Comment on NMFS’ Proposed Rules authorizing IHAs for Navy SURTASS LFA Sonar Activities

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published Federal Register notice that NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the use of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active sonar systems onboard U.S. Navy surveillance ships for training and testing activities in the western and central North Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean beginning August 2019.

CRE Files Information Quality Act Alert on NOAA Take Rule

On March 4, 2019, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) filed with NOAA an Information Quality Act (IQA) Alert concerning NOAA’s proposed marine mammal Incidental Take Rules for oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM Take Rule). An IQA Alert is a mechanism authorized by the Information Quality Act. It notifies a federal agency that if the contents of a proposed information dissemination remain unchanged, then final dissemination of the information will be subject to an IQA Request for Correction; in this instance one to be filed by CRE.

Africa Oil Week

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the following notice:

“Africa Oil Week 2019

Monday, November 04, 2019 – Friday, November 08, 2019 CST

Cape Town International Convention Centre 2
Cape Town, South Africa

Africa Oil Week is the leading oil and gas event for the continent, with over 1500 key executives attending from around the world to broker new deals. The global E&P community – government, NOCs, international oil companies, independents, investors and service providers – is brought together here like no other event.”

Click here for more details and relevant links.

 

 

Judge Shortens Time for Federal Defendants to Respond to South Carolina’s Motion to Intervene in the Atlantic IHA Litigation

The State of South Carolina has moved to intervene as a plaintiff in the court challenges to NOAA/NMFS’ Marine Mammal Protection Act permits for seismic oil and gas exploration off parts of the U.S. Atlantic coast.  This litigation is in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina.

Court in Atlantic IHA Litigation Again Extends Federal Government Defendants’ Response Deadline

The South Carolina federal district court in court in South Carolina Coastal League v. Rosshas extended the deadline for the federal government’s response to the plaintiffs’ complaint until April 11, 2019.  This is the second response extension for the federal defendants that the court has granted.

Notice of Availability of an EIS Record of Decision for Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has a Record of Decision for proposed Gulf of Mexico regionwide oil and gas Lease Sale 252. This Record of Decision identifies BOEM’s selected alternative for proposed Lease Sale 252, which is analyzed in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Lease Sale: Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement 2018.

Click here for more information and relevant links.

The Record of Decision is available on BOEM’s website at http://www.boem.gov/nepaprocess/

 

“When is a Marine Protected Area not a Marine Protected Area?”

Physic.Org posted the above-titled article, which reads in part as follow:

“A recent paper on the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in northern Europe (“Elevated trawling inside protected areas undermines conservation outcomes in a global fishing hot spot”) reveals that industrial-scale fishing – primarily the use of bottom-trawl fishing – is widespread in so-called protected areas that were established specifically to safeguard highly biodiverse marine and coastal habitats across the North Sea. We welcome this important and timely piece of research. Unfortunately, a number of the press reports that covered this paper’s findings included sensationalist – and misleading – headlines that are potentially very damaging to the cause of marine conservation.”

International conference on Marine Protected areas and Marine Conservation

This International Research Conference will meet in Rome on March 5-6, 2019.

Its website states that:

“The International Research Conference is a federated organization dedicated to bringing together a significant number of diverse scholarly events for presentation within the conference program. Events will run over a span of time during the conference depending on the number and length of the presentations.

Federal Defendants Deadline to Respond to Complaint in Atlantic IHA Case

On February 8, 2019, the judge in the South Carolina Atlantic IHA litigation ordered the Federal Defendants to respond to the plaintiffs’ complaint by April 5, 2019.  This deadline may be further extended because the plaintiffs have said they may file an amended complaint.

CRE Files Beaufort Comments

The Center for Regulatory effectiveness filed comments on the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Notice of Intent to perform an Environmental Impact Statement for BOEM’s Proposed 2019 Beaufort Sea Oil and Gas Lease Sale.

CRE’s comments (footnotes omitted) include the following Executive Summary:

“BOEM seeks comments on the scoping of an EIS that ‘will focus on the potential effects of leasing, exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas in the’ Beaufort Sea Program Area.1