Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Dry Dock 1 Modification and Expansion, 67261-67262 [2019-26418]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 236 / Monday, December 9, 2019 / Notices The permit authorizes the importation of three captive born bottlenose dolphins from Dolphin Quest Bermuda to either the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois or Coral World Ocean Park in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands for the purpose of public display. The permit expires on December 1, 2024, or upon the importation of all three dolphins, whichever occurs first. In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a final determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. Dated: December 4, 2019. Julia Marie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–26476 Filed 12–6–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XR073] Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Dry Dock 1 Modification and Expansion National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of incidental harassment authorization. AGENCY: NMFS has received a request from the United States Navy for the reissuance of a previously issued incidental harassment authorization (IHA) with the only change being effective dates. The initial IHA authorized take of five species of marine mammals, by Level A and Level B harassment, incidental to construction associated with the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Dry Dock 1 modification and expansion in Kittery, Maine. The project has been delayed and none of the work covered in the initial IHA has been conducted. The initial IHA was effective from October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. The Navy has requested re-issuance with new effective dates of March 1, 2020, through February 28, 2021. The scope of the activities and anticipated effects remain the same, authorized take numbers are khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:22 Dec 06, 2019 Jkt 250001 not changed, and the required mitigation, monitoring, and reporting remains the same as included in the initial IHA. NMFS is, therefore, issuing a second IHA to cover the incidental take analyzed and authorized in the initial IHA. DATES: This authorization is effective from March 1, 2020, through February 28, 2021. ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the final 2019 IHA previously issued to the Navy, the Navy’s application, and the Federal Register notices proposing and issuing the initial IHA may be obtained by visiting www.fisheries.noaa.gov/ action/incidental-take-authorization-usnavy-dry-dock-expansion-projectportsmouth-naval-shipyard. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed below (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ben Laws, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the 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 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 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67261 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 May 28, 2019, NMFS published final notice of our issuance of an IHA authorizing take of marine mammals incidental to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Dry Dock 1 modification and expansion project (84 FR 24476). The effective dates of that IHA were October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. On September 30, 2019, the Navy informed NMFS that the project was delayed. None of the work identified in the initial IHA (e.g., pile driving and removal) has occurred. The Navy submitted a request for a new identical IHA that would be effective from March 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021, in order to conduct the construction work that was analyzed and authorized through the previously issued IHA. Therefore, re-issuance of the 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. The purpose of the Navy’s construction project is to modernize and maximize dry dock capabilities for performing current and future missions efficiently and with maximum flexibility. The need for the proposed action is to modify and expand Dry Dock 1 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard by constructing two new dry docking positions capable of servicing Virginia class submarines within the super flood basin of the dry dock. The location, timing, and nature of the activities, including the types of equipment planned for use, are within scope of those described in the initial IHA. The mitigation and monitoring are also as prescribed in the initial IHA. Species that are expected to be taken by the planned activity include harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), gray seal (Halichoerus grypus), hooded seal (Cystophora cristata), and harp seal E:\FR\FM\09DEN1.SGM 09DEN1 67262 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 236 / Monday, December 9, 2019 / Notices (Pagophilus groenlandicus). 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 data inputs and methods of estimating take are identical to those used in the initial IHA. 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 initial IHA. We refer to the documents related to the previously issued IHA, which include the Federal Register notice of the issuance of the initial 2019 IHA for the Navy’s construction work (84 FR 24476), the Navy’s application, the Federal Register notice of the proposed IHA (84 FR 13252), and all associated references and documents. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Determinations The Navy will conduct activities as analyzed in the initial 2019 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 initial IHA and no new information has emerged that would change those findings. The re-issued 2020 IHA includes identical required mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures as the initial 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) the Navy’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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:22 Dec 06, 2019 Jkt 250001 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. However, no incidental take of ESAlisted species is authorized or expected to result from this activity. Therefore, NMFS has determined that formal consultation under section 7 of the ESA is not required for this action. Authorization NMFS has issued an IHA to the Navy for in-water construction activities associated with the specified activity from March 1, 2020, through February 28, 2021. All previously described mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements from the initial 2019 IHA are incorporated. Dated: December 3, 2019. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–26418 Filed 12–6–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P ELECTION ASSISTANCE COMMISSION Technical Guidelines Development Committee; Meeting U.S. Election Assistance Commission. ACTION: Notice of conference call meeting. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 2:00–4:00 p.m. (EDT). DATES: EAC Technical Guidelines Development Committee Conference Call. ADDRESSES: To Listen and Monitor the Event as an Attendee 1. Go to: https://zoom.us/j/917491464. 2. Enter Meeting ID: 917 491 464, Password: TGDC1219. One tap mobile +16699006833,,917491464# US (San Jose) +19292056099,,917491464# US (New York) Dial by your location +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) +1 929 205 6099 US (New York) 877 853 5247 US Toll-free 888 788 0099 US Toll-free Meeting ID: 917 491 464. Find your local number: https:// zoom.us/u/aev3sFIp8Q. For assistance: Contact the host, Steve Uyak at suyak@ eac.gov. Purpose: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), Public Law 92–463, as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2), the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Technical Guidelines Development Committee will conduct a conference call to discuss NIST recommendations and feedback. Agenda: The Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) will discuss NIST recommendations and feedback from November meeting. Bert Benavides, Telephone: (301) 563–3937. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Members of the public may submit relevant written statements to the Technical Guidelines Development Committee with respect to the meeting no later than 10:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, December 18, 2019. Statements may be sent via email to facaboards@eac.gov, via standard mail addressed to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, 1335 East West Highway, Suite 4300, Silver Spring, MD 20910, or by fax at 301– 734–3108. This conference call will be open to the public. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Nichelle S. Williams, Director of Research, U.S. Election Assistance Commission. [FR Doc. 2019–26187 Filed 12–6–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820–KF–P E:\FR\FM\09DEN1.SGM 09DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 236 (Monday, December 9, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67261-67262]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26418]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XR073]


Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; 
Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Dry Dock 
1 Modification and Expansion

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

ACTION: Notice; issuance of incidental harassment authorization.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS has received a request from the United States Navy for 
the re-issuance of a previously issued incidental harassment 
authorization (IHA) with the only change being effective dates. The 
initial IHA authorized take of five species of marine mammals, by Level 
A and Level B harassment, incidental to construction associated with 
the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Dry Dock 1 modification and expansion in 
Kittery, Maine. The project has been delayed and none of the work 
covered in the initial IHA has been conducted. The initial IHA was 
effective from October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. The Navy 
has requested re-issuance with new effective dates of March 1, 2020, 
through February 28, 2021. The scope of the activities and anticipated 
effects remain the same, authorized take numbers are not changed, and 
the required mitigation, monitoring, and reporting remains the same as 
included in the initial IHA. NMFS is, therefore, issuing a second IHA 
to cover the incidental take analyzed and authorized in the initial 
IHA.

DATES: This authorization is effective from March 1, 2020, through 
February 28, 2021.

ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the final 2019 IHA previously issued 
to the Navy, the Navy's application, and the Federal Register notices 
proposing and issuing the initial IHA may be obtained by visiting 
www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/incidental-take-authorization-us-navy-dry-dock-expansion-project-portsmouth-naval-shipyard. In case of 
problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed 
below (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the 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 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 May 28, 2019, NMFS published final notice of our issuance of an 
IHA authorizing take of marine mammals incidental to the Portsmouth 
Naval Shipyard Dry Dock 1 modification and expansion project (84 FR 
24476). The effective dates of that IHA were October 1, 2019, through 
September 30, 2020. On September 30, 2019, the Navy informed NMFS that 
the project was delayed. None of the work identified in the initial IHA 
(e.g., pile driving and removal) has occurred. The Navy submitted a 
request for a new identical IHA that would be effective from March 1, 
2020 through February 28, 2021, in order to conduct the construction 
work that was analyzed and authorized through the previously issued 
IHA. Therefore, re-issuance of the 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.
    The purpose of the Navy's construction project is to modernize and 
maximize dry dock capabilities for performing current and future 
missions efficiently and with maximum flexibility. The need for the 
proposed action is to modify and expand Dry Dock 1 at the Portsmouth 
Naval Shipyard by constructing two new dry docking positions capable of 
servicing Virginia class submarines within the super flood basin of the 
dry dock. The location, timing, and nature of the activities, including 
the types of equipment planned for use, are within scope of those 
described in the initial IHA. The mitigation and monitoring are also as 
prescribed in the initial IHA.
    Species that are expected to be taken by the planned activity 
include harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), harbor seal (Phoca 
vitulina), gray seal (Halichoerus grypus), hooded seal (Cystophora 
cristata), and harp seal

[[Page 67262]]

(Pagophilus groenlandicus). 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 data inputs and methods of estimating take are identical to 
those used in the initial IHA. 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 initial IHA.
    We refer to the documents related to the previously issued IHA, 
which include the Federal Register notice of the issuance of the 
initial 2019 IHA for the Navy's construction work (84 FR 24476), the 
Navy's application, the Federal Register notice of the proposed IHA (84 
FR 13252), and all associated references and documents.

Determinations

    The Navy will conduct activities as analyzed in the initial 2019 
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 initial IHA and no new information has emerged 
that would change those findings. The re-issued 2020 IHA includes 
identical required mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures as 
the initial 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) the Navy'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.
    However, no incidental take of ESA-listed species is authorized or 
expected to result from this activity. Therefore, NMFS has determined 
that formal consultation under section 7 of the ESA is not required for 
this action.

Authorization

    NMFS has issued an IHA to the Navy for in-water construction 
activities associated with the specified activity from March 1, 2020, 
through February 28, 2021. All previously described mitigation, 
monitoring, and reporting requirements from the initial 2019 IHA are 
incorporated.

    Dated: December 3, 2019.
Donna S. Wieting,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-26418 Filed 12-6-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P