The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has published notice that the National Ocean Service, which is part of NOAA, is preparing a programmatic environmental assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act to evaluate the environmental impacts of NOS hydroacoustic surveys, mapping, and other related data gathering activities. NOS offices that conduct hydroacoustic surveys, mapping, and other related data-gathering activities which may be covered under this PEA include: Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Office of Coast Survey, Office for Coastal Management, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Office of Response and Restoration, Office of National Geodetic Survey, and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Program Office.
This PEA will encompass the environment of all geographic areas where NOS conducts these activities, to include terrestrial areas, but primarily focusing on U.S. waters from the coastline to the limits of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends no more than 200 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline.
Comments must be received by NOAA/NOS by January 18, 2017.