Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Coast Guard's Base Los Angeles/Long Beach Wharf Expansion Project, Los Angeles, California, 73257-73259 [2021-27993]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Notices Special Accommodations The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) 5 days prior to the meeting. Note: The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 21, 2021. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–28011 Filed 12–23–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XB673] South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council); Public Meetings National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce ACTION: Notice of scoping meetings and open public comment. AGENCY: The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a series of scoping meetings via webinar pertaining to Amendments 51, 52, and 53 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region. The amendments adjust catch levels for snowy grouper, golden tilefish, and gag based on results of the latest stock assessments for those species, respectively, and consider adjusting management measures where needed. In addition, Amendment 52 considers changes to recreational accountability and management measures for blueline tilefish. The Council is also soliciting input on ways to reduce the number of released fish and improve the survival of released fish by the snapper grouper fishery in the South Atlantic region. The Council intends to develop a Release Mortality Reduction Framework Amendment to address this issue across the fishery and revise red snapper catch levels. DATES: The scoping meetings for Amendments 51, 52, and 53 will be held via webinar on February 1, 2 and 3, 2022. Comments on approaches to curb release mortality are being solicited online only at this time to assist the Council in narrowing down options that can be explored further. Scoping khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:11 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 hearings for the resulting amendment will be held later in 2022. ADDRESSES: Council address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N Charleston, SC 29405. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kim Iverson, Public Information Officer, SAFMC; phone: (843) 571–4366 or toll free: (866) SAFMC–10; fax: (843) 769– 4520; email: kim.iverson@safmc.net. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The scoping meetings for Amendments 51, 52, and 53 will be conducted via webinar. The scoping meetings will begin at 6 p.m. Registration for the webinars is required. Registration information, a summary of the issues to be scoped, an online public comment form and any additional information will be posted on the Council’s website at https://safmc.net/safmc-meetings/ public-hearings-scoping-meetings/ by January 18, 2022. An online public comment form to gather input on approaches to reduce release mortality in the snapper grouper fishery will be posted on the Council’s website at: https://safmc.net/safmcmeetings/public-hearings-scopingmeetings/. Public comments on all the topics must be received by 5 p.m. on February 4, 2022. Amendment 51 to the Snapper Grouper FMP The Council must adjust catch levels for snowy grouper in response to the most recent stock assessment for the species in the region conducted through the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) stock assessment process, SEDAR 36 Update (2020). The assessment indicated the stock continues to be overfished and is undergoing overfishing. A rebuilding plan is already in place for snowy grouper; however, catch levels must be adjusted based on the new acceptable biological catch recommended by the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). In addition, the Council is considering modifications to annual catch limits, sector allocations, accountability measures, and management measures. Amendment 52 to the Snapper Grouper FMP The stock of golden tilefish in the South Atlantic was most recently assessed through SEDAR 66 (2020), which indicated the stock is not overfished nor undergoing overfishing but is near the overfishing threshold. The Council must adjust catch levels based on the new recommended acceptable biological catch, review PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 73257 sector allocations, and consider whether other modifications to the management of golden tilefish are needed at this time. In the same amendment, the Council is also considering revising recreational management measures and accountability measures for blueline tilefish. Amendment 53 to the Snapper Grouper FMP Results of SEDAR 71 (2021) indicated the gag stock in the South Atlantic is overfished and undergoing overfishing. A rebuilding plan is being considered in this amendment to rebuild the stock and adjust fishing mortality to end overfishing. In addition to adjusting catch levels and sector allocations, the Council is exploring modifications to management measures and accountability measures. During the scoping meetings, Council staff will present an overview of the issues and will be available to answer questions via webinar. Members of the public will have an opportunity to go on record to provide their comments for consideration by the Council. Special Accommodations These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 days prior to the meeting. Note: The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 21, 2021. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–28013 Filed 12–23–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XB664] Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Base Los Angeles/Long Beach Wharf Expansion Project, Los Angeles, California National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of incidental harassment authorization. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\27DEN1.SGM 27DEN1 73258 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Notices NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Coast Guard (Coast Guard) 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 Base Los Angeles/ Long Beach Wharf Expansion Project in Los Angeles, California. The project has been delayed and none of the work covered in the initial IHA has been conducted. The Coast Guard has requested re-issuance with new effective dates of February 1, 2022 through January 31, 2023. 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 February 1, 2022 through January 31, 2023. ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the final 2021 IHA previously issued to the Coast Guard, the re-issued IHA, the original 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-uscoast-guard-base-los-angeles-wharfexpansion-ca. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed below (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dwayne Meadows, Ph.D., Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427– 8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:11 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 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 December 11, 2020, NMFS published final notice of our issuance of an IHA authorizing take of marine mammals incidental to the Base Los Angeles/Long Beach Wharf Expansion Project (85 FR 80044). The effective dates of that IHA were February 1, 2021, through January 31, 2022. On March 16, 2021, the Coast Guard informed NMFS that the project was delayed. None of the work identified in the initial IHA (e.g., pile driving) has occurred. The Coast Guard submitted a request for a new identical IHA that would be effective from February 1, 2022 through January 31, 2023, 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 Coast Guard’s construction project is to expand the existing wharf and other base PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 infrastructure for hosting two additional offshore patrol cutters. The location, timing, and nature of the activities, including the types of equipment planned for use, are identical 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 seals (Phoca vitulina), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus). 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 2021 IHA for the Coast Guard’s construction work (85 FR 80044), the Coast Guard’s application, the Federal Register notice of the proposed IHA (85 FR 66939; October 21, 2020), and all associated references and documents. Determinations The Coast Guard will conduct activities as analyzed in the initial 2021 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 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 E:\FR\FM\27DEN1.SGM 27DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 245 / Monday, December 27, 2021 / Notices mammals relative to the affected stock abundances; and (4) GCHS’ activities will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on taking for subsistence purposes as subsistence harvest of harbor seals and other marine mammals is rare in the area and local subsistence users have not expressed concern about this project. 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. 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. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Authorization NMFS has issued an IHA to the Coast Guard for in-water construction activities associated with the specified activity from February 1, 2022 through January 31, 2023. All previously described mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements from the initial 2021 IHA are incorporated. Dated: December 21, 2021. Kimberly Damon-Randall, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–27993 Filed 12–23–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:11 Dec 23, 2021 Jkt 256001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XB680] Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of hybrid meeting. AGENCY: The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a four-day meeting to consider actions affecting the Gulf of Mexico fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The meeting is open to the public offering both in-person and virtual options for participation. DATES: The meeting will convene Monday, January 24 through Wednesday, January 26, 2022, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., CST and on Thursday, January 27, 2022, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., CST. ADDRESSES: Meeting address: The meeting will take place at Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, located at 201 Lafayette Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70801. Please note, inperson meeting attendees will be expected to follow any current COVID– 19 safety protocols as determined by the Council, hotel and the City of Baton Rouge. Such precautions may include masks, room capacity restrictions, and/ or social distancing. If you prefer to ‘‘listen in’’, you may access the log-on information by visiting our website at www.gulfcouncil.org. Council address: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 4107 W. Spruce Street, Suite 200, Tampa, FL 33607; telephone: (813) 348–1630. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Carrie Simmons, Executive Director, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; telephone: (813) 348–1630. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Monday, January 24, 2022; 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m., CST The meeting will begin open to the public in a Full Council Session to hold an Election of Council Vice-Chair, and review and adoption of the revised Council Committee Assignments for October 2021 through August 2022. Committee sessions will begin approximately 8:15 a.m. with the Habitat Protection and Restoration Committee receiving a presentation from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on Wind Energy PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 73259 Development in the Gulf of Mexico, review of Essential Fish Habitat Generic Amendment and Draft Response Letter to NOAA Request for Comments on the Area-Based Management Goals Related to Executive Order 14008. The Outreach and Education Committee will receive a presentation on 2021 Communications Analytics and Updated 2021 Communications Improvement Plan, draft Social Media Guidelines, draft Public Comment Guidelines, draft Press Release Guidelines, and the 2022 Communications Improvement Plan. The Committee will discuss remaining items form the Outreach and Education Technical Committee and receive a presentation on Summary of Discard and Barotrauma Reduction Efforts Across the Region. The Shrimp Committee will review National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) Evaluation of Draft Approval Specifications for Reinstituting Historical cELB Program, Updated Draft Framework Action: Modification of the Vessel Position Data Collection Program for the Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Fishery, and summary of the Shrimp Advisory Panel Meeting. The Mackerel Committee will review and discuss Coastal Migratory Pelagics Landings, Draft Amendment 33: Modifications to the Gulf of Mexico Migratory Group King Mackerel Catch Limits and Sector Allocations, and Draft Amendment 34: Atlantic Migratory Group King Mackerel Catch Levels and Atlantic King and Spanish Mackerel Management Measures. Tuesday, January 25, 2022; 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m., CST The Reef Fish Committee will convene to review Reef Fish Landings and Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Landings and Final Action: Framework Action: Modification of Vermillion Snapper Catch Limits. Following, the Committee will receive presentations on SEDAR 70: Greater Amberjack Stock Assessment Report and SEDAR 72: Gag Grouper Stock Assessment Report, and discuss SSC Recommendations and Reef Fish Advisory Panel Feedback for both. The Committee will also discuss the Council Request for State Reef Fish Survey (SRFS) Integration and Update Assessment for SEDAR 72: Gag Grouper. The Committee will review Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Programs, Focus Group Formation and next steps and Public Hearing Draft: Reef Fish Amendment 36B. The Committee will receive an update on Draft Snapper Grouper Amendment 44 and Reef Fish Amendment 55: Modifications to Southeastern U.S. Yellowtail Snapper E:\FR\FM\27DEN1.SGM 27DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 245 (Monday, December 27, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 73257-73259]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-27993]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XB664]


Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; 
Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Coast Guard's Base Los 
Angeles/Long Beach Wharf Expansion Project, Los Angeles, California

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

ACTION: Notice; issuance of incidental harassment authorization.

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

[[Page 73258]]

SUMMARY: NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Coast Guard (Coast 
Guard) 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 Base Los Angeles/Long Beach Wharf Expansion Project in Los Angeles, 
California. The project has been delayed and none of the work covered 
in the initial IHA has been conducted. The Coast Guard has requested 
re-issuance with new effective dates of February 1, 2022 through 
January 31, 2023. 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 February 1, 2022 through 
January 31, 2023.

ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the final 2021 IHA previously issued 
to the Coast Guard, the re-issued IHA, the original 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-us-coast-guard-base-los-angeles-wharf-expansion-ca. In case of problems accessing these documents, please 
call the contact listed below (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dwayne Meadows, Ph.D., 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 December 11, 2020, NMFS published final notice of our issuance 
of an IHA authorizing take of marine mammals incidental to the Base Los 
Angeles/Long Beach Wharf Expansion Project (85 FR 80044). The effective 
dates of that IHA were February 1, 2021, through January 31, 2022. On 
March 16, 2021, the Coast Guard informed NMFS that the project was 
delayed. None of the work identified in the initial IHA (e.g., pile 
driving) has occurred. The Coast Guard submitted a request for a new 
identical IHA that would be effective from February 1, 2022 through 
January 31, 2023, 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 Coast Guard's construction project is to expand 
the existing wharf and other base infrastructure for hosting two 
additional offshore patrol cutters. The location, timing, and nature of 
the activities, including the types of equipment planned for use, are 
identical 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 seals (Phoca vitulina), California sea lions (Zalophus 
californianus), Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Short-beaked 
common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), and gray whales (Eschrichtius 
robustus). 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 2021 IHA for the Coast Guard's construction work (85 FR 80044), 
the Coast Guard's application, the Federal Register notice of the 
proposed IHA (85 FR 66939; October 21, 2020), and all associated 
references and documents.

Determinations

    The Coast Guard will conduct activities as analyzed in the initial 
2021 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 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

[[Page 73259]]

mammals relative to the affected stock abundances; and (4) GCHS' 
activities will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on taking for 
subsistence purposes as subsistence harvest of harbor seals and other 
marine mammals is rare in the area and local subsistence users have not 
expressed concern about this project.

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.
    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 Coast Guard for in-water construction 
activities associated with the specified activity from February 1, 2022 
through January 31, 2023. All previously described mitigation, 
monitoring, and reporting requirements from the initial 2021 IHA are 
incorporated.

    Dated: December 21, 2021.
Kimberly Damon-Randall,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-27993 Filed 12-23-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P