Endangered Species; File No. 23148, 42359-42360 [2020-15140]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 135 / Tuesday, July 14, 2020 / Notices Dated: July 8, 2020. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–15105 Filed 7–13–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XA276] Endangered Species; File No. 23148 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of permit. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) (No. 23148) to Exelon Generating Company, LLC, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended, for the incidental take of shortnose (Acipenser brevirostrum) and Atlantic (Acipenser oxyrinchus) sturgeon associated with the otherwise lawful operation of the Eddystone Generating Station in Eddystone, PA. The permit is issued for a duration of 10 years. ADDRESSES: The incidental take permit, final environmental assessment, and other related documents are available on the NMFS Office of Protected Resources website at https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/ incidental-take-permit-eddystonegenerating-station. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Celeste Stout, phone: (301) 427–8436; email: Celeste.Stout@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the ESA and Federal regulations prohibits the ‘taking’ of a species listed as endangered or threatened. The ESA defines ‘‘take’’ to mean harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. NMFS may issue permits, under limited circumstances to take listed species when the takes are incidental to, and not the purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA provides for authorizing incidental take of listed species. The regulations for issuing incidental take permits for threatened and endangered species are promulgated at 50 CFR 222.307. SUMMARY: Background Exelon Generating Company, LLC, owns Eddystone Generating Station (the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 Jul 13, 2020 Jkt 250001 facility), a natural gas/fuel oil-fired electric power generating facility that operates as a peaking plant, (i.e., typically running at higher levels of generation capacity during the summer and winter periods). The facility is located at 1 Industrial Highway Eddystone, PA 19022. The facility presently consists of two natural gas/ fuel oil-fired electric generating units that are steam-electric generators. Cooling water for each unit is withdrawn from the Delaware River through a cooling water intake structure (CWIS), which is located along the west shore of the River, directly in front of the facility. Exelon conducted entrainment sampling at the facility in 2005–2006, 2016, and 2017. One Atlantic sturgeon yolk-sac larva was collected in May 2017. Thus, Exelon determined it was necessary to apply for an ITP in accordance with the requirements under Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA. NMFS received a draft permit application from Exelon on June 28, 2018. Based on our review of the draft application, we requested further information and clarification. On December 21, 2018, Exelon submitted an application. Based on review of the updated application, NMFS and Exelon held further discussions regarding what needed to be incorporated in the Conservation Plan. On June 21, 2019, Exelon submitted a revised application and Conservation Plan. This application was considered complete and on July 16, 2019, NMFS published a notice of receipt of the Exelon application for the Eddystone facility in the Federal Register (84 FR 33924). The comment period ended on August 15, 2019. No comments were received. An additional notice was published in the Federal Register (84 FR 65970) and was published on December 2, 2019 to allow other agencies and the public the opportunity to review and comment on the draft Environmental Assessment (EA). The comment period closed on January 2, 2020. Two comments were received on the EA. One commenter was opposed to the killing of any sturgeon. This is not consistent with the ESA, which allows for the incidental take of listed species if certain criteria are met and a permit is issued by NMFS. The other commenter seemed confused regarding the requirements of the ITP and advised the Agency to select the no action alternative in the draft EA, so that Eddystone could continue to monitor interactions with sturgeon. However, it is the issuance of the ITP that will require Eddystone to monitor PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 42359 interactions with sturgeon, not the no action alternative. Conservation Plan Section 10 of the ESA specifies that no permit may be issued unless an applicant submits an adequate conservation plan. The conservation plan prepared by Exelon Generation Company, LLC, describes measures to monitor, minimize and mitigate the impacts of incidental takes of ESA-listed shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon. To avoid and minimize take of sturgeon, Exelon will only operate Eddystone’s circulating water pumps (CWPs): When the station is generating electricity; for incidental maintenance or testing (generally once per month) (referred to collectively as ‘‘Essential Station Operations’’); or as required by a governmental agency or other entity with jurisdiction to require operations. Depending on station generation and ambient water temperatures, Exelon will also limit operations to one CWP per unit when possible. In addition, Exelon will rely on the river water pumps (RWPs), which intakes less water than Eddystone’s other CWP, to provide cooling water for other critical station operations outside of Essential Station Operations. These measures will avoid and minimize the incidental take of sturgeon due to entrainment or impingement by eliminating or reducing water withdrawals at times when such withdrawals are not specifically required for Essential Station Operations or for governmental agencymandated use. Additionally, Exelon will make all reasonable efforts to schedule fuel oil deliveries outside March 15– July 15. Continued monitoring related to the take of shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon will be ongoing and funding will be provided through the facility’s annual operating budget. Permit 23148 NMFS authorizes the following lethal incidental takes: New York Bight DPS Atlantic Sturgeon Vessel Strike: 1 sub-adult/adult over 10 years. Entrainment: 27,000 larvae per year, which is equivalent to 2 age-1 equivalents per year. Impingement: 5 young of the year (YOY)/sub-adults per year. Total: 1 sub-adult/adult, 270,000 larvae, and 50 YOY/sub-adults over 10 years. Shortnose Sturgeon Impingement: 5 YOY/sub-adults per year. E:\FR\FM\14JYN1.SGM 14JYN1 42360 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 135 / Tuesday, July 14, 2020 / Notices Total: 50 YOY/sub-adults over 10 years. The first 3-years of monitoring data collected under the permit will be analyzed to verify the requested total annual incidental take. As data are gathered and analyzed through monitoring, NMFS may amend the permit to reflect any changes in the take estimate, if appropriate. National Environmental Policy Act Issuing an ESA section 10(a)(1)(B) permit constitutes a Federal action requiring NMFS to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) as implemented by 40 CFR parts 1500– 1508 and NOAA Administrative Order 216–6, Environmental Review Procedures for Implementing the National Policy Act (1999). NMFS prepared an EA to consider a range of reasonable alternatives and fully evaluate the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts likely to result from the authorization of this permit. NMFS found that issuing the ITP would have no significant impacts on the quality of the environment. Dated: July 9, 2020. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–15140 Filed 7–13–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Davidson Fellowship The Department of Commerce will submit the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, on or after the date of publication of this notice. We invite the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed, and continuing information collections, which helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register on April 2, 2020, during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 Jul 13, 2020 Jkt 250001 Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Title: Davidson Fellowship. OMB Control Number: 0648–XXXX. Form Number(s): None. Type of Request: Regular submission, new information collection. Number of Respondents: 519. Average Hours per Response: 8 minutes per survey. Total Annual Burden Hours: 25 hours. Needs and Uses: The Office for Coastal Management (OCM) in the National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce is funding a new, two-year fellowship program called the ‘‘FY20– 21 Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System’’ (Davidson Fellowship). Funding is being made available through a competitive process to master’s and doctoral students actively enrolled in a graduate program at an accredited university, through the use of a cooperative agreement to the university. The goals of the Davidson Fellowship are to build the next generation of leaders in estuarine science and coastal management by affording qualified graduate students the opportunity to conduct collaborative science within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System; partake in professional development opportunities; and receive mentoring to support professional growth. The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a national program administered by the Office for Coastal Management. The National Estuarine Reserve System has an interest in balancing the needs of the natural environment and coastal economies and is one of the primary programs responsible for implementing the Coastal Zone Management Act. All Davidson Fellowship projects must be conducted in a research reserve and should be designed to contribute to one of the reserve’s priority management areas, and thus enhance the scientific understanding of the natural or social science aspects of the research subject matter. One fellow was selected in Spring 2020 for each of the 29 reserves for a two-year duration. Mentoring and professional development activities will be provided to build knowledge and skills needed to successfully contribute to the workforce responsible for the coast. These opportunities are also designed to create a strong network among the fellows during their tenure and into the early portion of their careers. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The purpose of this information collection is to gather information on the effectiveness of the Davidson Fellowship program in reaching the desired outcomes, so that we can adaptively manage and make continuous improvements to the program. This information collection will take place initially in Fall 2020, as the first cohort of fellows begins their program, and will gather information from selected fellows, their faculty advisors, contacts from each university’s sponsored program office, reserve staff, and NOAA federal and contract staff supporting the Davidson Fellowship program. It will take place again in Fall 2022, as the second cohort of fellows begins their program and the first cohort of fellows finishes, and will gather information from selected fellows, their faculty advisors, contacts from each university’s sponsored program office, reserve staff, and NOAA federal and contract staff supporting the Davidson Fellowship program. More information on the fellowship can be found at this link: Davidson Fellowship website. Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions; State government; Federal government. Frequency: Incoming Fellows, Outgoing Fellows, and Introductory surveys: once; Full surveys: Biennially. Respondent’s Obligation: Voluntary. Legal Authority: Section 315 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended CZMA, 16 U.S.C. 1461, establishes the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS). 16 U.S.C. 1461 (e)(1)(B) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to make grants to any coastal state or public or private person for purposes of supporting research and monitoring within a National Estuarine Research Reserve that are consistent with the research guidelines developed under subsection (c). This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view the Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be submitted within 30 days of the publication of this notice on the following website www.reginfo.gov/ public/do/PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by selecting ‘‘Currently under 30-day Review—Open for Public Comments’’ or E:\FR\FM\14JYN1.SGM 14JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 135 (Tuesday, July 14, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 42359-42360]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-15140]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XA276]


Endangered Species; File No. 23148

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

ACTION: Notice; issuance of permit.

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SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Take 
Permit (ITP) (No. 23148) to Exelon Generating Company, LLC, pursuant to 
the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended, for the 
incidental take of shortnose (Acipenser brevirostrum) and Atlantic 
(Acipenser oxyrinchus) sturgeon associated with the otherwise lawful 
operation of the Eddystone Generating Station in Eddystone, PA. The 
permit is issued for a duration of 10 years.

ADDRESSES: The incidental take permit, final environmental assessment, 
and other related documents are available on the NMFS Office of 
Protected Resources website at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/incidental-take-permit-eddystone-generating-station.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Celeste Stout, phone: (301) 427-8436; 
email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 9 of the ESA and Federal regulations 
prohibits the `taking' of a species listed as endangered or threatened. 
The ESA defines ``take'' to mean harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, 
wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any 
such conduct. NMFS may issue permits, under limited circumstances to 
take listed species when the takes are incidental to, and not the 
purpose of, otherwise lawful activities. Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA 
provides for authorizing incidental take of listed species. The 
regulations for issuing incidental take permits for threatened and 
endangered species are promulgated at 50 CFR 222.307.

Background

    Exelon Generating Company, LLC, owns Eddystone Generating Station 
(the facility), a natural gas/fuel oil-fired electric power generating 
facility that operates as a peaking plant, (i.e., typically running at 
higher levels of generation capacity during the summer and winter 
periods). The facility is located at 1 Industrial Highway Eddystone, PA 
19022. The facility presently consists of two natural gas/fuel oil-
fired electric generating units that are steam-electric generators. 
Cooling water for each unit is withdrawn from the Delaware River 
through a cooling water intake structure (CWIS), which is located along 
the west shore of the River, directly in front of the facility. Exelon 
conducted entrainment sampling at the facility in 2005-2006, 2016, and 
2017. One Atlantic sturgeon yolk-sac larva was collected in May 2017. 
Thus, Exelon determined it was necessary to apply for an ITP in 
accordance with the requirements under Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA.
    NMFS received a draft permit application from Exelon on June 28, 
2018. Based on our review of the draft application, we requested 
further information and clarification. On December 21, 2018, Exelon 
submitted an application. Based on review of the updated application, 
NMFS and Exelon held further discussions regarding what needed to be 
incorporated in the Conservation Plan. On June 21, 2019, Exelon 
submitted a revised application and Conservation Plan. This application 
was considered complete and on July 16, 2019, NMFS published a notice 
of receipt of the Exelon application for the Eddystone facility in the 
Federal Register (84 FR 33924). The comment period ended on August 15, 
2019. No comments were received. An additional notice was published in 
the Federal Register (84 FR 65970) and was published on December 2, 
2019 to allow other agencies and the public the opportunity to review 
and comment on the draft Environmental Assessment (EA). The comment 
period closed on January 2, 2020. Two comments were received on the EA. 
One commenter was opposed to the killing of any sturgeon. This is not 
consistent with the ESA, which allows for the incidental take of listed 
species if certain criteria are met and a permit is issued by NMFS. The 
other commenter seemed confused regarding the requirements of the ITP 
and advised the Agency to select the no action alternative in the draft 
EA, so that Eddystone could continue to monitor interactions with 
sturgeon. However, it is the issuance of the ITP that will require 
Eddystone to monitor interactions with sturgeon, not the no action 
alternative.

Conservation Plan

    Section 10 of the ESA specifies that no permit may be issued unless 
an applicant submits an adequate conservation plan. The conservation 
plan prepared by Exelon Generation Company, LLC, describes measures to 
monitor, minimize and mitigate the impacts of incidental takes of ESA-
listed shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon. To avoid and minimize take of 
sturgeon, Exelon will only operate Eddystone's circulating water pumps 
(CWPs): When the station is generating electricity; for incidental 
maintenance or testing (generally once per month) (referred to 
collectively as ``Essential Station Operations''); or as required by a 
governmental agency or other entity with jurisdiction to require 
operations. Depending on station generation and ambient water 
temperatures, Exelon will also limit operations to one CWP per unit 
when possible. In addition, Exelon will rely on the river water pumps 
(RWPs), which intakes less water than Eddystone's other CWP, to provide 
cooling water for other critical station operations outside of 
Essential Station Operations. These measures will avoid and minimize 
the incidental take of sturgeon due to entrainment or impingement by 
eliminating or reducing water withdrawals at times when such 
withdrawals are not specifically required for Essential Station 
Operations or for governmental agency-mandated use. Additionally, 
Exelon will make all reasonable efforts to schedule fuel oil deliveries 
outside March 15-July 15. Continued monitoring related to the take of 
shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon will be ongoing and funding will be 
provided through the facility's annual operating budget.

Permit 23148

    NMFS authorizes the following lethal incidental takes:

New York Bight DPS Atlantic Sturgeon

    Vessel Strike: 1 sub-adult/adult over 10 years.
    Entrainment: 27,000 larvae per year, which is equivalent to 2 age-1 
equivalents per year.
    Impingement: 5 young of the year (YOY)/sub-adults per year.
    Total: 1 sub-adult/adult, 270,000 larvae, and 50 YOY/sub-adults 
over 10 years.

Shortnose Sturgeon

    Impingement: 5 YOY/sub-adults per year.

[[Page 42360]]

    Total: 50 YOY/sub-adults over 10 years.
    The first 3-years of monitoring data collected under the permit 
will be analyzed to verify the requested total annual incidental take. 
As data are gathered and analyzed through monitoring, NMFS may amend 
the permit to reflect any changes in the take estimate, if appropriate.

National Environmental Policy Act

    Issuing an ESA section 10(a)(1)(B) permit constitutes a Federal 
action requiring NMFS to comply with the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) as implemented by 40 CFR parts 1500-
1508 and NOAA Administrative Order 216-6, Environmental Review 
Procedures for Implementing the National Policy Act (1999). NMFS 
prepared an EA to consider a range of reasonable alternatives and fully 
evaluate the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts likely to result 
from the authorization of this permit. NMFS found that issuing the ITP 
would have no significant impacts on the quality of the environment.

    Dated: July 9, 2020.
Angela Somma,
Chief, Endangered Species Conservation Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-15140 Filed 7-13-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P