Incidental Take Authorization: Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project, Hampton-Norfolk, Virginia (2021-2026)
On January 28, 2022, NOAA Fisheries received a request from the Hampton Roads Connector Partners (HRCP) to modify Letters of Authorization (LOA) that were issued to HRCP on April 2, 2021, as part of incidental take regulations. These regulations govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals incidental to construction activities associated with the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel Expansion Project in Norfolk, Virginia, over the course of 5 years (2021-2026). The modification is due to design updates which decrease the number of piles installed, require fewer hours of pile installation, and reduce the number of pile driving days. Prescribed mitigation measures were modified to reflect the change in design. We have determined that the modification will not result in an increase in take that would exceed the limits authorized under the original LOA. Therefore, the total amount of authorized taking remains the same.
NOAA Fisheries, upon request of the HRCP, had issued regulations to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals incidental to construction activities associated with the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel Expansion Project in Norfolk, Virginia, over the course of five years (2021-2026). These regulations, which allow for the issuance of Letters of Authorization for the incidental take of marine mammals during the described activities and specified timeframes, prescribe the permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, as well as requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.