Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Construction of the Ocean Wind 1 Wind Energy Facility Offshore of New Jersey, 12666-12667 [2022-04661]

Download as PDF khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 12666 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 44 / Monday, March 7, 2022 / Notices comment on proposed, and continuing information collections, which helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register on October 28, 2021 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce. Title: Partner Probabilistic Snowfall Messaging Survey. OMB Control Number: 0648–XXXX. Form Number(s): None. Type of Request: Regular submission new information collection. Number of Respondents: 7,600. Average Hours per Response: 0.25 hours or 15 minutes. Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,900 hours. Needs and Uses: For decades, the National Weather Service (NWS) has provided deterministic (i.e., singlevalue) snowfall forecasts or snowfall uncertainty forecasts with set, narrow ranges (i.e., 2–4, 4–6 inches). More recent advancements in model ensembles have allowed for the calculation of probabilistic snowfall information. This forecast information can be messaged in a number of ways, for example, as the probability a location will receive some amount of snowfall, or as the probability the snowfall will be within a certain range. While statistically more accurate, it is unknown if probabilistic snowfall forecasts are understood or helpful to the end user in their decision making process. The NWS and National Center for Atmospheric Research will work together to conduct a survey across the NWS Central Region to determine different core partners’ needs, preferences, understanding, and usefulness regarding probabilistic snow forecasts. Core partners of interest for this effort are emergency managers, school officials, and transportation officials. The survey will be hosted as a web-based survey through QuestionPro and will be electronically distributed to core partners by local NWS forecast offices across the Central Region in early 2022. Results from this survey will be used to determine how probabilistic snowfall information will be used in future NWS products and services with the ultimate goal of providing information in a way that improves core partners’ ability to make informed decisions for the protection of life and property. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Mar 04, 2022 Jkt 256001 Affected Public: Local (city or county), state, tribal, federal, and college/university emergency managers, local school principals, superintendents, transportation directors, and maintenance officials, and city, regional, or state transportation officials. Frequency: Up to once per year for the approved period. Respondent’s Obligation: Voluntary. This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view the Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be submitted within 30 days of the publication of this notice on the following website www.reginfo.gov/ public/do/PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by selecting ‘‘Currently under 30-day Review—Open for Public Comments’’ or by using the search function and entering the title of the collection. Sheleen Dumas, Department PRA Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department. [FR Doc. 2022–04746 Filed 3–4–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–KE–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XB501] Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Construction of the Ocean Wind 1 Wind Energy Facility Offshore of New Jersey National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; receipt of application for Letter of Authorization; request for comments and information. AGENCY: NMFS has received a request from Ocean Wind, LLC (Ocean Wind), a subsidiary of Orsted Wind Power North America, LLC’s (Orsted), for authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to construction activities associated with the Ocean Wind 1 wind energy facility in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Lease Area Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)–A–0498 Commercial Lease of Submerged Lands for Renewable Energy Development on SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the Outer Continental Shelf off of New Jersey over the course of 5 years beginning in 2023. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of Ocean Wind’s request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals. NMFS invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on Ocean Wind’s application and request. DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than April 6, 2022. ADDRESSES: Comments on the applications should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service and should be sent to ITP.Potlock@noaa.gov. Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted online at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/ national/marine-mammal-protection/ incidental-take-authorizations-otherenergy-activities-renewable without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelsey Potlock, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. An electronic copy of Ocean Wind’s application may be obtained online at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/ national/marine-mammal-protection/ incidental-take-authorizations-otherenergy-activities-renewable. In case of problems accessing these documents, please email the contact listed above. 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) E:\FR\FM\07MRN1.SGM 07MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 44 / Monday, March 7, 2022 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 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 of Request On October 1, 2021, NMFS received an application from Ocean Wind requesting authorization for take of marine mammals incidental to construction activities related to the development of the Ocean Wind 1 Offshore Wind Farm off of New Jersey in Commercial Lease (OCS–A–0498). In response to our comments, and following extensive information exchange with NMFS, Ocean Wind submitted a revised application on February 8, 2022 that we determined was adequate and complete on February 11, 2022. Ocean Wind requested the regulations and subsequent Letter of Authorization (LOA) be valid for five years beginning in 2023. Ocean Wind considered the following activities associated with wind farm construction in its application: Impact installation of monopiles for wind turbine generators (WTG) foundations; impact installation of monopiles or pin piles for offshore sub-station (OSS) VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Mar 04, 2022 Jkt 256001 foundations; potential detonations of unexploded ordinances UXOs; construction of temporary cofferdams at the sea-to-shore transitions, which includes vibratory installation and removal of sheet pile; site characterization surveys using a range of frequencies; fisheries monitoring; placement of scour protection; and export cable trenching, laying, and burial. Vessels will be used to transport crew, supplies, and materials to the Project area and to support pile installation. A subset of these activities (e.g., installing piles using pile driving, UXO detonation, and site characterization surveys) may result in the take, by Level A harassment and Level B harassment, of marine mammals. Therefore, Ocean Wind requests authorization to incidentally take marine mammals. Specified Activities In Executive Order 14008, President Biden stated that it is the policy of the United States to organize and deploy the full capacity of its agencies to combat the climate crisis to implement a Government-wide approach that reduces climate pollution in every sector of the economy; increases resilience to the impacts of climate change; protects public health; conserves our lands, waters, and biodiversity; delivers environmental justice; and spurs well-paying union jobs and economic growth, especially through innovation, commercialization, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure. Through a competitive leasing process under 30 CFR 585.211, Ocean Wind was awarded Commercial Lease OCS–A 0498 offshore of New Jersey and the exclusive right to submit a construction and operations plan (COP) for activities within the lease area. Ocean Wind, LLC has submitted a COP to BOEM proposing the construction, operation, maintenance, and conceptual decommissioning of the Ocean Wind 1 project, a 1,100-megawatt (MW) commercial-scale offshore wind energy facility located within the northeastern portion of Lease Area OCS–A 0498 and consisting of up to 98 wind turbines, 3 offshore sub-stations, and 3 transmission cables to shore. Ocean Wind anticipates activities potentially resulting in take of marine mammals could occur for the life of the requested regulations and LOA. This includes: • Several construction-related highresolution site assessment geophysical surveys in all 5 years (88 days per year during Years 1, 4, and 5; 180 days per year during Years 2 and 3); PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 12667 • the installation of up to 98 tapered (i.e., one end has a larger diameter than the other end) WTGs (monopile foundation; 8⁄11-meter (m) diameter piles) by impact pile driving; • the installation of up to 3 OSSs foundations by impact pile driving consisting of either 3 monopiles (8⁄11-m diameter tapered piles) or 48 pin piles (jacket; 2.44-m diameter piles) from May through December in Years 1 and 2 over the course of 56 to 116 days; • the installation and removal of up to 7 temporary cofferdams by vibratory pile driving at the cable tie-in area in Year 1 (4 days for installation and removal per cofferdam; 28 days total); and, • the potential detonation of up to 10 UXOs over the course of 10 days in Year 1 (1 UXO detonation per day, as necessary). Ocean Wind has noted that these are the most accurate estimates for the durations of each planned activity, but that the schedule may shift over the Project due to weather, mechanical, or other related delays. Information Solicited Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning Ocean Wind’s request (see ADDRESSES). NMFS will consider all information, suggestions, and comments related to the request during the development of proposed regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals by Ocean Wind, if appropriate. Dated: March 1, 2022. Kimberly Damon-Randall, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2022–04661 Filed 3–4–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XB858] Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public workshops. AGENCY: Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in April, May, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07MRN1.SGM 07MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 44 (Monday, March 7, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 12666-12667]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-04661]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XB501]


Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals 
Incidental to the Construction of the Ocean Wind 1 Wind Energy Facility 
Offshore of New Jersey

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

ACTION: Notice; receipt of application for Letter of Authorization; 
request for comments and information.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS has received a request from Ocean Wind, LLC (Ocean Wind), 
a subsidiary of Orsted Wind Power North America, LLC's (Orsted), for 
authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to 
construction activities associated with the Ocean Wind 1 wind energy 
facility in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) Lease Area 
Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)-A-0498 Commercial Lease of Submerged 
Lands for Renewable Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf 
off of New Jersey over the course of 5 years beginning in 2023. 
Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act 
(MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of Ocean Wind's request for the 
development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental 
taking of marine mammals. NMFS invites the public to provide 
information, suggestions, and comments on Ocean Wind's application and 
request.

DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than April 6, 
2022.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the applications should be addressed to Jolie 
Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service and should be sent to 
[email protected].
    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any 
other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the 
end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including 
all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments 
to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or 
Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted online at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-other-energy-activities-renewable without change. 
All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily 
submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit 
confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected 
information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelsey Potlock, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401. An electronic copy of Ocean Wind's 
application may be obtained online at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-other-energy-activities-renewable. In case of problems accessing these 
documents, please email the contact listed above.

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)

[[Page 12667]]

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 of Request

    On October 1, 2021, NMFS received an application from Ocean Wind 
requesting authorization for take of marine mammals incidental to 
construction activities related to the development of the Ocean Wind 1 
Offshore Wind Farm off of New Jersey in Commercial Lease (OCS-A-0498). 
In response to our comments, and following extensive information 
exchange with NMFS, Ocean Wind submitted a revised application on 
February 8, 2022 that we determined was adequate and complete on 
February 11, 2022. Ocean Wind requested the regulations and subsequent 
Letter of Authorization (LOA) be valid for five years beginning in 
2023.
    Ocean Wind considered the following activities associated with wind 
farm construction in its application: Impact installation of monopiles 
for wind turbine generators (WTG) foundations; impact installation of 
monopiles or pin piles for offshore sub-station (OSS) foundations; 
potential detonations of unexploded ordinances UXOs; construction of 
temporary cofferdams at the sea-to-shore transitions, which includes 
vibratory installation and removal of sheet pile; site characterization 
surveys using a range of frequencies; fisheries monitoring; placement 
of scour protection; and export cable trenching, laying, and burial. 
Vessels will be used to transport crew, supplies, and materials to the 
Project area and to support pile installation. A subset of these 
activities (e.g., installing piles using pile driving, UXO detonation, 
and site characterization surveys) may result in the take, by Level A 
harassment and Level B harassment, of marine mammals. Therefore, Ocean 
Wind requests authorization to incidentally take marine mammals.

Specified Activities

    In Executive Order 14008, President Biden stated that it is the 
policy of the United States to organize and deploy the full capacity of 
its agencies to combat the climate crisis to implement a Government-
wide approach that reduces climate pollution in every sector of the 
economy; increases resilience to the impacts of climate change; 
protects public health; conserves our lands, waters, and biodiversity; 
delivers environmental justice; and spurs well-paying union jobs and 
economic growth, especially through innovation, commercialization, and 
deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure.
    Through a competitive leasing process under 30 CFR 585.211, Ocean 
Wind was awarded Commercial Lease OCS-A 0498 offshore of New Jersey and 
the exclusive right to submit a construction and operations plan (COP) 
for activities within the lease area. Ocean Wind, LLC has submitted a 
COP to BOEM proposing the construction, operation, maintenance, and 
conceptual decommissioning of the Ocean Wind 1 project, a 1,100-
megawatt (MW) commercial-scale offshore wind energy facility located 
within the northeastern portion of Lease Area OCS-A 0498 and consisting 
of up to 98 wind turbines, 3 offshore sub-stations, and 3 transmission 
cables to shore.
    Ocean Wind anticipates activities potentially resulting in take of 
marine mammals could occur for the life of the requested regulations 
and LOA. This includes:
     Several construction-related high-resolution site 
assessment geophysical surveys in all 5 years (88 days per year during 
Years 1, 4, and 5; 180 days per year during Years 2 and 3);
     the installation of up to 98 tapered (i.e., one end has a 
larger diameter than the other end) WTGs (monopile foundation; \8/11\-
meter (m) diameter piles) by impact pile driving;
     the installation of up to 3 OSSs foundations by impact 
pile driving consisting of either 3 monopiles (\8/11\-m diameter 
tapered piles) or 48 pin piles (jacket; 2.44-m diameter piles) from May 
through December in Years 1 and 2 over the course of 56 to 116 days;
     the installation and removal of up to 7 temporary 
cofferdams by vibratory pile driving at the cable tie-in area in Year 1 
(4 days for installation and removal per cofferdam; 28 days total); 
and,
     the potential detonation of up to 10 UXOs over the course 
of 10 days in Year 1 (1 UXO detonation per day, as necessary).
    Ocean Wind has noted that these are the most accurate estimates for 
the durations of each planned activity, but that the schedule may shift 
over the Project due to weather, mechanical, or other related delays.

Information Solicited

    Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and 
comments concerning Ocean Wind's request (see ADDRESSES). NMFS will 
consider all information, suggestions, and comments related to the 
request during the development of proposed regulations governing the 
incidental taking of marine mammals by Ocean Wind, if appropriate.

    Dated: March 1, 2022.
Kimberly Damon-Randall,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2022-04661 Filed 3-4-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P