Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Erickson Residence Marine Access Project in Juneau, Alaska, 83520-83521 [2020-28170]

Download as PDF 83520 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 22, 2020 / Notices no later than 5 p.m. Pacific time on January 21, 2021. Comments received after this date may not be considered. ADDRESSES: Written comments on the PEPD and/or permit application should be addressed to Emi Melton; NMFS, West Coast Regional Office; 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232. Comments may be submitted by email. The mailbox address for providing email comments is: hatcheries.public.comment@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the email comment the following identifier: Comments on Skykomish River PEPD and/or permit application. The documents are available on the internet at: https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/ skykomish-summer-steelhead-hatcheryprogram-and-sunset-falls-trap-and-haulprogram. Emi Melton at (503) 736–4739 or by email at emi.melton@noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION • Puget Sound Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): threatened, naturally and artificially propagated • Puget Sound Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss): threatened, naturally and artificially propagated jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Background The Tulalip Tribes and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (collectively the co-managers) have submitted an HGMP to NMFS pursuant to limit 6 of the ESA 4(d) Rule for a summer steelhead hatchery program in the Skykomish River basin. The hatchery program is intended to contribute to fulfilling Federal tribal trust responsibilities and treaty rights guaranteed through treaties and affirmed in U.S. v. Washington (1974). It is also designed to contribute to the survival and recovery of Puget Sound steelhead and produce summer steelhead for sustainable fisheries. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has also submitted an ESA section 10(a)(1)(A) permit application for a trap and haul program in the Skykomish River basin. The trap and haul program traps various species of salmon, steelhead, and trout, and hauls them above Sunset Falls to provide better habitat for these species. Authority 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 742a et seq.; § 222.303 also issued under 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq. 17:30 Dec 21, 2020 Jkt 253001 [FR Doc. 2020–28229 Filed 12–21–20; 8:45 am] 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: BILLING CODE 3510–22–P Background DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XA700] Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Erickson Residence Marine Access Project in Juneau, Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA). AGENCY: NMFS has received a request from Jim Erickson for the re-issuance of a previously issued incidental harassment authorization with the only change being effective dates. The initial IHA authorized take of seven species of marine mammals, by Level A and Level B harassment, incidental to construction associated with the Erickson Residence Marine Access Project in Juneau, Alaska. The project has been delayed and none of the work covered in the initial IHA has been conducted. The initial IHA was effective from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Mr. Erickson has requested re-issuance with new effective dates of January 1, 2021 through December 31, 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 identical IHA to cover the incidental take analyzed and authorized in the initial IHA. DATES: This authorization is effective from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the final 2020 IHA previously issued to Mr. Erickson, Mr. Erickson’s application, and the Federal Register notices proposing and issuing the initial IHA may be obtained by visiting https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/ incidental-take-authorization-ericksonresidence-marine-access-project-aukebay-alaska. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call SUMMARY: ESA-Listed Species Covered in This Notice VerDate Sep<11>2014 Dated: December 17, 2020. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. PO 00000 Frm 00011 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 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 November 27, 2019, NMFS published final notice of our issuance of an IHA authorizing take of marine mammals incidental to the Erickson Residence Marine Access Project (84 FR 65360). The effective dates of that IHA E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 22, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES were January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. On December 2, 2020, Mr. Erickson informed NMFS that the project was delayed. None of the work identified in the initial IHA (e.g., pile driving and removal) has occurred. Mr. Erickson submitted a request for a new identical IHA that would be effective from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 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. Mr. Erickson plans to replace his private moorage facility in Auke Bay in Juneau, Alaska to provide a safer, more accessible and secure dock. Six 12- to 16-inch (in) timber piles will be removed using a vibratory hammer, and six steel pipe piles (four 12.75-in steel pipe piles and two 20-in steel pipe piles) will be installed using vibratory and impact hammers over the course of up to eight days. Of those eight days, impact pile driving may occur on up to four days and vibratory pile removal and installation may occur on up to six days. Drilling may be required to install the larger diameter steel piles. If required, drilling may occur on up to two days. Vibratory pile removal and installation, impact pile installation, and drilling would introduce underwater sounds at levels that may result in take, by Level A and Level B harassment, of marine mammals in Auke Bay. The location, timing, and nature of the activities, including the types of equipment planned for use, are identical to 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), Dall’s porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli), harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), and killer whale (Orcinus orca). 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Dec 21, 2020 Jkt 253001 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 2020 IHA for Mr. Erickson’s construction work (84 FR 65360; November 27, 2019), Mr. Erickson’s application, the Federal Register notice of the proposed IHA (84 FR 50387; September 25, 2019), and all associated references and documents. Determinations Mr. Erickson will conduct activities as analyzed in the initial 2020 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 2021 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) Mr. Erickson’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 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 83521 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, in this case with the Alaska Regional Office, whenever we propose to authorize take for endangered or threatened species. The effects of this proposed Federal action were adequately analyzed in NMFS’ Biological Opinion for the Erickson Residence Marine Access Project, dated November 15, 2019, which concluded that the take NMFS proposed to authorize through this IHA would not jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or destroy or adversely modify any designated critical habitat. Authorization NMFS has issued an IHA to Jim Erickson for in-water construction activities associated with the specified activity from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. All previously described mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements from the initial 2020 IHA are incorporated. Dated: December 16, 2020. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–28170 Filed 12–21–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 246 (Tuesday, December 22, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 83520-83521]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-28170]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XA700]


Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; 
Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Erickson Residence Marine Access 
Project in Juneau, Alaska

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

ACTION: Notice; issuance of Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA).

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SUMMARY: NMFS has received a request from Jim Erickson for the re-
issuance of a previously issued incidental harassment authorization 
with the only change being effective dates. The initial IHA authorized 
take of seven species of marine mammals, by Level A and Level B 
harassment, incidental to construction associated with the Erickson 
Residence Marine Access Project in Juneau, Alaska. The project has been 
delayed and none of the work covered in the initial IHA has been 
conducted. The initial IHA was effective from January 1, 2020 through 
December 31, 2020. Mr. Erickson has requested re-issuance with new 
effective dates of January 1, 2021 through December 31, 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 identical IHA to cover the incidental take 
analyzed and authorized in the initial IHA.

DATES: This authorization is effective from January 1, 2021 through 
December 31, 2021.

ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the final 2020 IHA previously issued 
to Mr. Erickson, Mr. Erickson's application, and the Federal Register 
notices proposing and issuing the initial IHA may be obtained by 
visiting https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/incidental-take-authorization-erickson-residence-marine-access-project-auke-bay-alaska. 
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 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 November 27, 2019, NMFS published final notice of our issuance 
of an IHA authorizing take of marine mammals incidental to the Erickson 
Residence Marine Access Project (84 FR 65360). The effective dates of 
that IHA

[[Page 83521]]

were January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. On December 2, 2020, 
Mr. Erickson informed NMFS that the project was delayed. None of the 
work identified in the initial IHA (e.g., pile driving and removal) has 
occurred. Mr. Erickson submitted a request for a new identical IHA that 
would be effective from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 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.
    Mr. Erickson plans to replace his private moorage facility in Auke 
Bay in Juneau, Alaska to provide a safer, more accessible and secure 
dock. Six 12- to 16-inch (in) timber piles will be removed using a 
vibratory hammer, and six steel pipe piles (four 12.75-in steel pipe 
piles and two 20-in steel pipe piles) will be installed using vibratory 
and impact hammers over the course of up to eight days. Of those eight 
days, impact pile driving may occur on up to four days and vibratory 
pile removal and installation may occur on up to six days. Drilling may 
be required to install the larger diameter steel piles. If required, 
drilling may occur on up to two days. Vibratory pile removal and 
installation, impact pile installation, and drilling would introduce 
underwater sounds at levels that may result in take, by Level A and 
Level B harassment, of marine mammals in Auke Bay. The location, 
timing, and nature of the activities, including the types of equipment 
planned for use, are identical to 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), Dall's porpoise 
(Phocoenoides dalli), harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), Steller sea lion 
(Eumetopias jubatus), California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), 
humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), minke whale (Balaenoptera 
acutorostrata), and killer whale (Orcinus orca). 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 2020 IHA for Mr. Erickson's construction work (84 FR 65360; 
November 27, 2019), Mr. Erickson's application, the Federal Register 
notice of the proposed IHA (84 FR 50387; September 25, 2019), and all 
associated references and documents.

Determinations

    Mr. Erickson will conduct activities as analyzed in the initial 
2020 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 2021 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) Mr. 
Erickson'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, in this case with the Alaska Regional Office, 
whenever we propose to authorize take for endangered or threatened 
species.
    The effects of this proposed Federal action were adequately 
analyzed in NMFS' Biological Opinion for the Erickson Residence Marine 
Access Project, dated November 15, 2019, which concluded that the take 
NMFS proposed to authorize through this IHA would not jeopardize the 
continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or destroy 
or adversely modify any designated critical habitat.

Authorization

    NMFS has issued an IHA to Jim Erickson for in-water construction 
activities associated with the specified activity from January 1, 2021 
through December 31, 2021. All previously described mitigation, 
monitoring, and reporting requirements from the initial 2020 IHA are 
incorporated.

    Dated: December 16, 2020.
Donna S. Wieting,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-28170 Filed 12-21-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P