Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fireworks Displays at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, California, 78993-78994 [2016-27094]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 218 / Thursday, November 10, 2016 / Notices The report would include the same information identified in the paragraph above. Construction related activities would be able to continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS would work with the COU to determine whether modifications in the activities are appropriate. iii. In the event that the COU discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the activities authorized in the IHA (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), the COU would report the incident to Jolie Harrison (Jolie.Harrison@ noaa.gov), Chief of the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and Aleria Jensen (Aleria.Jensen@noaa.gov), Alaska Stranding Coordinator, within 24 hours of the discovery. The COU would provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. The COU can continue its operations under such a case. 7. This Authorization may be modified, suspended or withdrawn if the holder fails to abide by the conditions prescribed herein, or if NMFS determines that the authorized taking is having more than a negligible impact on the species or stock of affected marine mammals. Request for Public Comments We request comment on our analysis, the draft authorization, and any other aspect of this Notice of Proposed IHA for the COU’s dock construction activities. Please include with your comments any supporting data or literature citations to help inform our final decision on the COU’s request for an MMPA authorization. Dated: November 4, 2016. Donna S. Wieting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES [FR Doc. 2016–27119 Filed 11–9–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 Nov 09, 2016 Jkt 241001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF006 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fireworks Displays at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, California 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 Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS or Sanctuary) for authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to professional fireworks displays permitted within the Sanctuary in California waters, over the course of five years, from July 4, 2017 through July 3, 2022. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of MBNMS’s request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on MBNMS’s application and request. DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than December 12, 2016. ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and electronic comments should be sent to ITP.Daly@noaa.gov. 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 comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental/construction.htm without change. All personal identifying SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 78993 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: Jaclyn Daly, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability A copy of MBNMS’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: http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental.htm#applications. Background Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the 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 small numbers 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 may be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for certain subsistence uses, 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.’’ Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, 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 (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering (Level B harassment).’’ E:\FR\FM\10NON1.SGM 10NON1 78994 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 218 / Thursday, November 10, 2016 / Notices Summary of Request On September 16, 2016, NMFS received an application from the MBNMS requesting authorization to take, by Level B harassment, two species of marine mammals incidental to commercial fireworks displays conducted under sanctuary authorization permits issued by the MBNMS. After addressing NMFS comments on the original application, the MBNMS submitted a revised application on October 18, 2016. NMFS found this application to be adequate and complete. Marine mammals would be exposed to elevated levels of sound as a result of permitted fireworks displays, as well as increased human activity associated with those displays. Because the specified activities have the potential to take marine mammals present within the action area, the MBNMS requests authorization to take, by Level B harassment only, California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina). asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Specified Activities Since 1993, the MBNMS, a component of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, has processed requests for the professional display of fireworks that affect resources within the sanctuary. The MBNMS has determined that debris fallout (i.e., spent pyrotechnic materials) from fireworks events may constitute a discharge into the sanctuary and thus violate sanctuary regulations, unless a permit is issued by the superintendent. Therefore, sponsors of fireworks displays conducted in the MBNMS are required to obtain sanctuary authorization prior to conducting such displays (see 15 CFR 922.132). Since the MBNMS began issuing permits for fireworks discharge in 1993, it has received a total of 102 requests for professional fireworks displays, the majority of which have been associated with large community events such as Independence Day and municipal festivals. The number of fireworks displays within the Sanctuary remained relatively constant although there has been a slight decrease of the number of displays since the economic downturn of 2008. The MBNMS has permitted, on average, approximately five fireworks displays per year; however, only 2 to 4 displays were hosted annually between 2009 and 2015. Since 2005, the MBNMS has requested, and subsequently been authorized under section 101 (a)(5)(A or D) of the MMPA, to take marine mammals incidental to up to 20 fireworks events per year. However, for VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 Nov 09, 2016 Jkt 241001 this application, the MNBMS, at the request of NMFS, re-evaluated the possibility of 20 events occurring per year based on the trend in fireworks permit applications. As such, the MBNMS has modified the number of anticipated displays that would occur under the requested regulations to no more than ten events per year. The location, mitigation, and monitoring measures contained within previous authorizations would remain in effect. Fireworks displays would be limited to the same four specific areas along 276 miles (444 kilometers) of coastline: Half Moon Bay, the Santa Cruz/Soquel area, the northeastern Monterey Peninsula, and Cambria (Santa Rosa Creek). This effectively limits permitted fireworks displays to approximately five percent of the MBNMS coastline. The MBNMS would also retain the March 1 through June 30 moratorium on fireworks which corresponds to the peak spring breeding season for marine wildlife. Each fireworks displays would not exceed 30 minutes in duration (with the exception of up to two displays per year, each not to exceed one hour) and would occur with an average frequency of less than or equal to once every two months within each of the four prescribed display areas. A more detailed description of the fireworks displays permitted by MBNMS and anticipated behavioral reactions of marine mammals may be found in MBNMS’ application, MBNMS’ Assessment of Pyrotechnic Displays and Impacts within the MBNMS 1993–2001 (2001), Marine Mammal Acoustic and Behavioral Monitoring for the MBNMS Fireworks Display, 4 July 2007 (2007), and multiple monitoring reports which are available at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ pr/permits/incidental.htm. Information Solicited Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning MBNMS’s request (see ADDRESSES). All information, suggestions, and comments related to MBNMS’s request and NMFS’ potential development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals by the MBNMS will be considered by NMFS in developing, if appropriate, regulations governing the issuance of letters of authorization. PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: November 4, 2016. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–27094 Filed 11–9–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration New Policy and Procedures Documents Announcing a Change in the Calibration Base Line Program National Geodetic Survey (NGS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of Change in the Calibration Base Line Program; Notice of Public Comment. AGENCY: NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS) conducts a Calibration Base Line (CBL) program for electronic distance measuring instrumentation, hereafter referred to as the CBL Program. The CBL Program provides the surveying and engineering community with a locally accessible standard for measuring length and a means for quantifying and correcting for errors associated with this type of instrumentation. Currently, the CBL Program requires use of NGS equipment and direct participation by NGS personnel when establishing and reestablishing CBLs. NGS is considering changes to the CBL Program which will enable our partners to establish and reestablish their local CBLs using their own instrumentation, with NGS providing a quality review function. NGS invites written comments on the CBL Program draft policy (http:// www.ngs.noaa.gov/CBLINES/For_ review_CBL_Program_Policy.pdf) and draft procedures (http:// www.ngs.noaa.gov/CBLINES/For_ review_CBL_Program_Procedures.pdf) documents. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or comments should be directed to Mr. Kendall Fancher, Instrumentation and Methodologies Branch Chief, National Geodetic Survey, 15351 Office Drive, Woodford, VA 22580; phone: 540–373– 1243, Email: Kendall.Fancher@noaa.gov or NGS.Feedback@noaa.gov. You may submit your comments or concerns to NGS by Tuesday, January 17, 2017. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Since the CBL Program’s inception in 1974, NGS SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\10NON1.SGM 10NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 218 (Thursday, November 10, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78993-78994]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-27094]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XF006


Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals 
Incidental to Commercial Fireworks Displays at the Monterey Bay 
National Marine Sanctuary, California

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 Monterey Bay National 
Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS or Sanctuary) for authorization to take small 
numbers of marine mammals incidental to professional fireworks displays 
permitted within the Sanctuary in California waters, over the course of 
five years, from July 4, 2017 through July 3, 2022. Pursuant to 
regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS 
is announcing receipt of MBNMS's request for the development and 
implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine 
mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on MBNMS's 
application and request.

DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than December 
12, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to Jolie 
Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should 
be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and 
electronic comments should be sent to ITP.Daly@noaa.gov.
    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 comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm without change. 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: Jaclyn Daly, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Availability

    A copy of MBNMS'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: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm#applications.

Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the 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 small numbers 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 may be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will 
have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) and will not have 
an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or 
stock(s) for certain subsistence uses, 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.''
    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, 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 (Level A harassment); or (ii) has the 
potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild 
by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not 
limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or 
sheltering (Level B harassment).''

[[Page 78994]]

Summary of Request

    On September 16, 2016, NMFS received an application from the MBNMS 
requesting authorization to take, by Level B harassment, two species of 
marine mammals incidental to commercial fireworks displays conducted 
under sanctuary authorization permits issued by the MBNMS. After 
addressing NMFS comments on the original application, the MBNMS 
submitted a revised application on October 18, 2016. NMFS found this 
application to be adequate and complete.
    Marine mammals would be exposed to elevated levels of sound as a 
result of permitted fireworks displays, as well as increased human 
activity associated with those displays. Because the specified 
activities have the potential to take marine mammals present within the 
action area, the MBNMS requests authorization to take, by Level B 
harassment only, California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and 
harbor seals (Phoca vitulina).

Specified Activities

    Since 1993, the MBNMS, a component of NOAA's Office of National 
Marine Sanctuaries, has processed requests for the professional display 
of fireworks that affect resources within the sanctuary. The MBNMS has 
determined that debris fallout (i.e., spent pyrotechnic materials) from 
fireworks events may constitute a discharge into the sanctuary and thus 
violate sanctuary regulations, unless a permit is issued by the 
superintendent. Therefore, sponsors of fireworks displays conducted in 
the MBNMS are required to obtain sanctuary authorization prior to 
conducting such displays (see 15 CFR 922.132).
    Since the MBNMS began issuing permits for fireworks discharge in 
1993, it has received a total of 102 requests for professional 
fireworks displays, the majority of which have been associated with 
large community events such as Independence Day and municipal 
festivals. The number of fireworks displays within the Sanctuary 
remained relatively constant although there has been a slight decrease 
of the number of displays since the economic downturn of 2008. The 
MBNMS has permitted, on average, approximately five fireworks displays 
per year; however, only 2 to 4 displays were hosted annually between 
2009 and 2015. Since 2005, the MBNMS has requested, and subsequently 
been authorized under section 101 (a)(5)(A or D) of the MMPA, to take 
marine mammals incidental to up to 20 fireworks events per year. 
However, for this application, the MNBMS, at the request of NMFS, re-
evaluated the possibility of 20 events occurring per year based on the 
trend in fireworks permit applications. As such, the MBNMS has modified 
the number of anticipated displays that would occur under the requested 
regulations to no more than ten events per year.
    The location, mitigation, and monitoring measures contained within 
previous authorizations would remain in effect. Fireworks displays 
would be limited to the same four specific areas along 276 miles (444 
kilometers) of coastline: Half Moon Bay, the Santa Cruz/Soquel area, 
the northeastern Monterey Peninsula, and Cambria (Santa Rosa Creek). 
This effectively limits permitted fireworks displays to approximately 
five percent of the MBNMS coastline. The MBNMS would also retain the 
March 1 through June 30 moratorium on fireworks which corresponds to 
the peak spring breeding season for marine wildlife. Each fireworks 
displays would not exceed 30 minutes in duration (with the exception of 
up to two displays per year, each not to exceed one hour) and would 
occur with an average frequency of less than or equal to once every two 
months within each of the four prescribed display areas.
    A more detailed description of the fireworks displays permitted by 
MBNMS and anticipated behavioral reactions of marine mammals may be 
found in MBNMS' application, MBNMS' Assessment of Pyrotechnic Displays 
and Impacts within the MBNMS 1993-2001 (2001), Marine Mammal Acoustic 
and Behavioral Monitoring for the MBNMS Fireworks Display, 4 July 2007 
(2007), and multiple monitoring reports which are available at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm.

Information Solicited

    Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and 
comments concerning MBNMS's request (see ADDRESSES). All information, 
suggestions, and comments related to MBNMS's request and NMFS' 
potential development and implementation of regulations governing the 
incidental taking of marine mammals by the MBNMS will be considered by 
NMFS in developing, if appropriate, regulations governing the issuance 
of letters of authorization.

    Dated: November 4, 2016.
Donna S. Wieting,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-27094 Filed 11-9-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P