NOAA Fisheries is hosting a public scoping hearing in Friday Harbor on November 12 to solicit public comments on ways to reduce impacts of vessels and noise on killer whales in the inland waters of Washington State. The hearing will take place from 5 to 8 pm on November 12, 2019 at Brickworks, 150 Nichols Street.
NMFS is considering a rulemaking process to amend the federal regulations to protect killer whales from vessel effects, and is seeking public input on the existing vessel impact regulations, alternative management options, relevant scientific and commercial information, potential economic impacts of management options, and any other relevant information that NOAA Fisheries should consider.
The hearing will begin with a brief presentation by NOAA Fisheries that gives an overview of the existing regulations and the alternatives that were considered in the 2010 Final Environmental Assessment for the regulations. Following the presentation, members of the public will have the opportunity to provide oral comments on the record regarding vessel impacts.
Written comments may also be submitted at any time during the relevant public comment period by mail or via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Please see the "Addresses" section of the Federal Register notice announcing the hearing. Comments must be received by December 23, 2019.