• Draft Environmental Assessment for Changes in Regulations for Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries

    The National Marine Fisheries Service, of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, expanded the boundaries of Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (now renamed Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary or GFNMS) and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNFS) to an area north and west of their previous boundaries with a final rule published on March 12, 2015. The final rule entered into effect on June 9, 2015.

    Pursuant to a request from the U.S. Coast guard, NOAA is considering developing a future rulemaking to allow the following USCG discharges within part or all of GFNMS and CBNMS:

    1. Untreated vessel sewage,

    2. vessel graywater that does not meet the definition of clean as defined by the
    Federal Water Pollution Control Act
    (FWPCA), and

    3. ammunition and pyrotechnics (flare) materials used in USCG training exercises for use of force and search and rescue.

    NOAA will conduct public scoping meetings to gather information and other comments to determine the relevant scope of issues and range of alternatives to be addressed in the environmental process from individuals, organizations, tribes, and
    government agencies on this topic.

    The scoping meetings are scheduled as detailed below:

    1. San Francisco Bay Area—U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bay Model Visitor Center, 2100 Bridgeway, Blvd., Sausalito, CA 94965 (May 10, 2016);

    2. Bodega Bay Fire Protection District, 510 Highway One, Bodega Bay, CA
    94923 (May 11, 2016); and

    3. Gualala Community Center, 47950 Center Street, Gualala, CA 95445 (May
    12, 2016).

    Written comments should be received by NOAA on or before May 31, 2016.

    Click here to read NOAA’s Federal register notice of this proposed action, which contains more details.


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