[Federal Register: September 22, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 183)]
[Page 56783-56784]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Information Collection Renewal Submitted to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval Under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act; OMB Control Number 1018-0070; Incidental Take of Marine Mammals 
During Specified Activities Applications; 50 CFR 18, Subpart J

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, have submitted the 
collection of information described below to OMB for approval under the 
provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. If you wish to 
obtain the proposed information collection or explanatory materials, 
contact the Information Collection Clearance Officer at the address or 
phone number listed below.

DATES: You must submit comments on or before October 22, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments on this information collection renewal to 
the Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior at OMB-OIRA at 
(202) 395-6566 (fax) or OIRA_DOCKET@OMB.eop.gov (e-mail). Please 
provide a copy of your comments to Krista Bibb, Information Collection 
Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 222-ARLSQ, 4401 N. 
Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203; (703) 358-2269 (fax); or at 
Krista_Bibb@fws.gov (e-mail).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request a copy of the information 
collection request or explanatory information, contact Krista Bibb by 
phone at (703) 358-2482 or by e-mail at Krista_Bibb@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We have submitted a request to OMB to renew 
approval of the information collection clearance requirements for 
Incidental Take of Marine Mammals During Specified Activities 
Applications; 50 CFR 18, subpart J. Currently, we have approval from 
OMB to collect information under OMB control number 1018-0070. This 
approval expires on September 30, 2004. We may not conduct or sponsor, 
and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information 
unless we display a currently valid OMB control number. OMB regulations 
at 5 CFR 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), require that interested members 
of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on 
information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 
1320.8(d)). OMB has up to 60 days to approve or disapprove our 
information collection request, but their response may be given as 
early as 30 days after our submittal. Therefore, to ensure 
consideration, send your comments to OMB by the date listed in the 
DATES section near the beginning of this notice.
    On April 30, 2004, we published in the Federal Register (69 FR 
23803) a 60-day notice of our intent to request renewal of this 
information collection authority from OMB. In that notice, we solicited 
public comments for 60 days ending on June 29, 2004. We received two 
comments, both from the same individual, regarding this Federal

[[Page 56784]]

Register notice. The commenter expressed opposition to use of the term 
``incidental'' and further encouraged the Service to protect all 
animals. We note the concerns raised by this individual; however, we 
are required under section 101(a)(5)(A) of the Marine Mammal Protection 
Act (MMPA) of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) to take certain 
actions with regard to the ``incidental taking'' of marine mammals. The 
regulations at 50 CFR 18.27(c) define incidental, but not intentional, 
taking as, ``takings which are infrequent, unavoidable, or accidental. 
It does not mean that the taking must be unexpected.'' We have not made 
any changes to our information collection as a result of the comments 
    Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA authorizes the Service to allow 
the incidental, unintentional take of small numbers of marine mammals 
during a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) in a 
specified geographic region. Prior to allowing these takes, we must 
find that the total of such taking will have a negligible impact on the 
species or stocks and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on 
the availability of the species or stocks for subsistence uses by 
Alaskan Natives.
    The information that we propose to collect will be used to evaluate 
applications for specific incidental take regulations to determine 
whether or not such regulations and subsequent Letters of Authorization 
(LOAs) are consistent with the MMPA and should be issued. The 
information is needed to help establish the scope of specific 
incidental take regulations. The information is also required to 
evaluate the impacts of the activities on the species or stocks of the 
marine mammals and on the availability of the species or stocks for 
subsistence uses by Alaskan Natives. The information will enable us to 
ensure that all available means for minimizing the incidental take 
associated with a specific activity are considered by applicants.
    We estimate that the total annual burden associated with the 
request will be 2,027 hours. This represents an average annual 
estimated burden taken over a 3-year period, which includes the 200 
hours required to complete the request for specific procedural 
regulations (68 FR 66744). For each LOA expected to be requested and 
issued subsequent to issuance of specific procedural regulations, we 
estimate that 28 hours per project will be invested: 8 hours will be 
required to complete each request for an LOA, 12 hours will be required 
for onsite monitoring activities, and 8 hours will be required to 
complete each final monitoring report. We estimate that 10 companies 
will be requesting LOAs and submitting monitoring reports annually for 
each of 7 sites in the region covered by the specific regulations.
    Title: Incidental Take of Marine Mammals During Specified 
Activities applications; 50 CFR 18, subpart J.
    OMB Clearance Number: 1018-0070.
    Form Number: None.
    Frequency of Collection: Semiannual.
    Description of Respondents: Oil and gas industry companies.
    Total Annual Responses: 141.
    Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,027.
    We again invite comments on this information collection renewal on: 
(1) Whether or not this collection of information is necessary for us 
to properly perform our functions, including whether or not this 
information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of our 
estimate of burden, including the validity of the methodology and 
assumptions we use; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and 
clarity of the information we are proposing to collect; and (4) ways 
for us to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
respondents, including through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology.
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold 
their home addresses from the record, which we will honor to the extent 
allowable by law. There may also be limited circumstances in which we 
would withhold a respondent's identity from the rulemaking record, as 
allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, 
you must state this clearly at the beginning of your comment. We will 
not consider anonymous comments. We generally make all submissions from 
organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying 
themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or 
businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

    Dated: September 3, 2004.
Krista Bibb,
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 04-21278 Filed 9-21-04; 8:45 am]