Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Waterfront Construction, 39568 [2017-17605]

Download as PDF 39568 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 160 / Monday, August 21, 2017 / Notices Authority: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: August 15, 2017. Jeffrey N. Lonergan, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–17531 Filed 8–18–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF529 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Waterfront Construction National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of issuance of Letter of Authorization. AGENCY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that a Letter of Authorization (LOA) has been issued to the U.S. Navy (Navy) for the take of marine mammals incidental to waterfront construction activities at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia. SUMMARY: Effective from July 12, 2017, through July 11, 2022. ADDRESSES: The LOA and supporting documentation are available online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental/construction.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed below (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ben Laws, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: asabaliauskas on DSKBBXCHB2PROD with NOTICES 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 U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:37 Aug 18, 2017 Jkt 241001 An 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. 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). Summary of Request On June 7, 2017, we issued a final rule upon request from the Navy for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to waterfront construction activities (82 FR 26360). The Navy plans to repair in-water structures at NSB Kings Bay, as well as to construct new facilities and modify existing facilities. These repairs, upgrades, and new construction would include use of impact and vibratory pile driving, including installation and removal of steel, concrete, composite, and timber piles. The use of both vibratory and impact pile driving is expected to produce underwater sound at levels that have the potential to result in behavioral harassment of marine mammals. Only the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus truncatus) is expected to be present. The regulations are valid for five years, from July 12, 2017, through July 11, 2022. Authorization We have issued a LOA to Navy authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to waterfront construction activities, as described above. Take of marine mammals will be minimized through the implementation of the following planned mitigation measures: (1) Required monitoring of the waterfront construction areas to detect the presence of marine mammals before PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 beginning construction activities; (2) shutdown of construction activities under certain circumstances to avoid injury of marine mammals; and (3) soft start for impact pile driving to allow marine mammals the opportunity to leave the area prior to beginning impact pile driving at full power. Additionally, the rule includes an adaptive management component that allows for timely modification of mitigation or monitoring measures based on new information, when appropriate. The Navy will submit reports as required. Based on these findings and the information discussed in the preamble to the final rule, the activities described under this LOA will have a negligible impact on marine mammal stocks and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the affected marine mammal stock for subsistence uses. Dated: August 15, 2017. Cathryn E. Tortorici, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–17605 Filed 8–18–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council: Public Meeting Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC). ACTION: Notice of open meeting. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council (council). The meeting is open to the public, and participants may provide comments at the appropriate time during the meeting. DATES: The meeting will be held Wednesday, August 30, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET, and an opportunity for public comment will be provided around 3:45 p.m. ET. Both these times and agenda topics are subject to change. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Hall of the States located at 444 North Capitol Street NW., Washington, DC 20001. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kate Spidalieri, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, 1305 East West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910 (Phone: 240–533–0679; Fax: 301–713–0404; Email: Kate.Spidalieri@noaa.gov). SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21AUN1.SGM 21AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 160 (Monday, August 21, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Page 39568]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-17605]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XF529


Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals 
Incidental to Waterfront Construction

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

ACTION: Notice of issuance of Letter of Authorization.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as 
amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given 
that a Letter of Authorization (LOA) has been issued to the U.S. Navy 
(Navy) for the take of marine mammals incidental to waterfront 
construction activities at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.

DATES: Effective from July 12, 2017, through July 11, 2022.

ADDRESSES: The LOA and supporting documentation are available online 
at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm. In case 
of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed 
below (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ben Laws, 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 U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than 
commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain 
findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking 
is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is 
provided to the public for review.
    An 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.
    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).

Summary of Request

    On June 7, 2017, we issued a final rule upon request from the Navy 
for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to waterfront 
construction activities (82 FR 26360). The Navy plans to repair in-
water structures at NSB Kings Bay, as well as to construct new 
facilities and modify existing facilities. These repairs, upgrades, and 
new construction would include use of impact and vibratory pile 
driving, including installation and removal of steel, concrete, 
composite, and timber piles. The use of both vibratory and impact pile 
driving is expected to produce underwater sound at levels that have the 
potential to result in behavioral harassment of marine mammals. Only 
the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus truncatus) is expected to be 
present. The regulations are valid for five years, from July 12, 2017, 
through July 11, 2022.

Authorization

    We have issued a LOA to Navy authorizing the take of marine mammals 
incidental to waterfront construction activities, as described above. 
Take of marine mammals will be minimized through the implementation of 
the following planned mitigation measures: (1) Required monitoring of 
the waterfront construction areas to detect the presence of marine 
mammals before beginning construction activities; (2) shutdown of 
construction activities under certain circumstances to avoid injury of 
marine mammals; and (3) soft start for impact pile driving to allow 
marine mammals the opportunity to leave the area prior to beginning 
impact pile driving at full power. Additionally, the rule includes an 
adaptive management component that allows for timely modification of 
mitigation or monitoring measures based on new information, when 
appropriate. The Navy will submit reports as required.
    Based on these findings and the information discussed in the 
preamble to the final rule, the activities described under this LOA 
will have a negligible impact on marine mammal stocks and will not have 
an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the affected 
marine mammal stock for subsistence uses.

    Dated: August 15, 2017.
Cathryn E. Tortorici,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-17605 Filed 8-18-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P