USFWS
Marine Mammals Management
Alaska Region

 

Incidental Take Regulations

 

What are Incidental Take Regulations?

The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA), as amended, prohibits, with certain exceptions, the take of marine mammals in U.S. waters. Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), to authorize the incidental, but not intentional taking of small numbers of certain marine mammals species (including polar bears, walruses, and sea otters) associated with specified activities, provided that, the total of such taking will have no more than a negligible impact on these marine mammal species and does not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of these species for subsistence uses. The Service may issue ITRs for a period of up to five years.

What are Letters of Authorization?

If ITRs are promulgated for a specified activity in a specified geographical region U.S. citizens can request a Letter of Authorization (LOA) from the Service to carry out these activities under an exemption of the MMPA. LOAs are issued on a project specific basis and include operating restrictions and other mitigation measures designed to minimize interactions with, and impacts to marine mammals. LOAs also specify monitoring and reporting requirements to evaluate the level and impact of any resulting takes. Depending upon the nature, location and timing of the proposed activity, applicants may be required to consult with potentially effected subsistence communities, and develop additional mitigation measures to address potential impacts to subsistence users. More information on applying for and receiving an LOA can be found at 50 CFR 18.27(f).

Incidental Take Regulations and Letters of Authorization available for Public Review

Oil and Gas Exploration in the Chukchi Sea

Final Incidental Take Regulations for Polar Bears and Pacific Walrus for the Chukchi Sea issued June 12, 2013.

Proposed Incidental Take Regulations for Polar Bears and Pacific Walrus for the Chukchi Sea

Docket No. FWS-R7-ES_2012-0043

 

Alaska Oil and Gas Association Petition for ITR_AOGA (pdf)

Chukchi Sea Letters of Authorization

Applicant

Documents

Shell Offshore, Inc.

13-CS-01 (pdf)

Shell Offshore, Inc. 13-CS-02 (pdf)
Shell Offshore, Inc. 13-CS-02 Variance (pdf)
TGS 13-CS-03 (pdf)
TGS 13-CS-03 (pdf)
Olgoonik Fairweather, LLC 13-CS-04

Hanna Shoal Walrus Use Area

The Hanna Shoal region is recognized as a critical foraging area for Pacific walruses from summer through fall.  Recent research presented in Jay et al. (2012) used satellite telemetry from tagged Pacific walruses in the Chukchi Sea to delineate foraging and occupancy utilization distributions (UDs) during summer and fall from 2008 to 2011.  The UDs described in Jay et al. (2012) represent the probability of animals using an area during the time specified.  The Service considers the combined 50 percent foraging and occupancy UDs as described in Jay et al. (2012) at Hanna Shoal from June through September to represent the core use area during the greatest concentrated use by Pacific walruses, and, therefore, the most appropriate way to delineate the Hanna Shoal region as it pertains to Pacific walruses.  The Service has delineated the Hanna Shoal Walrus Use Area (HSWUA) by overlaying the 50 percent UDs for both foraging and occupancy as described in Jay et al. (2012) in the Hanna Shoal area for the months of June through September.  The final HSWUA totals approximately 24,600 km2 (9,500 mi2). The HSWUA geospatial delineation data in ArcGIS shapefile format are available here: HSWUA Monthly 50 UD.zip The GIS shapefile that defines the outer boundary of the HSWUA are available here:HSWUA outer boundary shapefiles.zip

The Service is providing public access to these petitions, applications and authorizations in an effort to make the process more transparent. The Service is not soliciting public comments for the purpose of issuing individual LOAs. The Service does, however, welcome any information, suggestions or positive insights relevant to the program that interested persons may provide at any time. Please provide any information, suggestions or insights to the following email address alaska_loa@fws.gov

LOA Applications for Public Viewing

Applicant
Documents
Shell Exploration and Production Company

 

Oil and Gas Operations in the Beaufort Sea

On August 3, 2011, the Service published in the Federal Register 76 FR 47010 regulations authorizing the non-lethal, incidental take of small numbers of polar bears and Pacific walruses during year-round oil and gas operations in the Beaufort Sea and adjacent northern coast of Alaska. This rule will be in effect through August 3, 2016. An Environmental Assessment associated with this Federal action is available here Beaufort Sea ITR EA. Letters of Authorization issued under these regulations are listed below. A Programmatic Biological Opinion For Polar Bears ( Ursus maritimus ), Polar Bear Critical Habitat and Conference Opinion for the Pacific Walrus ( Odobenus rosmarus divergens ) on Beaufort Sea Incidental Take Regulations is available here Beaufort Sea ITR BO. (pdf).

Beaufort Sea ITR Petitions

Alaska Oil and Gas Association Petition for ITR_AOGA (pdf)
ITR_Addendum_AOGA (pdf)
Beaufort Sea ITR Petitions (7.5mb-pdf)

 

Beaufort Sea Letters of Authorization

2010 Beaufort Sea

Shell Offshore, Inc 10-01 (pdf -2.09mb)
Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. 10-02 (pdf)
Beaufort Sea 10-03 (pdf)
Exxon Mobil Production Co. 10-04 (pdf)
Conoco Phillips Alaska, Inc. 10-05 (pdf)
Conoco Phillips Alaska, Inc. 10-06 (pdf)
Savant Alaska, LLC 10-07 (pdf 1.87mb)
March Creek, LLC 10-08 (pdf - 2.08mb)
Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. 10-09 (pdf - 1.95mb)
Eni US Operating Company, Inc. 10-10 (pdf - 1.92mb)
Shell Exploration & Production Company 10-11 (pdf - 3.6mb)
Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. 10-12 (pdf - 1.3mb)
Olgoonik Fairweather, LLC 10-13 (pdf - 2.1mb)
Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska Inc. 10-14 (pdf - 2.1 mb)

2011 Beaufort Sea

Applicant

Documents

Brooks Range Petroleum Corp

11-01 (pdf)

Conoco Phillips Alaska, Inc. 11-02 & 11-03 (pdf)
Shell Exploration & Production Company 11-04 (pdf)
FEX L.P. 11-05 (pdf)
Conoco Phillips Alaska, Inc. 11-06 (pdf)
Exxon Mobil Production Co 11-07 (pdf)
BP Exploration 11-08 & 11-09 (pdf)
Savant Alaska, LLC 11-10 (pdf)
March Creek, LLC 11-11 (pdf)
North Slope Borough Department of Capital Improvement 11-12 (pdf)
Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska Inc. 11-13 (pdf)
Eni US Operating Company, Inc. 11-14 (pdf)
Shell Exploration & Production Company 11-15 (pdf)
ExxonMobil Alaska Midstream Gas Investments, LLC 11-16 (pdf)
Olgoonik Fairweather, LLC 11-17 (pdf)
Olgoonik Fairweather, LLC 11-18 (pdf)
Brooks Range Petroleum Corp. 11-19 (pdf)
BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. 11-20 (pdf)

BP Exploration Alaska, Inc.

11-21 (pdf)
ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. 11-22 (pdf)
Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska, Inc. 11-23 (pdf)
Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska, Inc. 11-24 (pdf)
Brooks Range Petroleum Corporation 11-25 (pdf)
Alyeska Pipeline Service Company 11-26 (pdf)
CGGVeritas 11-27 (pdf)
ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. 11-29 (pdf)
ConocoPhllips Alaska, Inc. 11-30 (pdf)
Repsol E&P USA, Inc. 11-31 (pdf)

2012 Beaufort Sea

Applicant

Documents

BP Exploration 12-02 (pdf)
BP Exploration 12-03 (pdf)
Great Bear Petroleum Operating, LLC 12-04 (pdf)
12-04 (pdf)
Exxon Mobil Production Co 12-05 (pdf)
CGG Veritas 12-06 (pdf)
Conoco Phillips Alaska, Inc. 12-07 (pdf)
Conoco Phillips Alaska, Inc. 12-08 (pdf)
Savant Alaska, LLC 12-09 (pdf)
Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska, Inc. 12-11 (pdf)
North Slope Borough Department of Capital Improvement 12-12 (pdf)
Shell Offshore, Inc. 12-13 (pdf)
Shell Offshore, Inc. 12-14 (pdf)
Olgoonik Fairweather, LCC 12-15 (pdf)
BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. 12-16 (pdf)
Eni US Operating Co., Inc. 12-17 (pdf)
Olgoonik Fairweather, LCC 12-18 (pdf)
Ion Geophysical 12-19 (pdf)
Brooks Range Petroleum Corporation 12-20 (pdf)
ExxonMobil Production Company 12-21 (pdf)
Alyeska Pipeline Service Comany 12-22 (pdf)

2013 Beaufort Sea

Applicant

Documents

Conoco Phillips Alaska, Inc. 13-01 (pdf)
Shell Offshore, Inc. 13-02 (pdf)
Brooks Range Petroleum Corporation 13-03 (pdf)
CGGVeritas 13-04 (pdf)
Repsol E&P USA, Inc 13-05 (pdf)
Great Bear Petroleum Operating, LLC 13-06 (pdf)
BP Exploration 13-07 (pdf)
Olgoonik Specialty Contractors, LLC  13-08 (pdf)
Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska, Inc. 13-09 (pfd)
Olgoonik Fairweather, LLC 13-10 (pfd)
SAExploration, LLC 13-11 (pdf)
BP Exploration 13-12 (pdf)
Olgoonik Fairweather, LLC 13-13 (pdf)
Eni US Operating Co., Inc. 13-14 (pdf)
Conoco Phillips Alaska, Inc. 13-15 (pdf)
Alyeska Pipeline Service Company 13-16 (pdf)
Repsol E&P USA, Inc 13-17 (pdf)
SAExploration, LLC 13-18 (pdf)
Conoco Phillips Alaska, Inc. 13-19 (pdf)
ExxonMobil Production Company 13-20 (pdf)
Conoco Phillips Alaska, Inc. 13-21 (pdf)
CGG Land US, Inc.  13-22 (pdf)

 

LOA Applications for Public Viewing

Applicant
Documents
Shell Exploration and Production Company Shell Beaufort Sea 2012 LOA Request (pdf)

 

Administrative Record Index: Chukchi Sea Incidental Take Regulations regarding Polar Bears and Pacific Walrus

The Service is providing public access to these petitions, applications and authorizations in an effort to make the process more transparent. The Service is not soliciting public comments for the purpose of issuing individual LOAs. The Service does, however, welcome any information, suggestions or positive insights relevant to the program that interested persons may provide at any time. Please provide any information, suggestions or insights to the following email address alaska_loa@fws.gov

Last updated: January 30, 2014