Navy Uses NOAA/NMFS’ New Acoustic Standards in Draft SEIS for LFA Sonar

The U.S. Department of the Navy published its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Supplemental Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for

Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active (SURTASS LFA) Sonar.  The Navy is accepting public comment on its draft SEIS until

October 11, 2016. The Navy expects to complete its final SEIS by June 2017.

This draft SEIS is noteworthy because it relies on “NOAA. (2016a): Document containing proposed changes to: NOAA draft guidance for assessing the

22 effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammal hearing; Underwater acoustic threshold 23 levels for onset of permanent and temporary threshold shifts. Silver Spring, MD: NOAA. 24 Retrieved from .”

With regard to this document, the Navy’s draft SEIS states that

“NOAA (2016a) has published acoustic guidance that specifically identifies the received levels, or acoustic threshold levels, above which individual marine mammals are predicted to experience changes in their hearing sensitivity for acute, incidental exposure to underwater sound. The results of the LFS SRP were used to derive the LFA risk continuum function, from which the potential for biologically significant behavioral response is calculated. “

Click here for the Navy’s Federal Register notion of this action, which includes links to the draft SEIS.

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