Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Port of Kalama Expansion Project on the Lower Columbia River, 57013-57015 [2019-23184]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 206 / Thursday, October 24, 2019 / Notices December 31, 2018 1 On April 1, 2019, Commerce received a timely request, in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), from Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. (the petitioner), to conduct an administrative review of this CVD order with respect to 81 companies.2 Based upon this request, on May 29, 2019, in accordance with section 751(a) of the Act, Commerce published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of administrative review for this CVD order.3 On June 3, 2019, the petitioner submitted a letter correcting the spelling of certain companies in its review request.4 Based upon this clarification, on July 15, 2019, Commerce published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of administrative review including the corrected names of the affected companies.5 On July 8, 2019 the petitioner timely withdrew its request for an administrative review for each of the 81 companies.6 Rescission of Review Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Secretary will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if a party who requested the review withdraws the request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. As noted above, the petitioner timely withdrew its request for review by the 90-day deadline. No other party requested an administrative review. Accordingly, we are rescinding the administrative review of the CVD order on silica fabric from China covering the period January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, in its entirety. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Assessment Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess CVDs on all appropriate entries at a rate 1 See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review, 84 FR 7877 (March 5, 2019). 2 See Letter from the petitioner re: ‘‘Certain Amorphous Silica Fabric from the People’s Republic of China,’’ dated April 1, 2019. 3 See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 84 FR 24743 (May 29, 2019) (Initiation Notice). 4 See Letter from the petitioner re: ‘‘Certain Amorphous Silica Fabric from the People’s Republic of China—Errata to April 1, 2019 Request for Administrative Review,’’ dated June 3, 2019. 5 See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 84 FR 33739, 33753 and n.8 (July 15, 2019) (Initiation Correction Notice). 6 See Letter from the petitioner re: ‘‘Certain Amorphous Silica Fabric from the People’s Republic of China: Withdrawal of Petitioners’ Request for Administrative Review of the Countervailing Duty Order,’’ dated July 8, 2019. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Oct 23, 2019 Jkt 250001 equal to the cash deposit of estimated CVDs required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, during the period January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). Commerce intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Notification to Importers This notice serves as the only reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of countervailing duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the presumption that reimbursement of the countervailing duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled countervailing duties. Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order This notice also serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under an APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction. This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751 of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4). Dated: October 17, 2019. James Maeder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. [FR Doc. 2019–23213 Filed 10–23–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P 57013 Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; reissuance of incidental harassment authorization. NMFS has received a request from the Port of Kalama (POK) for the re-issuance of a previously issued incidental harassment authorization (IHA) with the only change being effective dates that are one year later (October 19, 2019—October 18, 2020). The initial IHA authorized take of three species of marine mammals, by Level A and Level B harassment, incidental to construction activities associated with an expansion project at the POK on the Lower Columbia River, Washington. The project has been delayed and none of the work covered in the initial IHA (effective October 18, 2018—October 18, 2019) has been conducted. The scope of the activities and anticipated effects remain the same, authorized take numbers would not change, and the required mitigation, monitoring, and reporting would remain the same as authorized in the 2018 IHA referenced above. NMFS is, therefore, issuing a second IHA to cover the identical incidental take analyzed and authorized in the initial IHA. DATES: This authorization is effective from October 19, 2019 through October 18, 2020. ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the final 2018 IHA previously issued to POK, POK’s application, and the Federal Register notices proposing and issuing the 2018 IHA may be obtained by visiting https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/ marine-mammal-protection/incidentaltake-authorizations-constructionactivities. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed below (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy Fowler, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XR042 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Port of Kalama Expansion Project on the Lower Columbia River National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce (as delegated to NMFS) 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 E:\FR\FM\24OCN1.SGM 24OCN1 57014 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 206 / Thursday, October 24, 2019 / Notices 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. The MMPA states that the term ‘‘take’’ means to harass, hunt, capture, kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal. 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 September 28, 2015, we received a request from the POK for authorization of the taking, by Level B harassment only, of marine mammals incidental to the construction associated with the Port of Kalama Expansion Project, which involved construction of the Kalama Marine Manufacturing and Export Facility including a new marine terminal for the export of methanol, and installation of engineered log jams, restoration of riparian wetlands, and the removal of existing wood piles in a side channel as mitigation activities. The specified activity is expected to result in the take of three species of marine mammals (harbor seals, California sea lions, and Steller sea lions). A final version of the application, which we deemed adequate and complete, was submitted on December 10, 2015. We published a notice of a proposed IHA and request for comments on March 21, 2016 (81 FR 715064). After the public comment period and before we issued the final IHA, POK requested that we issue the IHA for 2017 instead of the 2016 work season. We subsequently published the final notice of our issuance of the IHA on December 12, 2016 (81 FR 89436), effective from September 1, 2017–August 31, 2018. Inwater work associated with the project was expected to be completed within the one-year timeframe of the IHA. On June 21, 2018, POK informed NMFS that work relevant to the specified activity considered in the MMPA analysis for the 2017–2018 IHA was postponed and would not be completed. POK requested that the IHA be issued to be effective for the period from 2018–2019. In support of that request, POK submitted an application addendum affirming that no change in the proposed activities is anticipated and that no new information regarding the abundance of marine mammals is available that would change the previous analysis and findings. A notice for the proposed incidental take authorization was published on July 25, 2018 (83 FR 35220), and a corrected notice was published on August 14, 2018 (83 FR 40257). On November 13, 2018, NMFS published final notice of our issuance of an IHA authorizing take of marine mammals incidental to the Port of Kalama Expansion Project (83 FR 56304). The effective dates of that IHA were October 18, 2018 through October 18, 2019. On August 21, 2019, POK informed NMFS that the project was being delayed by one year. None of the work identified in the IHA (i.e. pile driving and removal) has occurred and no take of any marine mammals has occurred since the effective date of the initial IHA. POK submitted a formal request for a new identical IHA that would be effective from October 19, 2019 through October 18, 2020, in order to conduct the construction work that was analyzed and authorized through the previously issued IHA. Therefore, an IHA is appropriate. Summary of Specified Activity and Anticipated Impacts The planned activities (including mitigation, monitoring, and reporting), authorized incidental take, and anticipated impacts on the affected stocks are the same as those analyzed and authorized through the previously issued IHA. Planned activities include construction of a marine terminal and dock/pier for the export of methanol, and associated compensatory mitigation activities for the purposes of offsetting habitat effects from the action. Specifically, the location, timing, and nature of the activities, including the types of equipment planned for use, are identical to those described in the 2018 IHA. The mitigation and monitoring are also identical to the 2018 IHA and will include implementing shutdown procedures if any marine mammal approaches or enters the Level A harassment zone(s), limiting construction to daylight hours only, using bubble curtains during impact driving of steel piles, using soft-start during impact pile driving, and monitoring and reporting of qualified protected species observers (PSOs). Species that are expected to be taken by the planned activity include harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), and Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus). The takes authorized in the 2018 IHA are presented in Table 1. TABLE 1—AUTHORIZED TAKE AMOUNT BY SPECIES Species Level A khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Harbor seal .................................................................................................................................. California sea lion ........................................................................................................................ Steller sea lion ............................................................................................................................. A description of the methods and inputs used to estimate take anticipated to occur and, ultimately, the take that was authorized is found in the previous documents referenced above. The methods of estimating take are identical VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Oct 23, 2019 Jkt 250001 to those used in the previous IHA, as is the density of marine mammals. NMFS has reviewed recent Stock Assessment Reports, information on relevant Unusual Mortality Events, and recent scientific literature, and determined that PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Level B 10 0 0 1,530 372 372 Total take 1953 372 372 no new information affects our original analysis of impacts or take estimate under the original IHA. We refer to the documents related to the previously issued IHA, which include the Federal Register notice of E:\FR\FM\24OCN1.SGM 24OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 206 / Thursday, October 24, 2019 / Notices the issuance of the 2018–2019 IHA for the POK’s Port of Kalama Expansion Project (83 FR 56304; November 13, 2018), the Federal Register notice of proposed IHA for the 2018–2019 IHA (83 FR 35220; July 25, 2018), the corrected Federal Register notice of proposed IHA for the 2018–2019 IHA (83 FR 40257; August 14, 2018), the Federal Register notice of the issuance of the 2017–2018 IHA (81 FR 89436, December 12, 2016), the Federal Register notice of the proposed IHA (81 FR 15064, March 21, 2016), POK’s application (and 2018 application addendum), and all associated references and documents. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Determinations POK will conduct activities identical to those analyzed in the previous 2018 IHA. As described above, the number of authorized takes of the same species and stocks of marine mammals are identical to the numbers that were found to meet the negligible impact and small numbers standards and authorized under the 2018 IHA and no new information has emerged that would change those findings. The re-issued 2019 IHA includes identical required mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures as the 2018 IHA, and there is no new information suggesting that our analysis or findings should change. Based on the information contained here and in the referenced documents, NMFS has determined the following: (1) The required mitigation measures will effect the least practicable impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat; (2) the authorized takes will have a negligible impact on the affected marine mammal species or stocks; (3) the authorized takes represent small numbers of marine mammals relative to the affected stock abundances; and (4) POK’s activities will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on taking for subsistence purposes as no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals are implicated by this action. National Environmental Policy Act To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216–6A, NMFS must review our proposed action with respect to environmental consequences on the human environment. Accordingly, NMFS has determined that the issuance of the IHA qualifies to be categorically excluded from further NEPA review. This action is consistent with categories of activities identified in CE B4 of the Companion Manual for VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Oct 23, 2019 Jkt 250001 NOAA Administrative Order 216–6A, which do not individually or cumulatively have the potential for significant impacts on the quality of the human environment and for which we have not identified any extraordinary circumstances that would preclude this categorical exclusion. 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 whenever we propose to authorize take for endangered or threatened species. No incidental take of ESA-listed marine mammal species is expected to result from this activity, and none would be authorized. Therefore, NMFS has determined that consultation under section 7 of the ESA is not required for this action. Authorization NMFS has issued an IHA to POK for in-water construction activities associated with the POK Expansion Project from October 19, 2019 through October 18, 2020. All previously described mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements from the 2018 IHA are incorporated. Dated: October 18, 2019. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–23184 Filed 10–23–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XW010 Scoping Meeting for Protective Regulations for Killer Whales in the Inland Waters of Washington State National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meeting, request for comments. AGENCY: This notice informs the public of an upcoming scoping process, including a scoping meeting, to solicit SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57015 public comments on whether, based on best available information, existing National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regulations and other measures adequately protect killer whales from the impacts of vessels and noise in the inland waters of Washington State and, if not, what actions NMFS should take. To inform comments, information on existing regulations and other protective measures are available at: https:// archive.fisheries.noaa.gov/wcr/ protected_species/marine_mammals/ killer_whale/vessel_regulations.html. DATES: Written or electronic scoping comments must be received by December 23, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document by either of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments by sending an email to OrcaRecovery.WCR@ noaa.gov using the subject line ‘‘Comments on Protective Regulations for Killer Whales Scoping.’’ • Mail: Submit written comments to Seattle Branch Chief, Protected Resources Division, West Coast Region, National Marine Fisheries Service, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Building 1, Seattle, WA 98115, Attn: SRKW Vessel Regulation Revision. Comments can also be provided in person during the scoping meeting, listed below. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Grace Ferrara, West Coast Region, National Marine Fisheries Service. Telephone: 206–526–6172. Email: grace.ferrara@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dates, Times, and Locations The date, time, and location of the scoping meeting is scheduled as follows: Tuesday, November 12th, 2019— Friday Harbor, WA, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Brickworks Event Center, 150 Nichols St., Friday Harbor, WA 98250. Background NMFS listed the Southern Resident killer whale distinct population segment as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2005 (70 FR 69903; November 18, 2005). During the listing of Southern Residents and the development of the 2008 Recovery Plan, vessel impacts were identified as one of the three main threats to recovery (NMFS, 2008). While in the inland waters of Washington State, this population is the target of an active transboundary commercial whale watch industry. In 2009, NMFS concluded that the voluntary guidelines in place to E:\FR\FM\24OCN1.SGM 24OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 206 (Thursday, October 24, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57013-57015]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-23184]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XR042


Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; 
Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Port of Kalama Expansion Project on 
the Lower Columbia River

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

ACTION: Notice; reissuance of incidental harassment authorization.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS has received a request from the Port of Kalama (POK) for 
the re-issuance of a previously issued incidental harassment 
authorization (IHA) with the only change being effective dates that are 
one year later (October 19, 2019--October 18, 2020). The initial IHA 
authorized take of three species of marine mammals, by Level A and 
Level B harassment, incidental to construction activities associated 
with an expansion project at the POK on the Lower Columbia River, 
Washington. The project has been delayed and none of the work covered 
in the initial IHA (effective October 18, 2018--October 18, 2019) has 
been conducted. The scope of the activities and anticipated effects 
remain the same, authorized take numbers would not change, and the 
required mitigation, monitoring, and reporting would remain the same as 
authorized in the 2018 IHA referenced above. NMFS is, therefore, 
issuing a second IHA to cover the identical incidental take analyzed 
and authorized in the initial IHA.

DATES: This authorization is effective from October 19, 2019 through 
October 18, 2020.

ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the final 2018 IHA previously issued 
to POK, POK's application, and the Federal Register notices proposing 
and issuing the 2018 IHA may be obtained by visiting https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-construction-activities. In case of problems 
accessing these documents, please call the contact listed below (see 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act 
(MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce (as 
delegated to NMFS) 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

[[Page 57014]]

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.
    The MMPA states that the term ``take'' means to harass, hunt, 
capture, kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine 
mammal.
    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 September 28, 2015, we received a request from the POK for 
authorization of the taking, by Level B harassment only, of marine 
mammals incidental to the construction associated with the Port of 
Kalama Expansion Project, which involved construction of the Kalama 
Marine Manufacturing and Export Facility including a new marine 
terminal for the export of methanol, and installation of engineered log 
jams, restoration of riparian wetlands, and the removal of existing 
wood piles in a side channel as mitigation activities. The specified 
activity is expected to result in the take of three species of marine 
mammals (harbor seals, California sea lions, and Steller sea lions). A 
final version of the application, which we deemed adequate and 
complete, was submitted on December 10, 2015. We published a notice of 
a proposed IHA and request for comments on March 21, 2016 (81 FR 
715064). After the public comment period and before we issued the final 
IHA, POK requested that we issue the IHA for 2017 instead of the 2016 
work season. We subsequently published the final notice of our issuance 
of the IHA on December 12, 2016 (81 FR 89436), effective from September 
1, 2017-August 31, 2018. In-water work associated with the project was 
expected to be completed within the one-year timeframe of the IHA.
    On June 21, 2018, POK informed NMFS that work relevant to the 
specified activity considered in the MMPA analysis for the 2017-2018 
IHA was postponed and would not be completed. POK requested that the 
IHA be issued to be effective for the period from 2018-2019. In support 
of that request, POK submitted an application addendum affirming that 
no change in the proposed activities is anticipated and that no new 
information regarding the abundance of marine mammals is available that 
would change the previous analysis and findings. A notice for the 
proposed incidental take authorization was published on July 25, 2018 
(83 FR 35220), and a corrected notice was published on August 14, 2018 
(83 FR 40257). On November 13, 2018, NMFS published final notice of our 
issuance of an IHA authorizing take of marine mammals incidental to the 
Port of Kalama Expansion Project (83 FR 56304). The effective dates of 
that IHA were October 18, 2018 through October 18, 2019.
    On August 21, 2019, POK informed NMFS that the project was being 
delayed by one year. None of the work identified in the IHA (i.e. pile 
driving and removal) has occurred and no take of any marine mammals has 
occurred since the effective date of the initial IHA. POK submitted a 
formal request for a new identical IHA that would be effective from 
October 19, 2019 through October 18, 2020, in order to conduct the 
construction work that was analyzed and authorized through the 
previously issued IHA. Therefore, an IHA is appropriate.

Summary of Specified Activity and Anticipated Impacts

    The planned activities (including mitigation, monitoring, and 
reporting), authorized incidental take, and anticipated impacts on the 
affected stocks are the same as those analyzed and authorized through 
the previously issued IHA.
    Planned activities include construction of a marine terminal and 
dock/pier for the export of methanol, and associated compensatory 
mitigation activities for the purposes of offsetting habitat effects 
from the action. Specifically, the location, timing, and nature of the 
activities, including the types of equipment planned for use, are 
identical to those described in the 2018 IHA. The mitigation and 
monitoring are also identical to the 2018 IHA and will include 
implementing shutdown procedures if any marine mammal approaches or 
enters the Level A harassment zone(s), limiting construction to 
daylight hours only, using bubble curtains during impact driving of 
steel piles, using soft-start during impact pile driving, and 
monitoring and reporting of qualified protected species observers 
(PSOs).
    Species that are expected to be taken by the planned activity 
include harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), California sea lion (Zalophus 
californianus), and Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus). The takes 
authorized in the 2018 IHA are presented in Table 1.

                                   Table 1--Authorized Take Amount by Species
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Species                                  Level A         Level B       Total take
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Harbor seal.....................................................              10           1,530            1953
California sea lion.............................................               0             372             372
Steller sea lion................................................               0             372             372
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A description of the methods and inputs used to estimate take 
anticipated to occur and, ultimately, the take that was authorized is 
found in the previous documents referenced above. The methods of 
estimating take are identical to those used in the previous IHA, as is 
the density of marine mammals. NMFS has reviewed recent Stock 
Assessment Reports, information on relevant Unusual Mortality Events, 
and recent scientific literature, and determined that no new 
information affects our original analysis of impacts or take estimate 
under the original IHA.
    We refer to the documents related to the previously issued IHA, 
which include the Federal Register notice of

[[Page 57015]]

the issuance of the 2018-2019 IHA for the POK's Port of Kalama 
Expansion Project (83 FR 56304; November 13, 2018), the Federal 
Register notice of proposed IHA for the 2018-2019 IHA (83 FR 35220; 
July 25, 2018), the corrected Federal Register notice of proposed IHA 
for the 2018-2019 IHA (83 FR 40257; August 14, 2018), the Federal 
Register notice of the issuance of the 2017-2018 IHA (81 FR 89436, 
December 12, 2016), the Federal Register notice of the proposed IHA (81 
FR 15064, March 21, 2016), POK's application (and 2018 application 
addendum), and all associated references and documents.

Determinations

    POK will conduct activities identical to those analyzed in the 
previous 2018 IHA. As described above, the number of authorized takes 
of the same species and stocks of marine mammals are identical to the 
numbers that were found to meet the negligible impact and small numbers 
standards and authorized under the 2018 IHA and no new information has 
emerged that would change those findings. The re-issued 2019 IHA 
includes identical required mitigation, monitoring, and reporting 
measures as the 2018 IHA, and there is no new information suggesting 
that our analysis or findings should change.
    Based on the information contained here and in the referenced 
documents, NMFS has determined the following: (1) The required 
mitigation measures will effect the least practicable impact on marine 
mammal species or stocks and their habitat; (2) the authorized takes 
will have a negligible impact on the affected marine mammal species or 
stocks; (3) the authorized takes represent small numbers of marine 
mammals relative to the affected stock abundances; and (4) POK's 
activities will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on taking for 
subsistence purposes as no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals 
are implicated by this action.

National Environmental Policy Act

    To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 
42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-6A, 
NMFS must review our proposed action with respect to environmental 
consequences on the human environment.
    Accordingly, NMFS has determined that the issuance of the IHA 
qualifies to be categorically excluded from further NEPA review. This 
action is consistent with categories of activities identified in CE B4 
of the Companion Manual for NOAA Administrative Order 216-6A, which do 
not individually or cumulatively have the potential for significant 
impacts on the quality of the human environment and for which we have 
not identified any extraordinary circumstances that would preclude this 
categorical exclusion.

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 whenever we propose to authorize take for 
endangered or threatened species. No incidental take of ESA-listed 
marine mammal species is expected to result from this activity, and 
none would be authorized. Therefore, NMFS has determined that 
consultation under section 7 of the ESA is not required for this 
action.

Authorization

    NMFS has issued an IHA to POK for in-water construction activities 
associated with the POK Expansion Project from October 19, 2019 through 
October 18, 2020. All previously described mitigation, monitoring, and 
reporting requirements from the 2018 IHA are incorporated.

    Dated: October 18, 2019.
Donna S. Wieting,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-23184 Filed 10-23-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P