Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Oil and Gas Activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, 19228 [2021-07479]

Download as PDF 19228 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 69 / Tuesday, April 13, 2021 / Notices research priorities; (f) new FEP initiatives, and (g) other business. The agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted at https:// meetings.npfmc.org/Meeting/Details/ 2024 prior to the meeting, along with meeting materials. Connection Information You can attend the meeting online using a computer, tablet, or smartphone; or by phone only. Connection information will be posted online at: https://meetings.npfmc.org/Meeting/ Details/2024. Public Comment Public comment letters will be accepted and should be submitted electronically to https:// meetings.npfmc.org/Meeting/Details/ 2024. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: April 8, 2021. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–07532 Filed 4–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XA994] Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Oil and Gas Activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of Letter of Authorization. AGENCY: Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, NMFS issued a Letter of Authorization (LOA) to Hilcorp Alaska LLC (Hilcorp) to take marine mammals incidental to oil and gas activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska. DATES: Applicable until March 30, 2022. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sara Young, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: Background Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce (as delegated to NMFS) to allow, upon request, the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:42 Apr 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 incidental take authorization 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 NMFS issued regulations governing the take of 11 species of marine mammal, by Level A and Level B harassment, incidental to Hilcorp’s oil and gas activities on July 31, 2019 (84 FR 37442). These regulations include mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements for the incidental take of marine mammals during the specified activities. As further detailed in the regulations (50 CFR 217.167), adaptive management measures allow NMFS to modify or renew LOAs as necessary if doing so creates a reasonable likelihood of more effective mitigation and monitoring. NMFS issued the first LOA to Hilcorp under these regulations on July 31, 2019. NMFS published a Federal Register notice seeking public comment on its proposal to modify the Year 1 LOA issued to Hilcorp on August PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 16, 2019 (84 FR 41957) and published a notice of modification on October 4, 2019 (84 FR 53119). The Year 1 LOA expired on July 30, 2020. To better align with the open water season, Hilcorp applied for their Year 2 LOA with a start date of April 1, 2020, rather than waiting until the expiration of their Year 1 LOA in July 2020. NMFS reviewed the application and issued the Year 2 LOA on April 22, 2020. Hilcorp submitted an application for their Year 3 LOA on January 2021 and the LOA was subsequently issued on March 30, 2021. Authorization NMFS has issued a LOA (available at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/ incidental-take-authorization-hilcorpalaska-llc-oil-and-gas-activities-cookinlet-alaska) to Hilcorp Alaska LLC for the potential harassment of small numbers of four marine mammal species incidental to oil and gas activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, provided the mitigation, monitoring and reporting requirements of the rulemaking are incorporated. Dated: April 7, 2021. Catherine Marzin. Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–07479 Filed 4–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XA990] Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) via webinar. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. DATES: The SSC meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, from Tuesday, April 27, 2021 through Thursday, April 29, 2021 and Monday, May 3, 2021. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held via webinar. Council address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13APN1.SGM 13APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 69 (Tuesday, April 13, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Page 19228]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-07479]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XA994]


Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; 
Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Oil and Gas Activities in Cook 
Inlet, Alaska

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

ACTION: Notice; issuance of Letter of Authorization.

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SUMMARY: Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as 
amended, and implementing regulations, NMFS issued a Letter of 
Authorization (LOA) to Hilcorp Alaska LLC (Hilcorp) to take marine 
mammals incidental to oil and gas activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

DATES: Applicable until March 30, 2022.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the 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 incidental take authorization 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

    NMFS issued regulations governing the take of 11 species of marine 
mammal, by Level A and Level B harassment, incidental to Hilcorp's oil 
and gas activities on July 31, 2019 (84 FR 37442). These regulations 
include mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements for the 
incidental take of marine mammals during the specified activities. As 
further detailed in the regulations (50 CFR 217.167), adaptive 
management measures allow NMFS to modify or renew LOAs as necessary if 
doing so creates a reasonable likelihood of more effective mitigation 
and monitoring. NMFS issued the first LOA to Hilcorp under these 
regulations on July 31, 2019. NMFS published a Federal Register notice 
seeking public comment on its proposal to modify the Year 1 LOA issued 
to Hilcorp on August 16, 2019 (84 FR 41957) and published a notice of 
modification on October 4, 2019 (84 FR 53119). The Year 1 LOA expired 
on July 30, 2020. To better align with the open water season, Hilcorp 
applied for their Year 2 LOA with a start date of April 1, 2020, rather 
than waiting until the expiration of their Year 1 LOA in July 2020. 
NMFS reviewed the application and issued the Year 2 LOA on April 22, 
2020. Hilcorp submitted an application for their Year 3 LOA on January 
2021 and the LOA was subsequently issued on March 30, 2021.

Authorization

    NMFS has issued a LOA (available at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/incidental-take-authorization-hilcorp-alaska-llc-oil-and-gas-activities-cook-inlet-alaska) to Hilcorp Alaska LLC for the potential 
harassment of small numbers of four marine mammal species incidental to 
oil and gas activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, provided the mitigation, 
monitoring and reporting requirements of the rulemaking are 
incorporated.

    Dated: April 7, 2021.
Catherine Marzin.
Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-07479 Filed 4-12-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P