Federal Register: Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Space Vehicle and Missile Launch Operations at Kodiak Launch Complex, AK

March 23, 2011 at 8:38 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

NOAA published a final rule on Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Space Vehicle and Missile Launch Operations at Kodiak Launch Complex, AK (PDF) in today’s Federal Regiter (75 Fed. Reg. 16311-16320):

SUMMARY: NMFS, upon application from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC), is issuing regulations to govern the unintentional taking of small numbers of marine mammals incidental to rocket launches from the Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC) on Kodiak Island, AK. Issuance of regulations is required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) when the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), after notice and opportunity for comment, finds, as here, that such takes will have a negligible impact on the species and stocks of marine mammals and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on their availability for subsistence uses. These regulations do not authorize the AAC’s rocket launch activities; such authorization is not within the jurisdiction of the Secretary. Rather, these regulations govern the issuance of Letters of Authorization (LOAs) for the unintentional and incidental take of marine mammals in connection with this activity and prescribe methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species and their habitat, and on the availability of the species for subsistence uses. In addition, NMFS incorporates reporting and monitoring requirements on these activities.

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