Incidental Take Authorization: U.S. Air Force Testing of Extended Range Cannon Artillery II at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
NOAA Fisheries has received a request from the United States Department of the Air Force (DAF) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to 2 years of activity related to testing of the Extended Range Cannon Artillery II (ERCA II) system at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. NOAA Fisheries is requesting comments on its proposal to issue two consecutive one-year incidental harassment authorizations (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. NOAA Fisheries is also requesting comments on a possible one-time, one-year renewal for each IHA that could be issued under certain circumstances and if all requirements are met. We will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested authorizations and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision. The DAF’s activities are considered military readiness activities pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004.