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Soundings Archive

NMFS Issues IHA for Massachusetts Bay LNG
On October 11, 2011, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published Federal Register notice that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization to the Northeast Gateway Energy Bridge L.P. to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, small numbers of marine mammals during operation of an offshore liquefied natural gas facility in the Massachusetts Bay for a period of 1 year. NMFS issued this IHA pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act. This IHA is effective from October 6, 2011, until October 5, 2012.

The Marine Mammal Commission submitted comments on NMFS' proposed IHA. The MMC recommended "that NMFS issue the requested authorization, subject to inclusion of the proposed mitigation and monitoring measures, including a condition that requires suspension of the proposed activities if an injury or death of a marine mammal occurs that may have resulted from those activities, pending authorization from NMFS to proceed."

NMFS' Federal Register notice of the final IHA states in response that,

    "NMFS concurs with the Commission's recommendation. A condition that requires suspension of the proposed activities if an injury or death of a marine mammal occurs that may have resulted from the LNG Port operations, pending authorization from NMFS to proceed, is included in the mitigation and monitoring measures in the IHA issued to Northeast Gateway."
  • Click here to read NMFS's Federal Register notice of IHA
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