Incidental Take Authorization: U.S. Navy Dry Dock Expansion Project at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine
NOAA Fisheries received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for the renewal of their currently active incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals incidental to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Dry Dock 1 modification and expansion in Kittery, Maine. These activities are nearly identical to those covered in the current authorization. The project has been delayed and a small portion of the activities covered in the initial IHA have not been completed. The Navy also proposes to drive an additional number of piles for which the installation methods are identical and pile types are nearly identical to those covered in the initial IHA. We are requesting comments on our proposal to issue a Renewal IHA to the Navy.
NOAA Fisheries has received a request from the Navy for the re-issuance of a previously issued IHA with the only change being effective dates. The initial IHA authorized take of five species of marine mammals, by Level A and Level B harassment, incidental to construction associated with the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Dry Dock 1 modification and expansion in Kittery, Maine. The project has been delayed and none of the work covered in the initial IHA has been conducted. The initial IHA was effective from October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. The Navy has requested re-issuance with new effective dates of March 1, 2020, through February 28, 2021. The scope of the activities and anticipated effects remain the same, authorized take numbers are not changed, and the required mitigation, monitoring, and reporting remains the same as included in the initial IHA. NOAA Fisheries is, therefore, issuing a second IHA to cover the incidental take analyzed and authorized in the initial IHA.