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Title 50

Displaying title 50, up to date as of 9/16/2021. Title 50 was last amended 9/16/2021.

Title 50

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§ 217.154 Mitigation requirements.

When conducting the activities identified in § 217.150(a), the mitigation measures contained in any LOA issued under §§ 216.106 of this chapter and 217.156 must be implemented. These mitigation measures shall include but are not limited to:

(a) General conditions.

(1) Hilcorp and Eni must renew, on an annual basis, the Plans of Cooperation (POCs), throughout the life of the regulations;

(2) Copies of any issued LOAs must be in the possession of Hilcorp and Eni, their designees, and work crew personnel operating under the authority of the issued LOAs; and

(3) Prior to initiation of sea ice road- and ice trail-related activities, project personnel associated with ice road construction, maintenance, use or decommissioning must receive annual training on implementing mitigation and monitoring measures:

(i) Personnel must be advised that interactions with, or approaching, any wildlife is prohibited;

(ii) Annual training must also include reviewing Hilcorp and Eni's Wildlife Management Plan; and

(iii) In addition to the mitigation and monitoring plans, other topics in the training must include:

(A) Ringed seal identification and brief life history;

(B) Physical environment (habitat characteristics and how to potentially identify habitat);

(C) Ringed seal use in the ice road region (timing, location, habitat use, birthing lairs, breathing holes, basking, etc.);

(D) Potential effects of disturbance; and

(E) Importance of lairs, breathing holes and basking to ringed seals.

(b) General mitigation measures throughout the Ice Road/Trail Season (December through May).

(1) Ice road/trail speed limits must be no greater than 72.4 km (45 miles) per hour (mph); speed limits must be determined on a case-by-case basis based on environmental, road conditions and ice road/trail longevity considerations;

(2) Following existing safety measures, delineators must mark the roadway in a minimum of 0.4 km (1/4-mile) increments on both sides of the ice road to delineate the path of vehicle travel and areas of planned on-ice activities (e.g., emergency response exercises). Following existing safety measures currently used for ice trails, delineators must mark one side of an ice trail a minimum of every 0.4 km (1/4 mile). Delineators must be color-coded, following existing safety protocol, to indicate the direction of travel and location of the ice road or trail;

(3) Corners of rig mats, steel plates, and other materials used to bridge sections of hazardous ice, must be clearly marked or mapped using GPS coordinates of the locations; and

(4) Personnel must be instructed to remain in the vehicle and safely continue, if they encounter a ringed seal while driving on the road.

(c) Additional mitigation measures after March 1st. In addition to the general mitigation measures listed in § 217.154(b), the following measures must also be implemented after March 1st:

(1) Ice road/trail construction, maintenance and decommissioning must be performed within the boundaries of the road/trail and shoulders, with most work occurring within the driving lane. To the extent practicable and when safety of personnel is ensured, equipment must travel within the driving lane and shoulder areas.

(2) Blading and snow blowing of ice roads must be limited to the previously disturbed ice road/shoulder areas to the extent safe and practicable. Snow must be plowed or blown from the ice road surface.

(3) In the event snow is accumulating on a road within a 50 m (164 ft) radius of an identified downwind seal or seal lair, operational measures must be used to avoid seal impacts, such as pushing snow further down the road before blowing it off the roadway. Vehicles must not stop within 50 m (164 ft) of identified seals or within 150 m (500 ft) of known seal lairs.

(4) To the extent practicable and when safety of personnel is ensured, tracked vehicle operation must be limited to the previously disturbed ice trail areas. When safety requires a new ice trail to be constructed after March 1st, construction activities such as drilling holes in the ice to determine ice quality and thickness, must be conducted only during daylight hours with good visibility.

(5) Ringed seal structures must be avoided by a minimum of 50 m (164 ft) during ice testing and new trail construction.

(6) Once the new ice trail is established, tracked vehicle operation must be limited to the disturbed area to the extent practicable and when safety of personnel is ensured.

(7) If a seal is observed on ice within 50 m (164 ft) of the centerline of the ice road/trail, the following mitigation measures must be implemented:

(i) Construction, maintenance or decommissioning activities associated with ice roads and trails must not occur within 50 m (164 ft) of the observed ringed seal, but may proceed as soon as the ringed seal, of its own accord, moves farther than 50 m (164 ft) distance away from the activities or has not been observed within that area for at least 24 hours; and

(ii) Transport vehicles (i.e., vehicles not associated with construction, maintenance or decommissioning) may continue their route within the designated road/trail without stopping.