Natural Resources Roundtable – September 15, 2022
The Office of Advocacy will host a roundtable to discuss the United States Department of Commerce’s National Marine Fisheries Service proposed rule to impose vessel speed restrictions in areas where the North Atlantic Right Whale is known to be present. The proposed rule is intended to reduce the risk of harm to the species caused by strikes from vessels traveling at high speeds. The roundtable will take place on Thursday, September 15, 2022, from 2-3 p.m. (ET). Roundtable participation details will be provided upon receipt of RSVP. RSVPs should be sent to Prianka.Sharma@sba.gov. The purpose of the roundtable will be to gather specific small entity input and presentations on the request for information. Parties interested in making oral presentations during the roundtable should indicate this in their RSVP.
2:00 p.m. – 2:05 p.m. Introductory Remarks
Prianka Sharma, Assistant Chief Counsel, Office of Advocacy
Tyler Richards, Regulatory Economist, Office of Advocacy
2:05 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Input from Interested Small Entity Stakeholders
Presentations made during this roundtable will not substitute for written comments directly from interested parties to NMFS. Advocacy strongly encourages those entities specifically interested in this rulemaking to provide both oral presentations during the roundtable, and written comments to the rulemaking docket.
Roundtable meetings are open to all interested persons, with the exception of the press, in order to facilitate open and frank discussion about the impacts of Federal regulatory activities on small entities. Agendas and presentations are available to all, including the press. Anyone who wants to receive roundtable agendas or presentations, or to be included in the distribution list, should forward such requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. The purpose of these Roundtable meetings is to exchange opinions, facts and information and to obtain the attendees’ individual views and opinions regarding small entity concerns. The meetings are not intended to achieve or communicate any consensus positions of the attendees.
Small Entity Natural Resources Roundtable
Issue for Discussion
September 15, 2022
Mitigation of Impacts of Offshore Wind Development on Fisheries
NOAA Seeks Comments on Proposal to Impose Vessel Speed Restrictions for the Protection of North Atlantic Right Whales
On August 1, 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a proposed rule to restrict vessel speeds in areas where the North Atlantic Right Whale is known to be present. The proposed rule is intended to reduce the risk of harm to the species caused by strikes from vessels traveling at high speeds. In 2021 NMFS published an assessment of the effectiveness of a previous vessel speed rule stating that while the rule had made progress, additional action was needed to reduce the rate of mortality of the species.
In this rulemaking NMFS would make the following changes to existing regulations:
(1) Modifications to spatial boundaries and seasonal management areas (SMA).
(2) Include vessels greater than 35 feet and less than 65 feet in length.
(3) Implement a dynamic speed zone framework that would mandate speed restrictions when the species is present even if it is outside of an SMA.
(4) Update the deviation provisions of the prior regulations.
NMFS is requesting comments on the rule. Written comments are due by September 30, 2022.