regulations; 70 hours for an annual Letter of Authorization (LOA) application; 220 hours for an LOA draft annual report; 65 hours for a LOA final annual report (if applicable); 625 hours for a LOA draft comprehensive report; and 300 hours for an LOA final comprehensive report. Response times will vary for the public based upon the complexity of the requested action. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 14,109. Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $360 in recordkeeping/reporting costs and $0 in capital costs. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES complex modeling capabilities would simply modify their modeling efforts using the new criteria, and action proponents without the ability to do more complex modeling may opt to use the alternative methodology spreadsheet. Therefore, the estimated time per response is not affected by the guidance. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:56 Sep 30, 2016 Jkt 241001 [FR Doc. 2016–23743 Filed 9–30–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE297 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to a Pier Construction and Support Facilities Project, Port Angeles, WA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of an incidental harassment authorization. AGENCY: In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that we have issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to the U.S. Navy (Navy) to incidentally harass marine mammals during construction activities associated with the Pier Construction and Support Facilities Project at Port Angeles, WA. DATES: This authorization is effective from November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura McCue, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Availability An electronic copy of the Navy’s application and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained by visiting the Internet at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental.htm. A memorandum describing our adoption of the Navy’s Environmental Assessment (2016) and our associated Finding of No Significant Impact, prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, are also available at the same site. In case PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67985 of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). 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 by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified area, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals, providing that certain findings are made and the necessary prescriptions are established. The incidental taking of small numbers of marine mammals may be allowed only if NMFS (through authority delegated by the Secretary) finds that the total taking by the specified activity during the specified time period will (i) have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) and (ii) not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant). Further, the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such taking must be set forth, either in specific regulations or in an authorization. The allowance of such incidental taking under section 101(a)(5)(A), by harassment, serious injury, death, or a combination thereof, requires that regulations be established. Subsequently, a Letter of Authorization may be issued pursuant to the prescriptions established in such regulations, providing that the level of taking will be consistent with the findings made for the total taking allowable under the specific regulations. Under section 101(a)(5)(D), NMFS may authorize such incidental taking by harassment only, for periods of not more than one year, pursuant to requirements and conditions contained within an IHA. The establishment of prescriptions through either specific regulations or an authorization requires notice and opportunity for public comment. 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.’’ Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, section 3(18) of the MMPA defines ‘‘harassment’’ as: ‘‘. . . any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild; or (ii) has the potential to disturb E:\FR\FM\03OCN1.SGM 03OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 191 (Monday, October 3, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67984-67985]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-23743]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Applications 
and Reporting Requirements for the Incidental Take of Marine Mammals by 
Specified Activities (Other Than Commercial Fishing Operations) Under 
the Marine Mammal Protection Act

AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 
Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort 
to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public 
and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing 
information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before December 2, 
2016.

ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental 
Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th 
and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet 
at JJessup@doc.gov).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or 
copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should 
be directed to Dale Youngkin, (301) 427-8401 or ITP.Youngkin@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Abstract

    This request is for an extension of a currently approved 
information collection.
    The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et 
seq.) prohibits the ``take'' of marine mammals unless otherwise 
authorized or exempted by law. Among the provisions that allow for 
lawful take of marine mammals, sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the 
MMPA direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the 
incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine 
mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than 
commercial fishing), within a specified geographical region if, after 
notice and opportunity for public comment, we find that the taking will 
have a negligible impact on the affected species or stock(s) and will 
not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the 
species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant). The National 
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) also must set forth the permissible 
methods of taking; other means of effecting the least practicable 
adverse impact on the species or stock and its habitat (mitigation); 
and requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such 
taking.
    Issuance of an incidental take authorization (Authorization) under 
section 101(a)(5)(A) or 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA requires three sets of 
information collection: (1) A complete application for an 
Authorization, as set forth in our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 
216.104, which provides the information necessary for us to make the 
necessary statutory determinations, including estimates of take and an 
assessment of impacts on the affected species and stocks; (2) 
information relating to required monitoring; and (3) information 
related to required reporting. These collections of information enable 
us to: (1) Evaluate the proposed activity's impact on marine mammals; 
(2) arrive at the appropriate determinations required by the MMPA and 
other applicable laws prior to issuing the authorization; and (3) 
monitor impacts of activities for which we have issued Authorizations 
to determine if our predictions regarding impacts on marine mammals 
remain valid.
    On August 4, 2016, NMFS published a Federal Register Notice (81 FR 
51694) notifying the public of its new Technical Guidance for Assessing 
the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (Guidance). 
This guidance established new thresholds for predicting auditory 
injury, which equates to Level A harassment (a type of take) under the 
MMPA. In that Federal Register Notice we stated that we would consider 
the effect of the Guidance, specifically whether a revision in the 
burden hour estimates is appropriate, and invite public comment on its 
assessment.
    Although NMFS has updated the acoustic thresholds and these changes 
may necessitate new methodologies for calculating impacts, NMFS does 
not anticipate that the new guidance will substantially add to the 
overall burden to applicants for incidental take authorizations. This 
is due to the fact that, recognizing that action proponents have 
varying abilities to model and estimate exposure, and that the new 
guidance may be more complex than some action proponents are able to 
incorporate, NMFS provided an alternative methodology with an 
associated spreadsheet for use as an aid. Action proponents already 
using more

[[Page 67985]]

complex modeling capabilities would simply modify their modeling 
efforts using the new criteria, and action proponents without the 
ability to do more complex modeling may opt to use the alternative 
methodology spreadsheet. Therefore, the estimated time per response is 
not affected by the guidance.

II. Method of Collection

    Respondents have a choice of submitting either electronic or paper 
forms. Methods of submittal include email, mail, overnight delivery 
service, and/or facsimile transmissions.

III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0151.
    Form Number: None.
    Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a currently 
approved information collection).
    Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions; state, local, or 
tribal governments; businesses or other for-profit organizations.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 95.
    Estimated Time per Response: 255 hours for an Incidental Harassment 
Authorization (IHA) application; 11 hours for an IHA interim report (if 
applicable); 115 hours for an IHA draft annual report; 14 hours for an 
IHA final annual report (if applicable); 1,100 hours for the initial 
preparation of an application for new regulations; 70 hours for an 
annual Letter of Authorization (LOA) application; 220 hours for an LOA 
draft annual report; 65 hours for a LOA final annual report (if 
applicable); 625 hours for a LOA draft comprehensive report; and 300 
hours for an LOA final comprehensive report. Response times will vary 
for the public based upon the complexity of the requested action.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 14,109.
    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $360 in recordkeeping/
reporting costs and $0 in capital 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: September 27, 2016.
Sarah Brabson,
NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
[FR Doc. 2016-23743 Filed 9-30-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P