[MARMAM] Proposed Rule for the Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to the Construction of the Empire Wind Facility Offshore of New York

Robert Pauline - NOAA Federal robert.pauline at noaa.gov
Wed Apr 12 08:09:58 PDT 2023


NOAA Fisheries has received a request for five-year Incidental Take
Regulations and an associated Letter of Authorization from Empire Offshore
Wind, LLC (Empire Wind), a 50/50 joint venture between Equinor and BP
p.l.c., for the incidental take of small numbers of marine mammals during
the construction of the Empire Wind offshore wind energy facility in a
designated lease area on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS-A-0512) offshore
of New York.

The requested regulations would govern the authorization of take, by both
Level A and Level B harassment, of small numbers of marine mammals over a
5-year period incidental to construction-related pile driving activities
(impact and vibratory), and high-resolution geophysical (HRG) site
characterization surveys conducted by Empire Wind in waters off of New
York. These regulations propose to authorize the take of individuals by
Level B harassment and, for some species, by Level A harassment incidental
to the construction activities previously described. No mortality or
serious injury is expected or proposed to be authorized. NOAA Fisheries’
proposed regulations would require mitigation measures that are expected to
reduce adverse impacts to marine mammals, including operational measures
that reduce the likelihood of injury and time/area limitations that reduce
the probability and severity of behavioral disturbance. Required monitoring
and reporting will increase our understanding of the impacts of the
activity on marine mammals. The proposed rule can be accessed at the
following link and will have a 30 day public comment period, starting on
April 13, 2023 and ending May 15, 2023.
https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/incidental-take-authorization-empire-offshore-wind-llc-construction-empire-wind-project-ew1?check_logged_in=1

Please visit
https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/permit/incidental-take-authorizations-under-marine-mammal-protection-act
for more information on NOAA Fisheries’ incidental take program under the
MMPA.


-- 
Rob Pauline
Permits and Conservation Division
Office of Protected Resources
National Marine Fisheries Service
1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 427-8408
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