Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Long Beach Cruise Terminal Improvement Project in the Port of Long Beach, California, 54943-54944 [2021-21717]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 5, 2021 / Notices Agenda DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE The Scientific and Statistical Committee will meet to review recent stock assessment information from the 2021 Groundfish Management Track Assessments and information provided by the Council’s Groundfish Plan Development Team (PDT), and recommend the overfishing limits and acceptable biological catch (ABC) for Georges Bank (GB) cod, and Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod for fishing years 2022–24. They will review information presented by the Groundfish PDT and consider recommending revised OFLs/ ABCs for GB haddock and GOM haddock for fishing year 2022. Also on the agenda is to review information presented by the Groundfish PDT and consider recommending revised OFLs/ ABCs for white hake under the recently implemented rebuilding plan for this stock. They will consider other business as necessary. Although non-emergency issues not contained on the agenda may come before this Council for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Council action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the MagnusonStevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. The public also should be aware that the meeting will be recorded. Consistent with 16 U.S.C. 1852, a copy of the recording is available upon request. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Special Accommodations This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465–0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date. (Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 Dated: September 30, 2021. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–21736 Filed 10–4–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:56 Oct 04, 2021 Jkt 256001 [RTID 0648–XB479] Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Long Beach Cruise Terminal Improvement Project in the Port of Long Beach, California 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 Carnival Corporation & PLC (Carnival) 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 Port of Long Beach Cruise Terminal Improvement Project in Port of Long Beach, California. The project has been delayed and none of the work covered in the initial IHA has been conducted. The initial IHA was effective from November 19, 2019, through November 18, 2020, and was reissued with new effective dates of December 10, 2020 through December 9, 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 third identical IHA to cover the incidental take analyzed and authorized in the initial IHA. DATES: This authorization is effective from December 10, 2021, through December 9, 2022. ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the final 2019 IHA previously issued to Carnival, Carnival’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-cruiseterminal-improvement-project-portlong-beach-ca. 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: SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 54943 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 25, 2019, NMFS published final notice of our issuance of an IHA authorizing take of marine mammals incidental to the Port of Long Beach Cruise Terminal Improvement Project (84 FR 64833). The effective dates of that IHA were November 19, 2019 through November 18, 2020. On November 24, 2020, Carnival informed NMFS that the project was delayed. Carnival submitted a request that we reissue an identical IHA that would be effective from December 10, 2020 E:\FR\FM\05OCN1.SGM 05OCN1 54944 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 5, 2021 / Notices lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with NOTICES1 through December 9, 2021, in order to conduct the construction work that was analyzed and for which take was authorized in the previously issued IHA. That IHA was issued on December 9, 2020. On September 20, 2021, Carnival notified NMFS that the project had remained delayed due to COVID–19 impacts, and requested that we re-issue an identical IHA, with effective dates from December 10, 2021 through December 9, 2022. None of the pile driving considered in the initial IHA has occurred. Therefore, reissuance 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 Carnival’s project is to make improvements to its existing berthing facilities at the Long Beach Cruise Terminal in order to accommodate a new, larger class of cruise ships. Implementation of the project requires pile driving to install two high-capacity mooring dolphins, fenders, and a new passenger bridge system, and dredging at the existing berth and the immediate surrounding area. 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, monitoring, and reporting measures are also identical to those prescribed in the initial IHA. Species that are expected to be taken by the specified activity include shortbeaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) and harbor seal (Phoca vitulina). 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. Determinations Carnival will conduct activities as analyzed in the initial 2019 IHA. As VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:56 Oct 04, 2021 Jkt 256001 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) Carnival’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. Because the only change to the IHA are effective dates, the CE on record for issuance of the initial IHA applies to this action. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 Carnival for in-water construction activities associated with the specified activity from December 10, 2021 through December 9, 2022. All previously described mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements from the initial 2019 IHA are incorporated. Dated: September 30, 2021. Kimberly Damon-Randall, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–21717 Filed 10–4–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XB487] Endangered and Threatened Species; Announcement of Workshop To Inform Recovery Planning for ESA Listed Rice’s Whale (Balaenoptera Ricei) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: We, NMFS, are convening a workshop to solicit information from experts to inform recovery planning for Rice’s whale (Balaenoptera ricei) under section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This workshop will be open to the public. DATES: Workshop dates and information: We will hold the recovery planning workshop for the Rice’s whale virtually over the course of 5 sessions in October and November 2021. • Monday, October 18, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDT) • Monday, November 1, 12 p.m.–4 p.m. EDT • Wednesday, November 10, 12 p.m.–4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) • Tuesday, November 16, 12 p.m.–4 p.m. EST • Thursday, November 18, 12 p.m.–4 p.m. EST SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\05OCN1.SGM 05OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 190 (Tuesday, October 5, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 54943-54944]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-21717]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XB479]


Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; 
Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Long Beach Cruise Terminal 
Improvement Project in the Port of Long Beach, California

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

ACTION: Notice; issuance of incidental harassment authorization.

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SUMMARY: NMFS has received a request from the Carnival Corporation & 
PLC (Carnival) 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 Port of Long Beach Cruise Terminal Improvement 
Project in Port of Long Beach, California. The project has been delayed 
and none of the work covered in the initial IHA has been conducted. The 
initial IHA was effective from November 19, 2019, through November 18, 
2020, and was re-issued with new effective dates of December 10, 2020 
through December 9, 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 third 
identical IHA to cover the incidental take analyzed and authorized in 
the initial IHA.

DATES: This authorization is effective from December 10, 2021, through 
December 9, 2022.

ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the final 2019 IHA previously issued 
to Carnival, Carnival'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-cruise-terminal-improvement-project-port-long-beach-ca. 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 November 25, 2019, NMFS published final notice of our issuance 
of an IHA authorizing take of marine mammals incidental to the Port of 
Long Beach Cruise Terminal Improvement Project (84 FR 64833). The 
effective dates of that IHA were November 19, 2019 through November 18, 
2020. On November 24, 2020, Carnival informed NMFS that the project was 
delayed. Carnival submitted a request that we reissue an identical IHA 
that would be effective from December 10, 2020

[[Page 54944]]

through December 9, 2021, in order to conduct the construction work 
that was analyzed and for which take was authorized in the previously 
issued IHA. That IHA was issued on December 9, 2020. On September 20, 
2021, Carnival notified NMFS that the project had remained delayed due 
to COVID-19 impacts, and requested that we re-issue an identical IHA, 
with effective dates from December 10, 2021 through December 9, 2022. 
None of the pile driving considered in the initial IHA has occurred. 
Therefore, reissuance 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 Carnival's project is to make improvements to its 
existing berthing facilities at the Long Beach Cruise Terminal in order 
to accommodate a new, larger class of cruise ships. Implementation of 
the project requires pile driving to install two high-capacity mooring 
dolphins, fenders, and a new passenger bridge system, and dredging at 
the existing berth and the immediate surrounding area. 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, monitoring, and reporting measures are also identical 
to those prescribed in the initial IHA.
    Species that are expected to be taken by the specified activity 
include short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), long-beaked 
common dolphin (Delphinus capensis), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops 
truncatus), California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) and harbor 
seal (Phoca vitulina). 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.

Determinations

    Carnival 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 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) Carnival'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. Because the only change to the IHA are effective 
dates, the CE on record for issuance of the initial IHA applies to this 
action.

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 Carnival for in-water construction 
activities associated with the specified activity from December 10, 
2021 through December 9, 2022. All previously described mitigation, 
monitoring, and reporting requirements from the initial 2019 IHA are 
incorporated.

    Dated: September 30, 2021.
Kimberly Damon-Randall,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-21717 Filed 10-4-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P