Marine Mammals; Incidental Take During Specified Activities: Cook Inlet, Alaska, 13603-13604 [2019-06677]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 66 / Friday, April 5, 2019 / Proposed Rules BILLING CODE 4333–15–C * * * * * Dated: March 20, 2019. Margaret E. Everson, Principal Deputy Director Exercising the Authority of the Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2019–06293 Filed 4–4–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 18 [Docket No. FWS–R7–ES–2019–0012; FXES111607MRG01–190–FF07CAMM00] RIN 1018–BD63 Marine Mammals; Incidental Take During Specified Activities: Cook Inlet, Alaska Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of the comment period. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in response to a request from Hilcorp Alaska, LLC, Harvest Alaska, LLC, and the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, have proposed to issue regulations authorizing the nonlethal, incidental take by harassment of small numbers of northern sea otters in State and Federal waters (Alaska and the Outer Continental Shelf) within Cook Inlet, Alaska, as well as all adjacent rivers, estuaries, and coastal lands. Take may result from oil and gas exploration, development, production, and transportation activities occurring for a period of 5 years. We previously published these proposed regulations and requested comments and now, in response to requests, extend the deadline for comment submission. DATES: The comment period for the proposed rule that published March 19, 2019 (84 FR 10224), is extended. We will accept comments on the proposed incidental take regulations and the accompanying draft environmental assessment that are received or postmarked on or before April 18, 2019. If you comment using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES), you must submit your comments by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. ADDRESSES: Document availability: You may view the proposed rule, the application package, supporting information, draft environmental assessment, and other khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:17 Apr 04, 2019 Jkt 247001 information at http:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R7–ES–2019–0012, or these documents may be requested as described under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Comment submission: You may submit comments on the proposed rule by one of the following methods: U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R7–ES–2019–0012, Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: BPHC, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. Electronic submission: Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS–R7–ES–2019–0012. We will post all comments at http:// www.regulations.gov. You may request that we withhold personal identifying information from public review; however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. See Request for Public Comments, below, for more information. Information collection requirements: Send your comments on the requested revision of the information collection request (ICR) to the Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior at OMB– OIRA at 202–395–5806 (fax) or oira_ submission@omb.eop.gov (email). Please provide a copy of your comments to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041– 3803 (mail); or info_coll@fws.gov (email). Please include ‘‘1018–0070’’ in the subject line of your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Christopher Putnam, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 341, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99503, by email at christopher_putnam@ fws.gov, or by telephone at 907–786– 3844. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service at 1– 800–877–8339, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Questions regarding the Service’s request to revise the Information Collection control number 1018–0070 may be submitted to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803 (mail); 703– 358–2503 (telephone), or info_coll@ fws.gov (email). Please include ‘‘1018– 0070’’ in the subject line of your email request. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 19, 2019, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 13603 Service (Service), published a proposed rule under section 101(a)(5)(A) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1361(a)(5)(A)) (MMPA), which gives the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) the authority to allow the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals in response to requests by U.S. citizens engaged in a specified activity in a specified region. The Secretary has delegated authority for implementation of the MMPA to the Service. Background On May 3, 2018, Hilcorp Alaska, LLC (Hilcorp), Harvest Alaska, LLC, and the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘applicant,’’ petitioned the Service to promulgate regulations pursuant to section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA for the nonlethal, unintentional taking of small numbers of northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) incidental to oil and gas exploration, development, production, and transportation activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, for a period of 5 years. On June 28, 2018, the applicant submitted an amended request providing additional project details. As described in the proposed rule of March 19, 2019 (84 FR 10224), the proposed incidental take regulations (ITR), if finalized, will not authorize the proposed activities. Rather, they will authorize the nonlethal incidental, unintentional take of small numbers of sea otters associated with those activities based on standards set forth in the MMPA. The proposed ITR includes: Permissible amounts and methods of nonlethal taking; measures to ensure the least practicable adverse impact on sea otters and their habitat; measures to avoid and reduce impacts to subsistence uses; and requirements for monitoring and reporting. For further information, please see the proposed rule. In comments received thus far on the proposed rule, the Service received requests from the Marine Mammal Commission, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Cook Inlet Keepers to extend the comment period deadline. Accordingly, we will now accept comments until the date specified above in DATES. Request for Public Comments If you wish to comment on the proposed regulations, the associated draft environmental assessment, or the information collection, you may submit your comments by any of the methods described in ADDRESSES. Please identify if you are commenting on the proposed regulations, draft environmental assessment, or the information E:\FR\FM\05APP1.SGM 05APP1 13604 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 66 / Friday, April 5, 2019 / Proposed Rules collection, make your comments as specific as possible, confine them to issues pertinent to the proposed regulations, and explain the reason for any changes you recommend. Where possible, your comments should reference the specific section or paragraph that you are addressing. The Service will consider all comments that are received by the close of the comment period (see DATES). Comments, including names and street addresses of respondents, will become part of the administrative record. Before including your address, telephone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comments to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Dated: March 27, 2019. Karen Clark, Acting Regional Director. [FR Doc. 2019–06677 Filed 4–2–19; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 216 [Docket No. 190212104–9261–01] RIN 0648–BI58 Regulations Governing the Taking of Marine Mammals National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: On February 14, 2005, NMFS received a request from the Makah Indian Tribe for a waiver of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) moratorium on take of Eastern North Pacific (ENP) gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus). The Tribe requested that NMFS authorize a tribal hunt in the coastal portion of the Tribe’s usual and accustomed fishing area (U&A) for ceremonial and subsistence purposes, and authorize the making and sale of handicrafts. The MMPA imposes a general moratorium on the taking of marine mammals but authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to waive the khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:01 Apr 04, 2019 Jkt 247001 moratorium and issue regulations governing the take of marine mammals if certain statutory criteria are met. The decision to waive the moratorium and issue regulations must be made on the record after an opportunity for an agency hearing on both the waiver and regulations. The hearing is governed by agency regulations, which call for the appointment of a presiding officer and prescribe other procedures. This notice announces the proposed waiver and regulations. A related notice announcing a hearing on the proposed waiver and regulations is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. DATES: NMFS has scheduled a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge at 9:30 a.m. PDT on August 12, 2019, to consider the issuance of a waiver of the take moratorium and the regulations (see ADDRESSES). Parties interested in participating in the hearing process should consult the related notice of hearing published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. Filing deadlines: Any person desiring to participate as a party in the hearing must notify the Regional Administrator (see ADDRESSES), by certified mail, postmarked on or before May 6, 2019. Interested parties should consult the related notice of hearing and regulations at 50 CFR part 228 for additional deadlines and hearing procedures. ADDRESSES: The hearing before Administrative Law Judge George J. Jordan will be held beginning at 9:30 a.m. PDT on August 12, 2019, at the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building, 915 Second Avenue, 4th Floor Auditorium, Seattle, WA 98174. Information related to the hearing and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), a complete list of references cited in this rulemaking, and background on the Makah Tribe’s waiver request will be available on the NMFS website at: https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/formalrulemaking-proposed-mmpa-waiverand-hunt-regulations-governing-graywhale-hunts-makah. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Milstein, NMFS West Coast Region, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232–1274; 503– 231–6268. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The following table of contents is intended as an aid to readers: I. List of Acronyms II. Background A. Relevant MMPA Provisions B. Whaling Convention Act C. North Pacific Gray Whales III. Proposed Regulations PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 A. Measures To Limit the Likelihood That Tribal Hunters Would Strike a WNP Whale B. Measures To Maintain PCFG Abundance by Limiting Lethal Impacts C. Additional Management Considerations 1. Use of Marine Mammal Products 2. Humane Killing 3. Approaches, Unsuccessful Strike Attempts, and Hunt Training Provisions 4. NMFS Oversight 5. Identification of Individual Gray Whales 6. Impacts to Species Other Than ENP Gray Whales IV. Consistency With MMPA Requirements A. The Proposed Waiver Is Consistent With the MMPA 1. The Proposed Waiver Is Based on the Best Scientific Evidence Available 2. The Proposed Waiver Was Made in Consultation With the MMC 3. The Proposed Waiver Demonstrates Due Regard for the Distribution, Abundance, Breeding Habits, and Times and Lines of Migratory Movements of ENP Gray Whales 4. NMFS Is Assured That the Proposed Waiver Is in Accord With the MMPA’s Purposes and Policies B. The Proposed Regulations are Consistent With the MMPA 1. The Proposed Regulations Are Based on the Best Scientific Evidence Available and Consultation With the Marine Mammal Commission 2. The Proposed Regulations Will Not Disadvantage the ENP Gray Whale Stock 3. The Proposed Regulations Are Consistent With the Purposes and Policies of the MMPA 4. We Have Fully Considered the Effects of the Proposed Regulations on the Statutory Factors C. The Proposed Waiver and Regulations Appropriately Manage Risk to WNP Gray Whales V. Required Statements Related to the Intention To Issue Regulations A. A Statement of the Estimated Existing Levels of the Species and Population Stocks of the Marine Mammal Concerned B. A Statement of the Expected Impact of the Proposed Regulations on the Optimum Sustainable Population of Such Species or Population Stock C. A Statement Describing the Evidence Before the Agency That Forms the Basis for the Regulations D. Any Studies or Recommendations Made By or For the Agency or the MMC That Relate to the Establishment of the Regulations VI. Classification I. List of Acronyms AWMP Aboriginal Whaling Management Plan CFR Code of Federal Regulations DEIS Draft Environmental Impact Statement ENP Eastern North Pacific ESA Endangered Species Act E.O. Executive Order ICRW International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling IWC International Whaling Commission K Carrying Capacity E:\FR\FM\05APP1.SGM 05APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 66 (Friday, April 5, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 13603-13604]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-06677]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 18

[Docket No. FWS-R7-ES-2019-0012; FXES111607MRG01-190-FF07CAMM00]
RIN 1018-BD63


Marine Mammals; Incidental Take During Specified Activities: Cook 
Inlet, Alaska

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of the comment period.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in response to a 
request from Hilcorp Alaska, LLC, Harvest Alaska, LLC, and the Alaska 
Gasline Development Corporation, have proposed to issue regulations 
authorizing the nonlethal, incidental take by harassment of small 
numbers of northern sea otters in State and Federal waters (Alaska and 
the Outer Continental Shelf) within Cook Inlet, Alaska, as well as all 
adjacent rivers, estuaries, and coastal lands. Take may result from oil 
and gas exploration, development, production, and transportation 
activities occurring for a period of 5 years. We previously published 
these proposed regulations and requested comments and now, in response 
to requests, extend the deadline for comment submission.

DATES: The comment period for the proposed rule that published March 
19, 2019 (84 FR 10224), is extended. We will accept comments on the 
proposed incidental take regulations and the accompanying draft 
environmental assessment that are received or postmarked on or before 
April 18, 2019. If you comment using the Federal eRulemaking Portal 
(see ADDRESSES), you must submit your comments by 11:59 p.m. Eastern 
Time on the closing date.

ADDRESSES: 
    Document availability: You may view the proposed rule, the 
application package, supporting information, draft environmental 
assessment, and other information at http://www.regulations.gov under 
Docket No. FWS-R7-ES-2019-0012, or these documents may be requested as 
described under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Comment submission: You may submit comments on the proposed rule by 
one of the following methods:
    U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: 
Docket No. FWS-R7-ES-2019-0012, Division of Policy, Performance, and 
Management Programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg 
Pike, MS: BPHC, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
    Electronic submission: Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to 
Docket No. FWS-R7-ES-2019-0012.
    We will post all comments at http://www.regulations.gov. You may 
request that we withhold personal identifying information from public 
review; however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. See 
Request for Public Comments, below, for more information.
    Information collection requirements: Send your comments on the 
requested revision of the information collection request (ICR) to the 
Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior at OMB-OIRA at 202-395-
5806 (fax) or [email protected] (email). Please provide a 
copy of your comments to the Service Information Collection Clearance 
Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, 
Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 (mail); or [email protected] (email). 
Please include ``1018-0070'' in the subject line of your comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Christopher Putnam, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, MS 341, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, Alaska 
99503, by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 907-
786-3844. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may 
call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339, 24 hours a day, 7 
days a week.
    Questions regarding the Service's request to revise the Information 
Collection control number 1018-0070 may be submitted to the Service 
Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 
(mail); 703-358-2503 (telephone), or [email protected] (email). Please 
include ``1018-0070'' in the subject line of your email request.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 19, 2019, we, the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Service), published a proposed rule under section 
101(a)(5)(A) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 
1361(a)(5)(A)) (MMPA), which gives the Secretary of the Interior 
(Secretary) the authority to allow the incidental, but not intentional, 
taking of small numbers of marine mammals in response to requests by 
U.S. citizens engaged in a specified activity in a specified region. 
The Secretary has delegated authority for implementation of the MMPA to 
the Service.

Background

    On May 3, 2018, Hilcorp Alaska, LLC (Hilcorp), Harvest Alaska, LLC, 
and the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, hereinafter referred to 
as the ``applicant,'' petitioned the Service to promulgate regulations 
pursuant to section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA for the nonlethal, 
unintentional taking of small numbers of northern sea otters (Enhydra 
lutris kenyoni) incidental to oil and gas exploration, development, 
production, and transportation activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, for a 
period of 5 years. On June 28, 2018, the applicant submitted an amended 
request providing additional project details.
    As described in the proposed rule of March 19, 2019 (84 FR 10224), 
the proposed incidental take regulations (ITR), if finalized, will not 
authorize the proposed activities. Rather, they will authorize the 
nonlethal incidental, unintentional take of small numbers of sea otters 
associated with those activities based on standards set forth in the 
MMPA. The proposed ITR includes: Permissible amounts and methods of 
nonlethal taking; measures to ensure the least practicable adverse 
impact on sea otters and their habitat; measures to avoid and reduce 
impacts to subsistence uses; and requirements for monitoring and 
reporting. For further information, please see the proposed rule.
    In comments received thus far on the proposed rule, the Service 
received requests from the Marine Mammal Commission, the Center for 
Biological Diversity, and the Cook Inlet Keepers to extend the comment 
period deadline. Accordingly, we will now accept comments until the 
date specified above in DATES.

Request for Public Comments

    If you wish to comment on the proposed regulations, the associated 
draft environmental assessment, or the information collection, you may 
submit your comments by any of the methods described in ADDRESSES. 
Please identify if you are commenting on the proposed regulations, 
draft environmental assessment, or the information

[[Page 13604]]

collection, make your comments as specific as possible, confine them to 
issues pertinent to the proposed regulations, and explain the reason 
for any changes you recommend. Where possible, your comments should 
reference the specific section or paragraph that you are addressing. 
The Service will consider all comments that are received by the close 
of the comment period (see DATES).
    Comments, including names and street addresses of respondents, will 
become part of the administrative record. Before including your 
address, telephone number, email address, or other personal identifying 
information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment, 
including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly 
available at any time. While you can ask us in your comments to 
withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we 
cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Dated: March 27, 2019.
Karen Clark,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. 2019-06677 Filed 4-2-19; 11:15 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P