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Agency Information Collection Activities; Incidental Take of Marine Mammals During Specified Activities

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Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.


Notice of information collection; request for comment.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service, we), are proposing to renew an information collection.


Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before January 6, 2020.


Send your comments on the information collection request by mail to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/PERMA (JAO/1N), 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 (mail); or by email to Please reference OMB Control Number 1018-0070 in the subject line of your comments.

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To request additional information about this ICR, contact Madonna L. Baucum, Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, by email at, or by telephone at (703) 358-2503.

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In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.Start Printed Page 60108

We are soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary to the proper functions of the Service; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Service enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Service minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this ICR. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Abstract: This information collection includes requirements associated with specified oil and gas industry activities and their incidental taking of polar bears, Pacific walruses, and northern sea otters in Alaska. The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), imposed, with certain exceptions, a moratorium on the taking of marine mammals. Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA directs the Secretary of the Interior to allow, upon request by citizens of the United States, the taking of small numbers of marine mammals incidental to specified activities (other than commercial fishing) if the Secretary makes certain findings and prescribes specific regulations that, among other things, establish permissible methods of taking.

Applicants seeking to conduct activities must request a Letter of Authorization (LOA) for the specific activity and submit on-site monitoring reports and a final report of the activity to the Secretary. This is a nonform collection. Respondents must comply with the regulations at 50 CFR 18.27, which outline the procedures and requirements for submitting a request. Specific regulations governing authorized incidental take of marine mammals activities are contained in 50 CFR 18, subparts J (Beaufort Sea) and K (Cook Inlet). These regulations provide the applicant with a detailed description of information that we need to evaluate the proposed activity and determine if it is appropriate to issue specific regulations and, subsequently, LOAs.

We use the information to verify the findings required to issue incidental take regulations, to decide if we should issue an LOA, and (if an LOA is issued) what conditions should be included in the LOA. In addition, we analyze the information to determine impacts to polar bears, Pacific walruses, northern sea otters, and the availability of those marine mammals for subsistence purposes of Alaska Natives.

Title of Collection: Incidental Take of Marine Mammals During Specified Activities, 50 CFR 18.27 and 50 CFR 18, Subparts J and K.

OMB Control Number: 1018-0070.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Respondents/Affected Public: Oil and gas industry companies.

Respondent's Obligation: Required to Obtain or Retain a Benefit.

Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None.

Type of actionNumber of annual respondentsNumber of responses eachTotal annual responsesAverage completion time (hours)Total annual burden hours
Polar Bear Den Detection Report:
Private Sector41450200
Incidental Take of Marine Mammals—Final Monitoring Report:
Private Sector201.252510250
Incidental Take of Marine Mammals—Onsite Monitoring and Observation Reports:
Private Sector20153001.5450
Incidental Take of Marine Mammals—Application for Regulations: 1
Private Sector200.12150300
Incidental Take of Marine Mammals—LOA Requests:
Private Sector201.252524600
1 Occurs once every 5 years.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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Dated: November 4, 2019.

Madonna L. Baucum,

Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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[FR Doc. 2019-24298 Filed 11-6-19; 8:45 am]