[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 18 (Tuesday, January 28, 2014)]
[Pages 4488-4489]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-01477]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R7-MM-2014-N014; FF07CAMM00 FXFR133707PB000]

Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) for Approval; Incidental Take of Marine Mammals During 
Specified Oil and Gas Industry Activities

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) have sent an Information 
Collection Request (ICR) to OMB for review and approval. We summarize 
the ICR below and describe the nature of the collection and the 
estimated burden and cost. This information collection is scheduled to 
expire on January 31, 2014. We 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. However, under OMB 
regulations, we may continue to conduct or sponsor this information 
collection while it is pending at OMB.

DATES: You must submit comments on or before February 27, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments and suggestions on this information 
collection to the Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior at 
OMB-OIRA at (202) 395-5806 (fax) or OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov 
(email). Please provide a copy of your comments to the Service 
Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, MS 2042-PDM, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 
(mail), or hope_grey@fws.gov (email). Please include ``1018-0070'' in 
the subject line of your comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information 
about this ICR, contact Hope Grey at hope_grey@fws.gov (email) or 703-
358-2482 (telephone). You may review the ICR online at http://www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to review Department of the 
Interior collections under review by OMB.

    OMB Control Number: 1018-0070.
    Title: Incidental Take of Marine Mammals during Specified Oil and 
Gas Industry Activities, 50 CFR 18.27 and 50 CFR part 18, Subparts I 
and J.
    Service Form Number(s): None.
    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.
    Description of Respondents: Oil and gas industry companies.
    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit 
(incidental take regulations and/or a Letter of Authorization (LOA)).
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 20.
    Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

                                                                     Number of       time per      Total annual
                            Activity                                  annual         response      burden hours
                                                                     responses        (hours)
Application for procedural regulations \1\......................               2             150             300
LOA Requests....................................................              25              24             600
Onsite Monitoring and Observation Reports.......................             300             1.5             450
Final Monitoring Report.........................................              25              10             250
Polar Bear Den Detection Survey and Report......................               4              50             200
    Totals......................................................             356  ..............           1,800
\1\ Occurs once every 5 years.

    Abstract: This information collection includes requirements 
associated with specified oil and gas industry activities and their 
incidental taking of polar bears and Pacific walruses in the Beaufort 
and Chukchi Seas. The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972, as 
amended (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 an LOA for 
the specific activity and submit onsite monitoring reports and a final 
report of the activity to the Secretary. This is a nonform collection. 
Regulations at 50 CFR 18.27 outline the procedures and requirements for 
submitting a request. Specific regulations governing authorized 
activities in the Beaufort Sea are in 50 CFR part 18, subpart J. 
Regulations governing authorized activities in the Chukchi Sea are in 
50 CFR part 18, subpart I. These regulations provide the applicant with 
a detailed description of information that we need to evaluate the 
proposed activity and determine whether or not to issue specific 
regulations and, subsequently, LOAs.
    We use the information to verify the finding required to issue 
incidental take regulations, to decide if we should issue an LOA, and, 
if issued, what conditions should be in the LOA. In addition, we 
analyze the information to determine impacts to polar bears and Pacific 
walruses and the availability of those marine mammals for subsistence 
purposes of Alaska Natives.
    Comments: On October 3, 2013, we published in the Federal Register 
(78 FR 61379) a notice of our intent to request that OMB renew approval 
for this information collection. In that notice, we solicited comments 
for 60 days, ending on December 2, 2013. We received two comments.
    One commenter expressed opposition to authorization of activities 
for the oil and gas industry. We note the concerns raised by this 
individual; however, we do not grant authorization for industry 
activities. Instead, we are required under section 101(a)(5)(A) of the 
MMPA to take certain actions with regard to the ``incidental taking'' 
of marine mammals that may result from specified activities. The 
regulations at 50 CFR 18.27(c) define incidental, but not intentional, 
taking as ``takings which are infrequent,

[[Page 4489]]

unavoidable, or accidental. It does not mean that the taking must be 
unexpected.'' The commenter did not address the information collection 
requirements, and we did not make any changes to our information 
    The other commenter expressed support for the information 
collection process. The commenter stated that the specified information 
allowed the Service ``to make the required findings for issuing the 
appropriate authorizations for the incidental taking of marine mammals 
under the statute and implementing regulations, and ensures permittee 
compliance with specific monitoring and reporting measures.'' The 
information also helped ``to provide a better understanding of the 
types of effects the oil and gas industry activities are having on 
polar bear and walrus populations and the effectiveness of mitigation 
and monitoring requirements.''
    We again invite comments concerning this information collection on:
     Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, 
including whether or not the information will have practical utility;
     The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this 
collection of information;
     Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
     Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of 
information on respondents.
    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of 
public record. 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 OMB in your comment to withhold your personal 
identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that it 
will be done.

    Dated: January 22, 2014.
Tina A. Campbell,
Chief, Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-01477 Filed 1-27-14; 8:45 am]