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It's a reprieve.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration will extend the comment period on its study results of acoustic noise on marine mammals.
Any decisions NOAA makes following the period could affect Alaska, including Ketchikan and others in the Southeast region.
The comment period had been opened during the Christmas and New Years holiday season for a month of nationwide comment. The holidays seemed like an unlikely time for Alaskans or any Americans to find time to respond. It's a time of festivities and vacations, a time of being rushed and overwhelmed, in many cases. It's just poor timing.
But as of Friday, NOAA added 45 days to the comment period, which will end on March 13.
NOAA has released its draft Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammals. This guide would be for federal agencies and others to predict a marine mammal's response to sound from a wide-range of activities, including construction, shipping, resource development and military operations — all of which occur in Alaska.
Alaskans will want to review the study and comment. The outcome is likely to affect us all and our potential for economic development in particular.
The website http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/acoustics/guidelines.htm provides all of the information necessary to comment.