[MARMAM] NMFS Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS and Public Scoping Meeting Regarding MMPA Takes in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Candace Nachman - NOAA Federal candace.nachman at noaa.gov
Wed Oct 22 22:18:39 PDT 2014


All,

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is pleased to announce its
intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the
environmental impacts of issuing incidental take authorizations (ITAs)
pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) for the taking of
marine mammals incidental to anthropogenic activities in the waters of Cook
Inlet, Alaska.

The Notice of Intent (NOI) is available on the Internet at:

https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-24317.

For the purposes of this EIS, NMFS intends to analyze the effects on the
human environment of issuing authorizations for the incidental take of
marine mammals from activities occurring in both the state and Federal
waters of Cook Inlet, AK, from Knik Arm in the northern part of the Inlet
to the southern edge of Kachemak Bay on the southeastern part of the Inlet
and to the southern edge of Cape Douglas on the southwestern part of the
Inlet.

This programmatic EIS will analyze the potential effects on the human
environment of issuing MMPA ITAs for various anthropogenic activities in
Cook Inlet. An EIS that analyzes multiple activities over multiple years
will provide a comprehensive decision-support tool for NMFS, allowing us to
address cumulative effects over a longer time frame, consider a wider range
of reasonable alternatives consistent with our statutory mandates, and
analyze a wider range of practicable mitigation and monitoring measures for
protecting marine mammals and the availability of marine mammals for
subsistence uses.

 *Public Comment Period:* Comments on the NOI will be accepted during the
public comment period until December 29, 2014.  Comments on the NOI should
be identified by NOAA-NMFS-2014-0129 and can be submitted by any of the
following methods:

   - Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the
   Federal e-Rulemaking portal www.regulations.gov. To submit comments via
   the Federal e-Rulemaking portal, enter NOAA-NMFS-2014-0129 in the keyword
   search.  Locate the document you wish to comment on from the resulting list
   and click on the "Comment Now" icon on the right of that line.
   - Mail: Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office
   of Protected Resources, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910
   - Fax: (301) 713-0376 attn: Jolie Harrison

We request that you include background documents to support your comments
as appropriate.

*THE DEADLINE FOR PROVIDING COMMENTS IS 11:59 PM EST DECEMBER 29, 2014.*

*Public Scoping Meeting:* We will hold a public scoping meeting in
Anchorage, AK, on Monday, November 3, 2014, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the
Loussac Library's Wilda Marston Theater located at 3600 Denali Street,
Anchorage, AK 99503. Written and oral comments will be accepted at the
public meeting. <http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/eis/arctic.htm>

Thank you for your interest and participation in this important process.

-- 
Candace Nachman
Fishery Biologist

NOAA Fisheries
Office of Protected Resources
Permits and Conservation Division
1315 East West Highway, Rm 13115
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Ph: (301) 427-8429
Fax: (301) 713-0376

Web: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/
<first.last at noaa.gov> <http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/>
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