| Environmental assessment for the issuance of regulations and letters of authorization to BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. for the take of marine mammals incidental to operation of offshore oil and gas facilities in the U.S. Beaufort Sea - :4481 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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Environmental assessment for the issuance of regulations and letters of authorization to BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. for the take of marine mammals incidental to operation of offshore oil and gas facilities in the U.S. Beaufort Sea
  • Published Date:
    2012
Filetype[PDF-3.81 MB]


Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    United States, National Marine Fisheries Service., Office of Protected Resources. ; United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Office of Program Planning and Integration, ;
  • Description:
    "Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), through this Environmental Assessment (EA), analyzes the potential impacts to the human environment that may result from the promulgation of five-year regulations and subsequent issuance of Letter(s) of Authorization (LOA) pursuant to section 101(a)(5)(A) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA; 16 USC 1361 et seq.) to BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. (BP) for the take of marine mammals incidental to operation of offshore oil and gas facilities in the U.S. Beaufort Sea. On November 6, 2009, NMFS received an application from BP requesting authorization for the take1 of six marine mammal species incidental to operation of the Northstar oil production development facility in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska, over the course of 5 years. Construction of Northstar was completed in 2001. The proposed activities for July 2012-July 2017 include a continuation of drilling, production, and emergency training operations but no construction or activities of similar intensity to those conducted between 1999 and 2001. A notice of receipt of the application and request for comments published in the Federal Register on March 17, 2010 (75 FR 12734). NMFS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on July 6, 2011 (76 FR 39706), requesting comments from the public for 30 days. NMFS' proposed action is to promulgate five-year regulations and subsequently to issue LOA(s) to BP to take six species of marine mammals, by harassment, and one species of marine mammal, by injury or mortality, incidental to continued operation of the Northstar facility. The six species of marine mammals under NMFS' jurisdiction that have the potential to be impacted by BP's operation of Northstar by Level B harassment are: bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus); gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus); beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas); ringed seal (Phoca hispida); spotted seal (P. largha); and bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus). Further, five individual ringed seals (including pups) have the potential to be taken by injury or mortality annually over the course of the five year rule"--Page 1.

  • Document Type:
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