[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 68 (Wednesday, April 8, 2020)]
[Pages 19771-19773]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-07385]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R7-ES-2020-N006; FF07CAMM00-178-FXES111607MRG01; OMB Control 
Number 1018-0070]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the 
Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Incidental 
Take of Marine Mammals During Specified Activities

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment.


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

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 
May 8, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments on this information collection request 
(ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget's Desk Officer for the 
Department of the Interior by email at OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov; or 
via facsimile to (202) 395-5806. Please provide a copy of your comments 
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 Info_Coll@fws.gov. Please 
reference OMB Control Number 1018-0070 in the subject line of your 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information 
about this ICR, contact Madonna L. Baucum, Service Information 
Collection Clearance Officer, by email at Info_Coll@fws.gov, or by 
telephone at (703) 358-2503. You may also view the ICR at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 
    On November 7, 2019, we published a Federal Register notice 
soliciting comments on this collection of information for 60 days, 
ending on January 6, 2020 (84 FR 60107). We received the following 
comments in response to that Federal Register notice:
    Comment 1: Comment from Jean Public, received via email on November 
7, 2019. The commenter stated she was against killing polar bears but 
did not

[[Page 19772]]

address the information collection requirements outlined in the notice.
    Agency Response to Comment 1: No action required.
    Comment 2: Comment from Peter O. Thomas, Ph.D., Executive Director, 
the Marine Mammal Commission (Commission), received via email on 
January 3, 2020. The Commission believes the information collection is 
necessary and appropriate, and agrees the burden on respondents is 
    The Commission encouraged the Service to direct applicants and 
letter of authorization (LOA) holders to submit information and 
reports, including marine mammal observational data sheets and raw 
sightings data, in electronic format. The Commission also encouraged 
the Service to make applications, LOAs, and reports submitted in 
compliance with section 101(a)(5) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act 
(MMPA) and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 18 available to 
the public in a timely manner on its website.
    Agency Response to Comment 2: The Service currently provides for 
the electronic submission of information and reports and accepts such 
electronic information from applicants and LOA holders. We also allow 
for the submission of such information in paper format because 
electronic communications can, occasionally, be challenging in remote 
areas of Alaska. The Service also endeavors to provide information to 
the public on at least an annual basis both on its website and through 
Federal Register notices.
    We are again soliciting comments on the proposed 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. 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 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.

                                     Number of                                        Average
         Type of action               annual         Number of     Total annual     completion     Total annual
                                    respondents   responses each     responses     time (hours)    burden hours
Polar Bear Den Detection Report:
    Private Sector..............               4               1               4              50             200
Incidental Take of Marine
 Mammals--Final Monitoring
    Private Sector..............              20            1.25              25              10             250
Incidental Take of Marine
 Mammals--Onsite Monitoring and
 Observation Reports:
    Private Sector..............              20              15             300             1.5             450
Incidental Take of Marine
 Mammals--Application for
 Regulations: \1\
    Private Sector..............              20             0.1               2             150             300
Incidental Take of Marine
 Mammals--LOA Requests:
    Private Sector..............              20            1.25              25              24             600
        Total...................              84  ..............             356  ..............           1,800
\1\ Occurs once every 5 years.

[[Page 19773]]

    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.).

    Dated: April 3, 2020.
Madonna Baucum,
Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
[FR Doc. 2020-07385 Filed 4-7-20; 8:45 am]