Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Navy Submarine Base New London Pier Construction, 45828-45829 [2017-21072]

Download as PDF 45828 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 189 / Monday, October 2, 2017 / Notices sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES affected marine mammal species or stocks. Small Numbers As noted above, only small numbers of incidental take may be authorized under Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA for specified activities other than military readiness activities. The MMPA does not define small numbers and so, in practice, where estimated numbers are available, NMFS compares the number of individuals taken to the most appropriate estimation of abundance of the relevant species or stock in our determination of whether an authorization is limited to small numbers of marine mammals. Additionally, other qualitative factors may be considered in the analysis, such as the temporal or spatial scale of the activities. The number of incidents of take planned for authorization for these stocks, with the exception of the coastal bottlenose dolphin (see below), would be considered small relative to the relevant stocks or populations (see Table 8) even if each estimated taking occurred to a new individual. This is an extremely unlikely scenario as, for pinnipeds occurring at the NBPL waterfront, there will almost certainly be some overlap in individuals present day-to-day and in general, there is likely to be some overlap in individuals present day-to-day for animals in estuarine/inland waters. The numbers of authorized take for bottlenose dolphins are higher relative to the total stock abundance estimate and would not represent small numbers if a significant portion of the take was for a new individual. However, these numbers represent the estimated incidents of take, not the number of individuals taken. That is, it is likely that a relatively small subset of California coastal bottlenose dolphins would be incidentally harassed by project activities. California coastal bottlenose dolphins range from San Francisco Bay to San Diego (and south into Mexico) and the specified activity would be stationary within an enclosed water body that is not recognized as an area of any special significance for coastal bottlenose dolphins (and is therefore not an area of dolphin aggregation, as evident in Navy observational records). We therefore believe that the estimated numbers of takes, were they to occur, likely represent repeated exposures of a much smaller number of bottlenose dolphins and that, based on the limited region of exposure in comparison with the known distribution of the coastal bottlenose dolphin, these estimated incidents of VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:01 Sep 29, 2017 Jkt 244001 take represent small numbers of bottlenose dolphins. Based on the analysis contained herein of the planned activity (including the mitigation and monitoring measures) and the anticipated take of marine mammals, NMFS finds that small numbers of marine mammals will be taken relative to the population size of the affected species or stocks. Impact on Availability of Affected Species for Taking for Subsistence Uses There are no relevant subsistence uses of the affected marine mammal stocks or species implicated by this action. Therefore, NMFS has determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes. Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA: 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires that each Federal agency insure that any action it authorizes, funds, or carries out is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat. To ensure ESA compliance for the issuance of IHAs, NMFS consults internally, in this case with the ESA Interagency Cooperation Division, whenever we propose to authorize take for endangered or threatened species. The Navy initiated informal consultation under section 7 of the ESA with NMFS Southwest Regional Office (now West Coast Regional Office) on March 5, 2013. NMFS concluded on May 16, 2013, that the planned action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, WNP gray whales. The Navy has not requested authorization of the incidental take of WNP gray whales and we are not authorizing it, and there are no other ESA-listed marine mammals found in the action area. Therefore, no consultation under the ESA is required. Dated: September 27, 2017. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–21044 Filed 9–29–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF697 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Navy Submarine Base New London Pier Construction 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 U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization to take, by harassment, of marine mammals incidental to conducting pier construction at the Navy Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, beginning October 2018 and ending March 2022. Pursuant to the implementing regulations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing our receipt of the Navy’s request for regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on the Navy’s application and request. DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than November 1, 2017. ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910– 3225. The mailbox address for providing email comments is ITP.guan@noaa.gov. Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for email comments sent to addresses other than the one provided here. Comments sent via email, including all attachments, must not exceed a 10megabyte file size. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental/construction.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: Shane Guan, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\02OCN1.SGM 02OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 189 / Monday, October 2, 2017 / Notices Availability An electronic copy of the Navy’s application may be obtained online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental/construction.htm. Background sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (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 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 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. 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). The use of sound sources such as those described in the application (e.g., pile driving) may result in the take of marine mammals through disruption of behavioral patterns or may cause auditory injury of marine mammals. Therefore, incidental take authorization under the MMPA is warranted. Summary of Request On March 22, 2017, NMFS received an application from the Navy requesting authorization to take a small number of harbor and gray seals, by Level A and Level B harassment, incidental to noise exposure resulting from conducting pier VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:01 Sep 29, 2017 Jkt 244001 45829 construction activities at the Navy Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, from October 2018 to March 2022. On August 31, 2017, NMFS deemed the application adequate and complete. potential development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals by the Navy’s Submarine Base New London pier construction. Description of the Specified Activity The proposed Submarine Base New London pier construction includes construction of the new Pier 32 and the demolishing of the existing Pier 32 and Pier 10. Structural support piles for Pier 32 would consist of approximately 120 concrete-filled steel pipe piles measuring 36 inches in diameter. The piles would be driven between 40 feet (ft) below the mudline near the shore and 150 ft below the mudline at the end of the pier. Fender piles would also be installed and would consist of approximately 194 fiberglass-reinforced plastic piles measuring 16 inches in diameter. Demolition of existing Pier 32 would include the removal by vibratory driver-extractor (hammer) of approximately 60 steel piles from the temporary work trestle, 120 concreteencased steel H-piles, and 70 steel Hpiles. Fifty-six wood piles would be pulled with a sling. Demolition of Pier 10 would include the removal by vibratory hammer of 24 concreteencased, steel H-piles and 166 cast-inplace, reinforced concrete piles. Eightfour steel fender piles and 41 wood piles would be pulled with a sling. A total of 440 piles would be removed by vibratory hammer for both piers and the work trestle. The in-water construction and demolition activities are anticipated to begin in October 2018 and take approximately 35 non-consecutive months to complete. However, the rule will cover a five-year period to encompass additional time should delays occur. A suite of proposed mitigation and monitoring measures for marine mammals that could potentially be taken during in-water construction activities includes: (1) Establishing and monitoring Level A and Level B zones with protected species observers (PSOs), (2) establishing a 10-m shutdown and implementing shutdown measures with an animal is detected to approach the shutdown zone, and (3) limiting pile driving and pile removal activities during daylight hours only. Dated: September 27, 2017. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Information Solicited Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning the Navy’s request (see ADDRESSES). NMFS will consider all information, suggestions, and comments related to the Navy’s request and NMFS’ PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [FR Doc. 2017–21072 Filed 9–29–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Additions and Deletions Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled. ACTION: Additions to and deletions from the Procurement List. AGENCY: This action adds products and services to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products and a service from the Procurement List previously furnished by such agencies. DATES: Date added to and deleted from the Procurement List: October 29, 2017. ADDRESSES: Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202–4149. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy B. Jensen, Telephone: (703) 603– 7740, Fax: (703) 603–0655, or email CMTEFedReg@AbilityOne.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Additions On 6/30/2017 (82 FR 29852), 8/18/ 2017 (82 FR 39413–39414), and 8/25/ 2017 (82 FR 40569–40570), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notices of proposed additions to the Procurement List. After consideration of the material presented to it concerning capability of qualified nonprofit agencies to provide the products and services and impact of the additions on the current or most recent contractors, the Committee has determined that the products and services listed below are suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501–8506 and 41 CFR 51–2.4. E:\FR\FM\02OCN1.SGM 02OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 189 (Monday, October 2, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45828-45829]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-21072]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XF697


Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals 
Incidental to U.S. Navy Submarine Base New London Pier Construction

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 U.S. Navy (Navy) for 
authorization to take, by harassment, of marine mammals incidental to 
conducting pier construction at the Navy Submarine Base New London in 
Groton, Connecticut, beginning October 2018 and ending March 2022. 
Pursuant to the implementing regulations of the Marine Mammal 
Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing our receipt of the Navy's 
request for regulations governing the incidental taking of marine 
mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on the 
Navy's application and request.

DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than November 
1, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to Jolie 
Harrison, Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office 
of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-
West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3225. The mailbox address for 
providing email comments is ITP.guan@noaa.gov.
    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for email comments sent to 
addresses other than the one provided here. Comments sent via email, 
including all attachments, must not exceed a 10-megabyte file size. All 
comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be 
posted to www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.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: Shane Guan, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

[[Page 45829]]

Availability

    An electronic copy of the Navy's application may be obtained online 
at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm.

Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act 
of 1972, as amended (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 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 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.
    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).
    The use of sound sources such as those described in the application 
(e.g., pile driving) may result in the take of marine mammals through 
disruption of behavioral patterns or may cause auditory injury of 
marine mammals. Therefore, incidental take authorization under the MMPA 
is warranted.

Summary of Request

    On March 22, 2017, NMFS received an application from the Navy 
requesting authorization to take a small number of harbor and gray 
seals, by Level A and Level B harassment, incidental to noise exposure 
resulting from conducting pier construction activities at the Navy 
Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, from October 2018 to 
March 2022. On August 31, 2017, NMFS deemed the application adequate 
and complete.

Description of the Specified Activity

    The proposed Submarine Base New London pier construction includes 
construction of the new Pier 32 and the demolishing of the existing 
Pier 32 and Pier 10. Structural support piles for Pier 32 would consist 
of approximately 120 concrete-filled steel pipe piles measuring 36 
inches in diameter. The piles would be driven between 40 feet (ft) 
below the mudline near the shore and 150 ft below the mudline at the 
end of the pier. Fender piles would also be installed and would consist 
of approximately 194 fiberglass-reinforced plastic piles measuring 16 
inches in diameter. Demolition of existing Pier 32 would include the 
removal by vibratory driver-extractor (hammer) of approximately 60 
steel piles from the temporary work trestle, 120 concrete-encased steel 
H-piles, and 70 steel H-piles. Fifty-six wood piles would be pulled 
with a sling. Demolition of Pier 10 would include the removal by 
vibratory hammer of 24 concrete-encased, steel H-piles and 166 cast-in-
place, reinforced concrete piles. Eight-four steel fender piles and 41 
wood piles would be pulled with a sling. A total of 440 piles would be 
removed by vibratory hammer for both piers and the work trestle.
    The in-water construction and demolition activities are anticipated 
to begin in October 2018 and take approximately 35 non-consecutive 
months to complete. However, the rule will cover a five-year period to 
encompass additional time should delays occur.
    A suite of proposed mitigation and monitoring measures for marine 
mammals that could potentially be taken during in-water construction 
activities includes: (1) Establishing and monitoring Level A and Level 
B zones with protected species observers (PSOs), (2) establishing a 10-
m shutdown and implementing shutdown measures with an animal is 
detected to approach the shutdown zone, and (3) limiting pile driving 
and pile removal activities during daylight hours only.

Information Solicited

    Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and 
comments concerning the Navy's request (see ADDRESSES). NMFS will 
consider all information, suggestions, and comments related to the 
Navy's request and NMFS' potential development and implementation of 
regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals by the 
Navy's Submarine Base New London pier construction.

    Dated: September 27, 2017.
Donna S. Wieting,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-21072 Filed 9-29-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P