[MARMAM] NOAA Fisheries Requests Public Comment on Proposed Incidental Take Regulations for the Maryland Offshore Wind Project, Offshore Maryland

Jessica Taylor - NOAA Affiliate jessica.taylor at noaa.gov
Wed Jan 3 07:48:27 PST 2024


Good morning Colleagues,

On Thursday, January 4, 2024, NOAA Fisheries will open a 30-day public
comment period on the proposed incidental take regulations related to US
Wind’s Maryland Offshore Wind Project
<https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/incidental-take-authorization-us-wind-inc-construction-and-operation-maryland-offshore-wind>.
The project would be located offshore Maryland within the Maryland Wind
Energy Area. Under Offshore Renewable Energy Certificates, the project
would provide power to Maryland.

Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, these regulations will govern
the “take,” by harassment only, of small numbers of marine mammals exposed
to elevated underwater noise generated by the project’s activities over a
five-year period. NOAA Fisheries has preliminarily determined the take as
analyzed in the proposed rule, will have a negligible impact on all
affected marine mammal species and stocks. No take by mortality, serious
injury, or non-auditory injury is anticipated to occur or proposed for
authorization.

As required by the MMPA, the proposed regulations include mandatory
mitigation measures undertaken by the wind developer that ensure the "least
practicable adverse impact" on marine mammals and their habitat, as well as
monitoring and reporting measures to better understand those impacts.
Impacts to a small number of North Atlantic right whales are expected to be
limited to short-term behavioral disturbance (Level B harassment).

The public comment period on the proposed regulations will be open January
4, 2024 to February 3, 2024. Documents associated with this proposed
action, including information on how to submit a public comment, will be
available on our website
<https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/incidental-take-authorization-us-wind-inc-construction-and-operation-maryland-offshore-wind>
.

NOAA Fisheries is committed to careful review and use of the best available
scientific information in satisfying the requirements of the Marine Mammal
Protection Act.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

-- 
Jessica Taylor, M.E.M. (she/her)
Senior Analyst, ESA/MMPA Support Services
Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
Permits and Conservation Division
Office of Protected Resources, NOAA Fisheries
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 427-8475
Email: Jessica.Taylor at noaa.gov
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