Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Testing and Training Activities Conducted in the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range, 40141-40143 [2017-17938]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 163 / Thursday, August 24, 2017 / Notices they also will become a matter of public record. Sheleen Dumas, Departmental PRA Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. 2017–17976 Filed 8–23–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–HE–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE467 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Testing and Training Activities Conducted in the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range 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 United States Air Force (USAF), Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) 96th Test Wing (AFMC) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting testing and training activities in the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range (EGTTR) in the Gulf of Mexico over the course of five years, from February 4, 2018 through February 3, 2023. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of Eglin AFB’s request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on Eglin AFB’s application and request. DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than September 25, 2017. ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910– 3225 and electronic comments should be sent ITP.Pauline@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 sent via email, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. rmajette on DSKBCKNHB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:29 Aug 23, 2017 Jkt 241001 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 to www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/ permits/military.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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rob Pauline, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability An electronic copy of Eglin AFB’s application may be obtained online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental/military.htm. In case of problems accessing the document, please call the contact listed above. 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 of a species or population stock, 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 for marine mammals 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 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. The NDAA of 2004 (Pub. L. 108–136) removed the ‘‘small numbers’’ and ‘‘specified geographical region’’ limitations indicated earlier and amended the definition of harassment as it applies to a ‘‘military readiness PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 40141 activity’’ to read as follows (Section 3(18)(B) of the MMPA): (i) Any act that injures or has the significant potential to injure a marine mammal or 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). Eglin AFB has identified these testing and training activities as military readiness activities. On April 23, 2012, NMFS promulgated a rulemaking and issued a Letter of Authorization (LOA) for takes of marine mammals incidental to Eglin AFB’s Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal School (NEODS) training operations at Eglin AFB. This rule expired on April 24, 2017 (77 FR 16718, March 22, 2012). On March 5, 2014, NMFS promulgated rulemaking and issued a LOA for takes of marine mammals incidental to Eglin AFB’s Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) precision strike weapons (PSW) and air-to-surface (AS) gunnery activities in the EGTTR, which is valid through March 4, 2019 (79 FR 13568, March 11, 2014). In addition to these rules and LOAs, NMFS has issued Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHA) for take of marine mammals incidental to Eglin AFB’s Maritime Strike Operations (78 FR 52135, August 22, 2013; valid August 19, 2013 through August 18, 2014) and Maritime Weapons Systems Evaluations Program (WSEP) annually in 2015 (81 FR 7307) and 2016 (82 FR 10747). Eglin AFB complied with all conditions of the LOAs and IHAs issued, including submission of final reports. Based on these reports, NMFS has determined that impacts to marine mammals were not beyond those anticipated. On November 10, 2015, Eglin Natural Resources submitted an LOA request to consolidate all EGTTR activities into one authorization for five years. NMFS Office of Protected Resources planned to issue the EGTTR LOA by January 2017. However, it became apparent that the LOA would not be issued in time to cover February 2017 Maritime WSEP missions based on concerns associated with the acoustic model methodology and mission-day scenario versus perdetonation approach. Eglin Natural Resources requested and received a separate IHA (82 FR 10747, February 15, 2017) valid from February 4, 2017 through February 3, 2018 for those E:\FR\FM\24AUN1.SGM 24AUN1 40142 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 163 / Thursday, August 24, 2017 / Notices WSEP missions that incorporated such methodology revisions, which has also served as interim coverage for a small number of other 2017 missions while the EGTTR LOA was being revised. Eglin AFB’s current rulemaking/LOA application would also supersede the existing PSW and AS gunnery rule that is in effect until March 4, 2019, and would include all of Eglin AFB’s testing and training activities, including WSEP activities, into one new rule with the exception of NEODS training activities. Eglin AFB has never conducted any NEODS training activities and is not including these activities as part of the new rulemaking. Summary of Request On May 3, 2017, NMFS received an adequate and complete application from Eglin AFB requesting authorization for the take of marine mammals incidental to testing and training activities in the EGTTR (defined as the area and airspace over the Gulf of Mexico controlled by Eglin AFB, beginning at a point three nautical miles (nmi) off the coast of Florida) for a period of five years. These testing and training activities have the potential to result in take of marine mammals in the waters of the EGTTR. Therefore, Eglin AFB requests authorization to take two species of marine mammals that may occur in this area, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis). Specified Activities Eglin AFB proposes the following actions in the EGTTR: (1) 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron (FWS) Maritime WSEP test missions that involve the use of multiple types of live and inert munitions (bombs and missiles) detonated above, at, or slightly below the water surface; (2) Advanced Systems Employment Project actions that involve deployment of a variety of pods, air-toair missiles, bombs, and other munitions (all inert ordnances in relation to EGTTR); (3) AFSOC training, including air-to-surface gunnery missions involving firing live gunnery rounds at targets on the water surface in EGTTR, small diameter bomb (SDB) and Griffin/Hellfire missile training involving the use of live missiles and SDBs in the EGTTR against small towed boats, and CV–22 training involving the firing of 0.50 caliber (cal.)/7.62 mm ammunition at flares floating on the EGTTR water surface; (4) 413th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) Precision Strike Program (PSP) activities involving firing munitions at flare targets on the EGTTR water surface and Stand-Off Precision Guided Munitions (SOPGM) testing involving captive-carry, store separation, and weapon employment tests; (5) 780th Test Squadron (TS) activities involving PSW test missions (launch of munitions against targets in the EGTTR) and Longbow Littoral Testing (data collection on tracking and impact ability of the Longbow missile on small boats); (6) 96th Test Wing Inert Missions (developmental testing and evaluation for wide variety of airdelivered weapons and other systems using inert bombs); and (7) 96 Operations Group (OG) missions, which involve the support of air-to-surface missions for several user groups within EGTTR. During these activities, ordnances may be delivered by multiple types of aircraft, including bombers and fighter aircraft. The actions include air-toground missiles (AGM); air intercept missiles (AIM); bomb dummy units (BDU); guided bomb units (GBU); projectile gun units (PGU); cluster bomb units (CBU); wind-corrected munitions dispensers (WCMD); (SDB) and laser small diameter bombs (LSDB); high explosive incendiary units (HEI); joint direct attack munitions (JDAM) and laser joint direct attack munitions (LJDAM); research department explosives (RDX); joint air-to-surface stand-off missiles (JASSM); high altitude anti-submarine warfare weapons (inert); high-speed maneuverable surface targets; and gunnery rounds. Net explosive weight (NEW) of the live munitions ranges from 0.1 to 945 pounds (lb). Eglin AFB testing and training activities involving live munitions are summarized in Table 1. TABLE 1—LIVE MUNITIONS PLANNED FOR TESTING AND TRAINING ACTIVITIES IN THE EGTTR Mission Groups 86 FWS Maritime WSEP. Mission category day Munition A .............. GBU–10/–24/–31 ...... 945 Subsurface * ....... 1 2 2 300 240 192 Surface ............... Surface ............... Subsurface * ....... 2 2 5 ........................ ........................ ........................ 4 4 10 F .............. GBU–49 .................... AGM–158 (JASSM) .. GBU–12/–54 (LJDAM/–38/–32 (JDAM). AGM–65 (Maverick) .. GBU–39 (SDB) ......... AGM–114 (Hellfire) ... AGM–176 (Griffin) ..... 2.75 rocket ................ AIM–9X ..................... PGU–12 HEI 30 mm 105 mm HE (FU) ...... 40 mm HE ................. 30 mm HE ................. 25 mm HE ................. 105 mm HE (TR) ...... 40 mm HE ................. 30 mm HE ................. 25 mm HE ................. 30 mm HE ................. 86 37 20 13 12 7.9 0.1 4.7 0.87 0.1 0.067 0.35 0.87 0.1 0.067 0.1 Surface ............... Surface ............... Subsurface * ....... Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... 2 1 5 5 50 1 500 30 64 500 560 30 64 500 560 33 4 ........................ ........................ 2 ........................ ........................ ........................ 25 ........................ ........................ ........................ 45 ........................ ........................ ........................ 3 8 4 20 10 100 2 1,000 750 1,600 12,500 14,000 1,350 2,880 22,500 25,200 99 G .............. H .............. I ............... 105 mm FU ............... 105 mm TR ............... AGM–176 (Griffin) ..... 4.7 0.35 4.58 Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... 15 15 5 4 4 2 60 60 10 B .............. C .............. rmajette on DSKBCKNHB2PROD with NOTICES AFSOC AS gunnery ... D .............. E .............. 413 FLTS PSP gunnery. 413 FLTS SOPGM ..... VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:29 Aug 23, 2017 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00013 NEW (lb) Fmt 4703 Detonation type Sfmt 4703 Munitions/day E:\FR\FM\24AUN1.SGM 24AUN1 Mission days/yr Munitions/yr 40143 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 163 / Thursday, August 24, 2017 / Notices TABLE 1—LIVE MUNITIONS PLANNED FOR TESTING AND TRAINING ACTIVITIES IN THE EGTTR—Continued Mission Groups 780 TS PSW .............. 780 TS other tests ..... Mission category day J ............... K .............. L ............... M .............. N .............. O .............. P .............. Q .............. 96 OG Future Missions. R .............. S .............. T .............. Munition AGM–114 (Hellfire) ... GBU–39 (SDB I) ....... GBU–39 (LSDB) ....... AGM–158 (JASSM) .. GBU–39 (SDB I) ....... GBU–39 (SDB I) Double shot *. GBU–53 (SDB II) ...... Joint air-ground missile. LSDB and SDB II (live fuse only). GBU–10/–24 ............. AGM–158 (JASSM) .. GBU–12 or –54 ......... AGM–65 (Maverick) .. GBU–39 (SDB I or LSDB). AGM–114 (Hellfire) ... 105 mm HE (FU) ...... 40 mm HE ................. Live fuse ................... 30 mm HE ................. NEW (lb) 20 36 36 240 37 74 Detonation type Surface Surface Surface Surface Surface Surface Munitions/day Mission days/yr Munitions/yr ............... ............... ............... ............... ............... ............... 5 3 5 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 ........................ 10 6 10 2 2 2 22.84 27.41 Surface ............... Surface ............... 2 1 1 1 2 1 0.4 Surface ............... 2 4 8 945 Subsurface * ....... 1 1 1 240 192 86 37 Surface ............... Subsurface * ....... Surface ............... Subsurface * ....... 1 1 1 2 ........................ ........................ 2 ........................ 1 1 2 4 29 4.7 0.9 0.4 0.1 Subsurface * ....... Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... Surface ............... 10 13 60 20 500 ........................ 10 ........................ ........................ ........................ 20 130 60 200 5,000 FU = Full Up; TR = Training Round (lessened NEW). * Subsurface detonations occur at 10 feet water depth. Information Solicited Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning Eglin AFB’s request (see ADDRESSES). Comments should be supported by data or literature citations as appropriate. We will consider all relevant information, suggestions, and comments related to the request during the development of proposed regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals by Eglin AFB, if appropriate. Dated: August 21, 2017. Cathryn E. Tortorici, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–17938 Filed 8–23–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration rmajette on DSKBCKNHB2PROD with NOTICES RIN 0648–XF624 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Aug 23, 2017 Notice of public meeting (conference call). ACTION: Jkt 241001 The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Pacific Council) Coastal Pelagic Species Advisory Subpanel (CPSAS) will hold a meeting via conference call that is open to the public. DATES: The conference call will be held Wednesday, September 6, 2017, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. or until business for the day has been completed. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held via conference call. To attend the conference call, dial this toll free number: (866) 692–4538; enter participant code 2366028. A public listening station is available at the Pacific Council office (address below). Council Address: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220–1384. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kerry Griffin, Pacific Council; telephone: (503) 820–2409. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the meeting is to discuss items on the Pacific Council’s September 2017 meeting agenda. Major topics include, but are not limited to, (1) a draft Terms of Reference for the 2018 review of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s AcousticTrawl Survey Methodology Review SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Terms of Reference for coastal pelagic species stocks; and (2) the Ecosystem Workgroup Report on Fishery Ecosystem Plan Initiatives: Scoping and Selection. Both topics are to be considered at the September Council meeting, and the CPSAS may develop supplemental reports on these topics. The CPSAS may also address one or more of the Pacific Council’s scheduled Administrative Matters including future meeting planning. Public comment may be taken at the discretion of the CPSAS CoChairs. Although non-emergency issues not contained in the meeting agenda may be discussed, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this document and any issues arising after publication of this document that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the 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 Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at (503) 820–2411 at least 10 days prior to the meeting date. E:\FR\FM\24AUN1.SGM 24AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 163 (Thursday, August 24, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 40141-40143]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-17938]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XE467


Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals 
Incidental to Testing and Training Activities Conducted in the Eglin 
Gulf Test and Training Range

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 United States Air Force 
(USAF), Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) 96th Test Wing (AFMC) for 
authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting testing 
and training activities in the Eglin Gulf Test and Training Range 
(EGTTR) in the Gulf of Mexico over the course of five years, from 
February 4, 2018 through February 3, 2023. Pursuant to regulations 
implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is 
announcing receipt of Eglin AFB's request for the development and 
implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine 
mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on Eglin 
AFB's application and request.

DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than 
September 25, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to Jolie 
Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. 1315 East-West Highway, 
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3225 and electronic comments should be sent 
ITP.Pauline@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 sent via email, 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 to www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/military.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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rob Pauline, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Availability

    An electronic copy of Eglin AFB's application may be obtained 
online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/military.htm. In 
case of problems accessing the document, please call the contact listed 
above.

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 of a species or population stock, 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 for marine mammals 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 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.
    The NDAA of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-136) removed the ``small numbers'' 
and ``specified geographical region'' limitations indicated earlier and 
amended the definition of harassment as it applies to a ``military 
readiness activity'' to read as follows (Section 3(18)(B) of the MMPA): 
(i) Any act that injures or has the significant potential to injure a 
marine mammal or 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). Eglin AFB has identified these testing and training 
activities as military readiness activities.
    On April 23, 2012, NMFS promulgated a rulemaking and issued a 
Letter of Authorization (LOA) for takes of marine mammals incidental to 
Eglin AFB's Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal School (NEODS) training 
operations at Eglin AFB. This rule expired on April 24, 2017 (77 FR 
16718, March 22, 2012). On March 5, 2014, NMFS promulgated rulemaking 
and issued a LOA for takes of marine mammals incidental to Eglin AFB's 
Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) precision strike weapons 
(PSW) and air-to-surface (AS) gunnery activities in the EGTTR, which is 
valid through March 4, 2019 (79 FR 13568, March 11, 2014). In addition 
to these rules and LOAs, NMFS has issued Incidental Harassment 
Authorizations (IHA) for take of marine mammals incidental to Eglin 
AFB's Maritime Strike Operations (78 FR 52135, August 22, 2013; valid 
August 19, 2013 through August 18, 2014) and Maritime Weapons Systems 
Evaluations Program (WSEP) annually in 2015 (81 FR 7307) and 2016 (82 
FR 10747). Eglin AFB complied with all conditions of the LOAs and IHAs 
issued, including submission of final reports. Based on these reports, 
NMFS has determined that impacts to marine mammals were not beyond 
those anticipated. On November 10, 2015, Eglin Natural Resources 
submitted an LOA request to consolidate all EGTTR activities into one 
authorization for five years. NMFS Office of Protected Resources 
planned to issue the EGTTR LOA by January 2017. However, it became 
apparent that the LOA would not be issued in time to cover February 
2017 Maritime WSEP missions based on concerns associated with the 
acoustic model methodology and mission-day scenario versus per-
detonation approach. Eglin Natural Resources requested and received a 
separate IHA (82 FR 10747, February 15, 2017) valid from February 4, 
2017 through February 3, 2018 for those

[[Page 40142]]

WSEP missions that incorporated such methodology revisions, which has 
also served as interim coverage for a small number of other 2017 
missions while the EGTTR LOA was being revised.
    Eglin AFB's current rulemaking/LOA application would also supersede 
the existing PSW and AS gunnery rule that is in effect until March 4, 
2019, and would include all of Eglin AFB's testing and training 
activities, including WSEP activities, into one new rule with the 
exception of NEODS training activities. Eglin AFB has never conducted 
any NEODS training activities and is not including these activities as 
part of the new rulemaking.

Summary of Request

    On May 3, 2017, NMFS received an adequate and complete application 
from Eglin AFB requesting authorization for the take of marine mammals 
incidental to testing and training activities in the EGTTR (defined as 
the area and airspace over the Gulf of Mexico controlled by Eglin AFB, 
beginning at a point three nautical miles (nmi) off the coast of 
Florida) for a period of five years. These testing and training 
activities have the potential to result in take of marine mammals in 
the waters of the EGTTR. Therefore, Eglin AFB requests authorization to 
take two species of marine mammals that may occur in this area, 
Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and Atlantic spotted 
dolphins (Stenella frontalis).

Specified Activities

    Eglin AFB proposes the following actions in the EGTTR: (1) 86th 
Fighter Weapons Squadron (FWS) Maritime WSEP test missions that involve 
the use of multiple types of live and inert munitions (bombs and 
missiles) detonated above, at, or slightly below the water surface; (2) 
Advanced Systems Employment Project actions that involve deployment of 
a variety of pods, air-to-air missiles, bombs, and other munitions (all 
inert ordnances in relation to EGTTR); (3) AFSOC training, including 
air-to-surface gunnery missions involving firing live gunnery rounds at 
targets on the water surface in EGTTR, small diameter bomb (SDB) and 
Griffin/Hellfire missile training involving the use of live missiles 
and SDBs in the EGTTR against small towed boats, and CV-22 training 
involving the firing of 0.50 caliber (cal.)/7.62 mm ammunition at 
flares floating on the EGTTR water surface; (4) 413th Flight Test 
Squadron (FLTS) Precision Strike Program (PSP) activities involving 
firing munitions at flare targets on the EGTTR water surface and Stand-
Off Precision Guided Munitions (SOPGM) testing involving captive-carry, 
store separation, and weapon employment tests; (5) 780th Test Squadron 
(TS) activities involving PSW test missions (launch of munitions 
against targets in the EGTTR) and Longbow Littoral Testing (data 
collection on tracking and impact ability of the Longbow missile on 
small boats); (6) 96th Test Wing Inert Missions (developmental testing 
and evaluation for wide variety of air-delivered weapons and other 
systems using inert bombs); and (7) 96 Operations Group (OG) missions, 
which involve the support of air-to-surface missions for several user 
groups within EGTTR.
    During these activities, ordnances may be delivered by multiple 
types of aircraft, including bombers and fighter aircraft. The actions 
include air-to-ground missiles (AGM); air intercept missiles (AIM); 
bomb dummy units (BDU); guided bomb units (GBU); projectile gun units 
(PGU); cluster bomb units (CBU); wind-corrected munitions dispensers 
(WCMD); (SDB) and laser small diameter bombs (LSDB); high explosive 
incendiary units (HEI); joint direct attack munitions (JDAM) and laser 
joint direct attack munitions (LJDAM); research department explosives 
(RDX); joint air-to-surface stand-off missiles (JASSM); high altitude 
anti-submarine warfare weapons (inert); high-speed maneuverable surface 
targets; and gunnery rounds. Net explosive weight (NEW) of the live 
munitions ranges from 0.1 to 945 pounds (lb).
    Eglin AFB testing and training activities involving live munitions 
are summarized in Table 1.

                                    Table 1--Live Munitions Planned for Testing and Training Activities in the EGTTR
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Mission category                                                                        Mission days/
         Mission Groups                  day               Munition        NEW (lb)    Detonation type     Munitions/day        yr         Munitions/yr
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
86 FWS Maritime WSEP............  A................  GBU-10/-24/-31.....        945  Subsurface *.......               1               2               2
                                                     GBU-49.............        300  Surface............               2  ..............               4
                                                     AGM-158 (JASSM)....        240  Surface............               2  ..............               4
                                                     GBU-12/-54 (LJDAM/-        192  Subsurface *.......               5  ..............              10
                                                      38/-32 (JDAM).
                                  B................  AGM-65 (Maverick)..         86  Surface............               2               4               8
                                                     GBU-39 (SDB).......         37  Surface............               1  ..............               4
                                                     AGM-114 (Hellfire).         20  Subsurface *.......               5  ..............              20
                                  C................  AGM-176 (Griffin)..         13  Surface............               5               2              10
                                                     2.75 rocket........         12  Surface............              50  ..............             100
                                                     AIM-9X.............        7.9  Surface............               1  ..............               2
                                                     PGU-12 HEI 30 mm...        0.1  Surface............             500  ..............           1,000
AFSOC AS gunnery................  D................  105 mm HE (FU).....        4.7  Surface............              30              25             750
                                                     40 mm HE...........       0.87  Surface............              64  ..............           1,600
                                                     30 mm HE...........        0.1  Surface............             500  ..............          12,500
                                                     25 mm HE...........      0.067  Surface............             560  ..............          14,000
                                  E................  105 mm HE (TR).....       0.35  Surface............              30              45           1,350
                                                     40 mm HE...........       0.87  Surface............              64  ..............           2,880
                                                     30 mm HE...........        0.1  Surface............             500  ..............          22,500
                                                     25 mm HE...........      0.067  Surface............             560  ..............          25,200
413 FLTS PSP gunnery............  F................  30 mm HE...........        0.1  Surface............              33               3              99
                                  G................  105 mm FU..........        4.7  Surface............              15               4              60
                                  H................  105 mm TR..........       0.35  Surface............              15               4              60
413 FLTS SOPGM..................  I................  AGM-176 (Griffin)..       4.58  Surface............               5               2              10

[[Page 40143]]

 
                                  J................  AGM-114 (Hellfire).         20  Surface............               5               2              10
                                  K................  GBU-39 (SDB I).....         36  Surface............               3               2               6
                                  L................  GBU-39 (LSDB)......         36  Surface............               5               2              10
780 TS PSW......................  M................  AGM-158 (JASSM)....        240  Surface............               2               1               2
                                  N................  GBU-39 (SDB I).....         37  Surface............               2               1               2
                                                     GBU-39 (SDB I)              74  Surface............               2  ..............               2
                                                      Double shot *.
                                  O................  GBU-53 (SDB II)....      22.84  Surface............               2               1               2
780 TS other tests..............  P................  Joint air-ground         27.41  Surface............               1               1               1
                                                      missile.
                                  Q................  LSDB and SDB II            0.4  Surface............               2               4               8
                                                      (live fuse only).
96 OG Future Missions...........  R................  GBU-10/-24.........        945  Subsurface *.......               1               1               1
                                                     AGM-158 (JASSM)....        240  Surface............               1  ..............               1
                                                     GBU-12 or -54......        192  Subsurface *.......               1  ..............               1
                                  S................  AGM-65 (Maverick)..         86  Surface............               1               2               2
                                                     GBU-39 (SDB I or            37  Subsurface *.......               2  ..............               4
                                                      LSDB).
                                                     AGM-114 (Hellfire).         29  Subsurface *.......              10  ..............              20
                                  T................  105 mm HE (FU).....        4.7  Surface............              13              10             130
                                                     40 mm HE...........        0.9  Surface............              60  ..............              60
                                                     Live fuse..........        0.4  Surface............              20  ..............             200
                                                     30 mm HE...........        0.1  Surface............             500  ..............           5,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FU = Full Up; TR = Training Round (lessened NEW).
* Subsurface detonations occur at 10 feet water depth.

Information Solicited

    Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and 
comments concerning Eglin AFB's request (see ADDRESSES). Comments 
should be supported by data or literature citations as appropriate. We 
will consider all relevant information, suggestions, and comments 
related to the request during the development of proposed regulations 
governing the incidental taking of marine mammals by Eglin AFB, if 
appropriate.

    Dated: August 21, 2017.
Cathryn E. Tortorici,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-17938 Filed 8-23-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P