New National Defense Exemption to MMPA Authorized for Navy

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Following consultation with the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense today announced authorization of a two-year National Defense Exemption from requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) for naval activity involving mid-frequency active sonar use, and a new sensor that uses small explosive charges, during major training exercises and on established ranges and operating areas. This period provides the Navy time necessary to continue coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the public as the Navy continues its analysis of activities on major range complexes and obtains any necessary authorizations from NOAA.

The Navy’s position is that continued training with active sonar is absolutely essential in protecting the lives of our Sailors and defending the nation. Increasingly quiet diesel-electric submarines continue to proliferate throughout the world. “The Navy has worked closely with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on our long-term compliance strategy, and the National Defense Exemption is an agreed upon part of the strategy. It allows both agencies to apply resources to the long-term plan,” said Navy Rear Adm. James Symonds, director of environmental readiness. “We will continue to employ stringent mitigation measures, developed with NOAA’s concurrence, to protect marine mammals during all sonar activities.”

In 2002, the Navy began implementation of a comprehensive, fully funded strategy to ensure the Navy complies with applicable federal laws. In coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service, this limited exemption enables the Navy to continue execution of that plan. In 2006, in close coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service, an execution plan was finalized that will result in completion of full environmental documentation of all major Navy training and exercise areas. The process of completing this documentation, including the required analysis and public comment periods, is a multi-year effort. This limited exemption provides a bridge as this plan is executed. The provisions of the exemption apply only during the period required to complete each area’s environmental documentation. As each is completed, the exemption will no longer apply in that area. The Navy’s compliance plan will ultimately cover all major U.S. Navy ranges and operating areas with environmental impact statements under the National Environmental Policy Act, and any necessary letters of authorization under the MMPA, and consultation under the Endangered Species Act as required. Navy policy mandates that all its ranges and operating areas be covered by overarching compliance actions by the end of fiscal year 2009.

Several of the operating area projects have Notices of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement already published in the Federal Register, the beginning step in the comprehensive procedure which will involve public participation. Source: NavNews

Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navy

NATO Unconcerned by Russian Warships in English Channel

A squadron of Russian warships entered the English Channel on Friday but a NATO official dismissed a Russian media report that they were there to conduct military exercises.

Japan Military Wants China "Crisis Management" Pact

Japan's highest-ranking military officer on Friday urged an early start to a "crisis management" mechanism with China amid conflicting claims to a group of tiny East China Sea islands.

NAVCENT Commander Recognizes Journey of Hope Sailors

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, Vice Adm. John. W. Miller, recognized the accomplishments of three special-needs sailors from the Kuwaiti ship,

Maritime Safety

NATO Unconcerned by Russian Warships in English Channel

A squadron of Russian warships entered the English Channel on Friday but a NATO official dismissed a Russian media report that they were there to conduct military exercises.

High Seas Becoming Less Secure

Despite the significant reduction in piracy attacks over the last few years it is now widely accepted by the maritime community that the safety of the High Seas

USCG Suspend Search for Crabber Near Anacortes, Wash.

The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a crabber reported overdue near Anacortes, Wednesday. Dean Harvey, 48, of Bremerton, remains missing. Search

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1119 sec (9 req/sec)